Editor’s Note: Who is the best high school lacrosse goalie in the country? The Guardian National Championship, a unique goalie only event on July 22-24 (women’s) and July 29-31 (men’s) at the Spooky Nook Sports facility in Manheim, PA, will settle it once and for all! Since Guardian Board members are some of the best keepers and coaches in the game, we have a series of great interviews lined up with many of them, which will all focus on goalkeeping! Thanks to The Guardian National Championship for teaming up with us to bring this great content to readers of LAS!
Goal Guardian board member Ted Glynn, a three-time starter and MVP at Kean University, former Owner/General Manager of the Reading Rockets in the Professional Lacrosse League (PLL) and a goaltending instructor in northern New Jersey, sat down with us to answer a few questions for our second installment of the Guardian Goaltending Interview Series.
Q: What should goalies focus on when they are between the pipes?
Of course, I want to answer this question with two words – “the ball.” Goalies should never take their eye off the ball and that level of focus, that can be trained, will determine the level of lacrosse each goalie can play at.Some of the best goalies playing the game today at the highest level have just an amazing ability to focus on the ball, but there is much more in the Goalies job description.
Q: How does a goalie’s decision-making responsibilities impact the final outcome of a game?
I train my goalies that their number one job is to help their team, and there are many ways for them to accomplish that goal. In the cage our job is to stop the ball. Outside the cage, we are the first offensive player once we have made that save and now need to help our team move the ball up field. On defense, we are the coach and the voice of our D, so we need to communicate to help our defense be in the best position to help the team.
Q: What is the best way for a goalie to motivate his defenseman after giving up a goal?
I talk a great deal about leadership and maturity in the cage and how we can help our team. Great leaders build their team up, they make their team better and position themselves to help the team, great leaders show by example. I am the biggest Fan of PCA and believe the best way to lead is to be positive, how many of us really respond to negative comments. I like the idea of leadership “off ball,” take opportunities to build your defense up not in the middle of a mistake but sincerely by encouraging your teammates when they have made a great play. Goalies also need to remind their teammates that after a mistake they can fix the problem by giving examples.
Q: Can a goalie single-handedly win a game for his team?
The Goalie position is the best position on the field and every goalie should believe this 100%. I believe that every goalie has the opportunity to help their team in big ways and influence the game. How many teams go crazy when their goalie stuffs an attack man on the door stop or makes that perfect clear that gets the ball up field for a score. We have all seen a goalie make a stop at a crucial time in a game that stopped the other teams momentum and allowed their team to hold on to a big win. There is not another position on the field that has such great opportunities to help a team succeed. I love being a goalie for exactly these reasons.
Q: Do you have any favorite drills you can share that a goalie can do to improve their ball stopping, throwing and clearing skills?
One of my favorite drills is the “Bucket Drill.” I put the goalie on the pipe, right side, and a bucket of balls to my right. I take 5 balls at a time and by hand as fast as I can I fire them at the “5 hole” and have the goalie drop and get over the ball. If you do this drill right all the balls should be right in front of your keeper (no rebounds) and you can do 70 reps in just a few minutes. It helps everything the goalie will do low.
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