These are some lacrosse goalie specific drills and tips to do before any training session.
The most inarguable fact in lacrosse is that goalie is the toughest position to play. Not only is it the toughest to play, but it’s also the toughest to train for.
Training and refining your goalie skills often times includes the need of a partner or someone to work with. When it comes to training and finding a partner, I recommend you keep the following thoughts in mind:
First, find someone you trust. Second, if your partner plays another position, tell them this is about you. Next, try to find another goalie to work with of similar skill. Fourth, go into your training with an intention on what you want to work on and communicate that with your partner.
When we work with our partners, it is important to go into your session with intention – intention on working on the things that YOU need to work on. Make sure you’re not going into your workout to just take step down shots or a shooting gallery. This will not improve your skills. Instead, go into your workout with the intention of working on a set of needs. Outline those needs and how you are going to work on them.
Before we get into our workout, it is important to make sure we are ready to do so and properly warmed up. Before we jump in, here is a list of drills I like to use to get my goalies ready to go!
Lacrosse Goalie Drills & Tips
Before we get into the goods, IT IS IMPORTANT that we remember the basics of goaltending from footwork to hand movement to proper body and step technique. This video, by University of Delaware assistant men’s lacrosse coach Chris Selva, shows goalies what they need to be thinking about when going into their warm ups and workouts. This is a friendly reminder to reinforce the fundamentals of basic positioning, stance, and steps.
PRE WARM UP
In this video, I break down a drill I use with my goalies when they’ve had a long day and need to loosen up. This drill is best used prior to a warm up to prepare the eyes, shoulders, arms, torso, and core. Use this drill to get your eyes dialed into the ball, your hands firing and working in unison!
‘FOOTIE’ PRE OR POST WARM UP
In this drill, Jacksonville University head men’s lacrosse coach and PLL Chrome goalie John Galloway, breaks down one of his favorite drills, “Footie,” that dials in a goalie’s eyes and feet to work together. This drill can be used prior to warm ups or during individual sessions. I like to use this drill prior to warm ups, because it allows my goalies to get eyes and feet dialed in, like the previous drill where our goalies got their eyes and hands working together. This drill promotes eye-foot coordination, proper stepping technique, keeping the ball in front of your body, and sealing off the back pipe. You will also steal a couple saves with your feet!
WARM UP VARIATION
Another great drill by JU head coach John Galloway is a variation to add to your warm up or even replace a goalie’s basic warm up. In this warm up variation, Galloway breaks down the warm up into two drills. One, the “level warm up.” and two, the “lateral” warm up.
In the “level warm up,” work on stick side first for about six or seven shots, then off stick si or seven shots. When working on each side, we are reading the release and changing of planes from the shooter focusing on high, hips, and low. In the “lateral” variation, we work in two sections: hips and higher, then hips and lower. We know which level the ball is traveling. Now it’s about reading where the ball is going. In the words of Coach Galloway: “If you train the same, we stay the same! Change up how we do things and get out of your comfort zone!”
At the end of the day, when it comes to any sort of goalie training, it is important to go into everything we do with two thoughts in mind: intention and visualization. Intention is the idea that we are locked in and doing things with purpose. Visualization is used with intention; if no ball is being used, don’t just go through the motions. Visualize the ball being released from a shooter, stepping, and visualizing the ball into your hand or stick. With these two things in mind when heading into any drill, you will sure set yourself up for success.
See the ball, save the ball!