- ReLaxing Luke
5 Summer Tips for Goalies
Are you a goalie? Are you hoping to gain attention from collegiate coaches this summer? Curious on what will make you stand out amongst your peers? Wonder no more! For I, Logical Lacrosse, have created the ultimate list for goalies. Follow these tips, and you will be noticed by collegiate coaches this summer tournament season.
Warning: I have never played or coached goaltenders past middle school. My goalie career lasted 1 minute as I allowed 4 goals on 4 shots in eighth grade. My tips come from an outsider’s perspective on goalies as I play and coach defense. Nevertheless, I believe you will find this advice useful as I know college coaches look for this.
The goalie is the quarterback of the defense. He must be aware of everything when the opposition has the ball. As a goalie, how can you expect your defense to know where the ball is when you don’t know yourself? It is imperative you communicate ball location.
Goaltender communication can make or break a defense. If you watch a PLL/MLL game this summer, you’ll notice the goaltenders are obnoxiously loud. They mention every little thing that happens. If you aren’t making people say “shut up” due to your incessant yelling, you aren’t communicating enough.
This is one of the little things that makes the difference between a good and great goaltender. It’s not difficult. When the ball is top left, yell “ball top left”. When the ball moves, yell which defenseman is hot. For example, “Luke you’re hot”. No, I’m not calling myself hot. Hot is another term that indicates who should slide. Whoever is “hot” will slide if the man on ball is beaten.
Good Throws on Clears
You know what grinds my gears? When a goalie makes an epic save, only to throw a lob that is easily intercepted. As a goalie, you must make good throws when clearing. You are the centerpiece of the clear. If you do not throw good passes clearing, how can you expect your defensemen to do so?
A lot of young goalies get lazy after making the big save. Clearing is occasionally taken for granted, so they throw a lazy pass that flies out of bounds or is intercepted. Right before crossing the finish line, they fall flat on their face. Let me say this: your job is not done until the ball is successfully cleared. Good throws when clearing can make the difference between your opponents scoring seven or ten goals. Don’t give out free possessions to your opposition with terrible passes.
Get Ball out Fast
Once you make the save, you are a passer. You must get the ball out quick. The faster you move the ball, the less time the opposition has to set up. Just like offensive players, you should be passing the ball within three seconds. Think of yourself as a quarterback who needs to hit the open receiver before getting smacked by JJ Watt. Remember: the quicker you hit the open man, the better.
Make the Easy Saves
Yes, it’s obvious. As a goaltender, you need to make the easy saves. As a player, you may take the 15-yard shots for granted. “Of course, he’ll save it” you think. You save it and no one thinks anything of it; however, if it squeezes by, everyone remembers.
Same goes for coaches. They won’t think anything of you stopping a lobbed 20-yard shot; yet, if you let it in, they will write you off. Making these saves is like having a dishwasher. You don’t thing anything of it. But, when the dishwasher breaks, it absolutely sucks and you can’t stop thinking about it. Don’t leave a bad taste in the mouths of collegiate scouts.
Get Big on Crease Shots
When the man on crease shoots the ball, don’t shrivel up and accept defeat. Go up and hit him. Knock his head off! This is getting big on close shots.
By going up to the ball carrier, you are taking away extra angles. Thus, you are taking space away from the shooter. Personally, I find it more difficult to score on a goalie who’s in my face, compared to one who stands at goal line extended, waiting for me to shoot.
You don’t have to drill the ball carrier, but you should step up. For examples, watch how NHL goalies come out to play the puck during a shootout/fast break.
Do you agree with my tips? Do you disagree? Did I miss something? Let me know by connecting with me on Twitter or Instagram. You can also subscribe to my website and comment directly onto this article. Nevertheless, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed!
PS: I’m on vacation in Canada so the content has been slower for that reason. I cannot watch full PLL games here (they aren’t streamed) so there will be no highlights until I return to America. Will try to gather takeaways from highlight videos on YouTube.