I’ve been doing a lot of work with Goalie Coaching this month. For those of you that don’t know I have goalies who I work with who will send me YouTube clips of their games and I will coach them from a distance. If you are interested you can click here. It’s a great value for goalies who need access to a coach right away.
That wasn’t the point of this post. The point was that during the Goalie Coaching I’ve been doing these last few weeks I’ve seen a lot, I mean a TON of times where goalies make saves and then their team has no clue what to do on the clear. It’s like the coach said, “Ok boys, D goes here, middies…you go…over there…someplace. Attack? Well…you guys go over there and if we look like we’re in trouble someone break over the midfield stripe. But make sure we’re on sides!!!”
I look at it this way, every time your goalie makes a save that should give your team an opportunity to go on offense and score. So if every time you made a save your team went down the other end of the field and scored that would be one nothing. Your team one, the other team zero. Now let’s say you lost the next faceoff and they came down and got a shot off. You make the save. Your team goes down the field and scores again, well that’s two to nothing. See where I’m going with this?
Now let’s say you make the save but you botch the clear. The other team comes down and scores. Now you are down one to nothing. Then they win the face off. You make the save but botch the clear again. Two to zero.
So what should have been a game where it’s two to nothing in your favor, it’s now two to nothing for the other team all because you guys couldn’t clear the ball.
I understand that games don’t always work out like this, but you should see my point. You make the save. You clear the ball. Your team gets a chance to score. Worst case scenario the game is a tie.
In lacrosse it’s critical that we don’t give up the ball on a clear. And the game gives us an advantage because when it’s even strength and the goalie goes to clear the ball it’s a four on three!
And that leads me to the most important part about clearing…the draw and dump. I see too many goalies passing the ball into man to man coverage. It’s like a quarterback throwing up a Hail Mary. It’s a 50/50 ball. Instead of a planned effort to move the ball up the field. The lacrosse clear should NOT, and I repeat NOT, be a haphazard attempt at moving the ball down field. It should be the two-minute drill. It should be the quarterback marching-the-team-down-the-field-in-the-final-minute-of-play-to-the-red-zone-type-stuff. But what I see in most of our goalie critiques is a mess.
Here’s the deal, you draw a player, you dump to the open man. If you don’t draw a player, you don’t dump the ball. Seriously, if no one jumps you, you go down the field and score. (Ladies you can’t score but you can take it all the way down the field and dump it to someone who can if you’d like.)
Draw. Dump. Draw. Dump. If there is no Draw you don’t dump.
The exception in a lacrosse clear is if someone is completely wide open and unmarked. Then you can pass to them.
I hope that makes sense. Draw. Dump. No draw? No dump. Simple.
Let me know your thoughts by commenting below. I’ve added this really cool new Facebook Comment feature so you can leave a comment using your Facebook account. Just make sure you’re logged into Facebook and leave me an awesome comment and we can discuss further.