Coach Jonathan Edwards comments on the disappointing gear available to lacrosse goalies. Goalies are left unprotected and their game suffers for it. In his latest video, Coach Edwards gives goalies tips on how to improve their performance and ramp up their game with just one easy step – get protected.

0:39 – The equipment paradox for goalies.
1:26 – Lacrosse goalies miss balls that baseball catchers could get because they lack equipment.
2:20 – Major brands have stopped selling lacrosse protective equipment because of low demands.
2:55 – Goalies are confused because they only use one hand to make saves, which would be easier with better equipment.
4:03 – Coach Edward’s recommended chest protectors.
4:51 – Get some equipment on your goalie.
5:18 – How to test if you have enough protection.
6:16 – With the right protection you will become a better goalie.


Hey there. It’s Coach Edwards from and, and I got a couple of questions this week via email about equipment. I just wanted to touch on something. I’ve been really disappointed lately at what I’ve seen available for goalies when it comes to chest protectors and just overall equipment. If you’ve heard me talk for any length of time you’ll know that I’m a big proponent for protecting lacrosse goalies.

The Equipment Paradox For Goalies

I think lacrosse goalies are really confused. We’re not a player and we’re not protected like a goalie. This year when I was watching the world series, yes, I watch a little baseball, not a huge fan but when the world series is on you’ve gotta watch, right? But I always watch catchers, and it’s funny. Catchers to me have more protection on than most lacrosse goalies, more than all lacrosse goalies do, yet it’s a softer ball comparatively to a lacrosse ball, it is thrown about just as hard, or a lacrosse ball can be thrown faster typically. A catcher in baseball has more protection on them than a lacrosse goalie does, and this floors me. I don’t understand.

Baseball Catchers Get More Equipment Than Lacrosse Goalies

I watched a pitch thrown in like game 6, it was thrown in the dirt, and the catcher immediately goes into what I call “block mode.” They’re not trying to pick up the ball, they’re not trying to get their glove on it like we do in lacrosse. We try to pick it up nice and clean, we try to get the head of our stick around everything. But no, he goes into block mode, his hand kind of comes up and he ended up blocking it with his knee, which was only protected by a shin guard. Then he picks up the ball and he’s looking at second base to see if that guy is going to steal. A lacrosse goalie or the equivalent of a lacrosse goalie would have reached only their glove hand to the ball and probably would have missed it because the ball went by them.

Big Brands Aren’t Looking Out For Lacrosse Goalies Anymore

In terms of gear, this year I was looking at chest protectors and things like that and I’m just saddened by what’s going on with all the major brands of lacrosse equipment. The goalie needs more protection. A couple of years ago we had that protection but for some reason it’s going, people aren’t buying it so they’re just going to change their designs. But the thing is, I know that a protected goalie is going to be a better goalie in the cage. That’s why it shocks me to see a catcher in baseball who knows where the ball is supposed to be going, has more protection on.

Goalies Only Have One Hand To Make Saves With

Granted, a baseball player, a batter, can tip a ball that’s going to hit that catcher in the head or off the shoulder or what have you, but to me there’s no excuse why goalies shouldn’t have the same type of chest and shoulder protection that at least a catcher in baseball has. It just floors me. Goalies are confused by trying to stop every ball with that one hand, that top hand holding the head of their stick. They’re trying to catch everything. I know that goalies save percentages will go up if they’re better protected.

Be More Ugly In The Cage

Stop being pretty in the cage. Be a little bit more ugly. But also, for young parents, I recommended this twice last week to parents, they’re having a hard time getting a hold of lacrosse chest protectors. I said, “You know what? Forget it. Go out and go buy a baseball chest protector that fits your son or your daughter, because it will have the shoulder caps, it will be cut around the shoulder girdle to be able to throw.

Chest Protectors

I would argue that a lacrosse player doesn’t have nearly the dynamic throwing motion that a baseball catcher does. Yet that chest protector, they manage to have a much better fit. I also don’t like these chest protectors that are skin tight. They clip on but they’re almost more like neo-premie. They’re really secure to the chest. When it comes to Camodeo Cortus and all those threads for lacrosse goalies, I like to see some space, some padding, some ability where if the goalie gets their shoulders rounded before a ball impacts them, just enough that they can get that chest protector to lift off their chest, it’s going to be much better.

Parents Need To Get Their Goalies Protective Gear

Again, I looked at hockey goalies, baseball catchers, lacrosse goalies, and lacrosse goalies, I tell you man, we’re confused and it’s not going in the right direction. We need to have better protection for our goalies. So if you’re a parent looking for gear right now, my recommendation for a lot of young goalies is this. Go get a baseball catcher’s chest protecter, get on some baseball shin guards under your sweatpants, and you will be a better goalie.

Testing Whether You’re Protected Enough In The Cage

Here’s the test. If you’ve watched this far and you’re a high school or college goalie, and you’re still listening to me, one, congratulations, but two, do this test. This is how to know if you’re protected enough. Get in the cage today without your stick and have your buddies shoot on you from outside of 15 yards. Have them take all the shots low. Bouncing right at your feet or right at the top of the crease, and you have no stick.

What do you do? How confident are you in the cage? If you’re like most of my goalies, you would never do that because you think you’ve got to catch everything with your stick. I’m sorry, but from a goaltending perspective, that’s wrong. Your responsibility as a goalie is to put anything in front of the ball that’s going to stop it or otherwise direct it from not crossing goal line extended or from the goal line.

Stopping The Ball At All Costs

You’ve got to get something in front of it. If that’s your knee cap, are you going to do it? You may do it but are you going to hobble all day for the next three days? What’s the point? Get some protection on and you will be a better goalie. The cool thing is, if you put on shin guards and a chest protector that you feel confident in, and you had your buddies shoot on you from 15 yards out, you’d stop everything. You’d throw everything in front of it.

With The Right Protection You Will Become A Better Goalie

Go try out a hockey goalie upper body protector and hop in the lacrosse goal and stop some balls. You will have a blast, but you won’t know it unless you do it. Goalies say, “I’m hot!” or whatever, but what are you, a goalie? Or a goalie who is worried about temperature? Step it up, get the gear on. As I said right now I’m not really happy with the protection I see available on the market for lacrosse goalies and I steer people to baseball chest protectors. No one’s going to know, you’ve got it on under your jersey anyway, so just put it on and deal with it.


I hope this strikes a chord. Do me a favor. Leave me a comment below, feel free to email me at Facebook this, share it, tweet it, like it, I’d really appreciate it, and I appreciate doing this every week. Thanks so much, and I appreciate you guys for sending me such great questions. I hope this struck a chord.

If you’ve got questions for me, I’m, and if you’re not a member of, do me a favor and click on the link above. Come see us, join Lacrosse Goalie University where you can get a bunch of coaching in and get more hands on coaching for you and get those goalie critiques done as well.

Thanks again! Talk to you soon.



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