Check out the Ted Talk by Shawn Achor by clicking here.

1:34 – It’s not all the goalie’s fault.
2:21 – Stop forward thinking in goalies.
3:12 – Jumping up leaves a learning curve.
3:50 – The goal is to improve in time, not right away.
4:26 – Nip negative thinking in the bud.
4:52 – The importance of being happy and The Happiness Advantage.


Hey guys. It’s Coach Edwards from and I got an email that I discussed on our free teleseminar last week. I want to touch on it here. I’m getting more and more of these this year, which kind of surprises me. They’re all in this kind of tone, so I’ll read it to you. I’m going to change the name, because I don’t want this person to be upset or found out or whatever. Listen to this and you’ll be surprised.

Hello Coach Edwards. 

I had this question. First, let me tell you a little bit about me. I’m 13 and I’m in 7th grade. I play on a lacrosse team that I’m supposed to be on because they need a goalie. My high school’s goalies are both going to be seniors next year when I’m in 8th grade. Because I play on an older team, most of my team knows the high school player, so all the high school players know about me and are excited for me to come there in 2 years because my teammates told them I’m good?

Here’s the catch. When I went to Youth 13 to Youth 15, halfway through the season I wasn’t that good because I wasn’t used to the kind of shots older girls have. Now I’m scared about going to my high school in 2 years and being really bad and being the reason my team stinks. 


What I’m asking is how do I get to the next step where I need to be so I will be ready fast enough to play with all the seniors when I’m a freshman?\ 

It’s Not All The Goalie’s Fault 

Great question. However, the first response to how to get better, one, is your attitude has to change. Flat out, this attitude is horrible because you’re already expecting to fail. I get this from a lot of goalies. They feel like they have the weight of the team on their shoulders. What I’ve said all along, you’ve heard me say this before, is that if your team was so damn good, then they wouldn’t need a goalie, right? As a goalie, there’s a full on team out there that needs to do their job just as much as you do. The reason why you see shots is because everybody else on the field has made a mistake at some point that has gotten the ball down to your end, and now that shot’s being taken on you.

Stop Forward Thinking

First off, your attitude totally needs to change here. Yeah, you might be good and you might be young. However, one of the things I see a lot of goalies do is forward thinking. They’re thinking a year, two years, or even next week’s playoff or trial. They’re envisioning that point in time, so in this case, two years. 7th grade now. Going to be in high school in 2 years. What this goalie is doing is envisioning themselves playing with those senior players as a 7th grader. That’s the problem. What this goalie is doing is they’re not seeing themselves bigger, faster, stronger, more mature, more experienced.

Learning Curves

When a goalie makes a jump from a Youth 13 to a Youth 15, and there’s a 2 year jump right away, there’s going to be a learning curve. There’s going to be a dip where yeah, performance is going to go down because physically the goalie can’t react fast enough, move fast enough to the ball to make the save. You saw my post a couple of weeks ago, I talked about that. Having fast hands, moving to the ball, that’s all a combination of your physical ability to move. When you’re a 7th grader envisioning being a freshman playing with grade 12s, if you’re seeing yourself as the 7th grader now, you’re obviously not going to be very good.

The Goal Is To Improve In Time

You may be up for the challenge. I was. As an 8th grader, I was playing varsity lacrosse. In the summer I was playing with collegiate guys and older. I was up for the challenge. Mentally I was in a better space than this goalie was. Did balls fly by me? Sure. Did I get hurt sometimes? Yeah. But I was well protected and I had a good attitude, and I knew that I was going to improve. The goal is not to be good right now. The goal is to be good as you get older. That’s when it’s really going to matter.

Stop Negative Thinking Now

First of all, feeling really bad and being the reason my team stinks – get that out of your head now. If you’re a coach or a parent and you’re hearing this and your goalie has any hint of this type of attitude, you’ve got to nip it in the bud right now. It’s not allowed. There’s no way to be successful with that type of attitude.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

I’m working on my book, The Definitive Guide to Lacrosse Goaltending, and last week I finished off a chapter talking about the need to be happy before you get into the cage. I’m talking about happy in general, not just happy about playing lacrosse. You should be happy in general. A goalie who feels like this is not happy. When you’re not happy, performance suffers.

The Happiness Advantage 

Check out The Happiness Advantage. It’s a book by Shawn Achor. It’s a Harvard professor. It’s a fabulous book, I read it in one day. Big read, hard read, but really interesting. As a parent, as a coach, as an executive, business owner, whatever you are, an employee, you’ve got to read that book and then you’ve got to take it to your kids. Every kid should read that book, and every teacher and educator should read that book. I highly recommend it, so go pick it up. I’ll put a link in the post to get it on Amazon. If you read that book and then go to your kids, especially as an athlete, especially as a goalie, you’ll understand how important that is.


I appreciate the question and I hope you appreciate my answer. Leave me a comment below, shoot me an email. Do me a favor. Share it, pin it, like it, tweet it, post it, google plus it, all that good stuff. I’d appreciate it. I’d like to tell my Lacrosse Goalie University members hello. Thanks for watching, and I’ll talk to you real soon. Cheers



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