Coach Edwards gives tips to goalies on how to stop stick side high shots. He explains how he has also had similar problems, and gives advice on how to get reactive, explosive, and bait the ball so you can up your game and make the saves.
0:54 – Remember the 3 Keys of making every save.
1:24 – The String Drill
2:07 – Baiting the ball so you can save it more easily.
2:51 – Being reactive to up your explosiveness.
3:15 – Don’t overthink it.
Hey guys, it’s Coach Edwards at LacrosseGoalieTips.com and LacrosseGoalieUniversity.com. Welcome to another blog post. I really appreciate you being here, as always. This week I’ve got a question from Mory, who says:
I get a lot of stick side high shots that for some reason I can’t seem to react fast enough to. It should be an easy save but they put it right in the corner. Is there anything I should be doing to give myself a better chance of stopping them?
Well Mory, great question. I’ll be honest. As a goalie, I had trouble with those shots too. I think what happens is, as a goalie you think your stick’s there, and the odds of them shooting there should be low. Basically the shots should be going everywhere else. What I find is that a goalie really needs to prioritize where they think the shot’s going to go.
The 3 Keys
A couple of things. If you are seeing the ball, remember my 3 Keys. If you’re seeing the ball, if you know where it’s going, and you’re moving to it, but for some reason you’re moving to it too slow, or you’re not getting there fast enough, you may be giving up too much cage to that side. If you’re shading too far to your off-stick side, which is a good thing to do. I recommend that sometimes, but even if you make the longest reach you can, you’re not going to cover that corner, that’s a problem.
The String Drill
What I recommend you do is the string drill. Go to Home Depot and get some of the twine or the string that they have. It comes in different colors like pink and orange and yellow, I think. Take a string and get a carabiner connected to that top corner on stick side high. Run it out and run it back to the other corner on off stick high. Connect it to the tip of the player stick, like at the scute. That is the furthest point that you need to move to make that save. You’ll see the line going to stick side high to the corner, and also going to off stick high. So when you’re in your stance, you’ll see just how far you need to move to make that save for both positions.
If, for some reason, you feel like you’re cheating, when you’re in the cage and you’re waiting for the ball to move everywhere else and you still don’t have that covered, you’re going to be in trouble. Lacrosse goaltending takes a bit of patience, but it also takes a bit of what I call dictating the play. It’s called baiting. If you want guys or girls to shoot to your stick side high, then you’re going to want to take a little bit of a step to that off stick side, and you’re going to be ready to explode to stick side high. By getting ready to explode to stick side high, you’re probably going to make a bunch of saves. Don’t shut your mind off to having to move elsewhere.
One of the good things to do is when you get in your stance and you’re waiting and that shot’s coming, is to just concentrate on being loose. Have a loose grip on your hands and be ready to move wherever. Don’t get set in your ways, that you’re all of a sudden going to have to move in one certain position. You want to be reactive and you want the body to take over. You want the eye to see the ball, the mind to just tell the body, “Move,” and you explode and you make those saves.
Don’t Overthink It
Mory, it’s a great question. It’s not an easy answer, I know, but get into practice, prioritize, and just be loose. Be loose and relaxed, be happy. Think of some happy stuff before the ball is coming at you. Seriously, no joke. Think about that and just loosen up. Just react like the natural ability that you have inside you. When we overthink it, that’s when we tend to lose these saves that you think we should be making more often. What’s important is on gameday, don’t worry about technique, don’t worry about how you should move. Just explode. Let your body do what it can do naturally.
Great question Mory, thank you. If you’ve got a question for me, email me at CoachEdwards@LacrosseGoalieTips.com. Or, if you do me a big favor and share this post, tweet it, pin it, google plus it, I’d really appreciate it. If you’re not a member of Lacrosse Goalie University yet, why not? We’re going to totally change your game. It’s the most cost-effective thing that you could possibly do for your lacrosse game. If you’re a kid watching this, if you’re a goalie and you’ve got a parent, go talk to your parent and tell them you’ve got to join Lacrosse Goalie University. You get a free goalie critique with that too. It’s the best thing I can do for you so check it out. I’m Coach Edwards at LacrosseGoalieTips.com and LacrosseGoalieUniversity.com. I’ll see you next week. Cheers.
Olympian Jonathan Edwards is "Coach Edwards". He runs the longest consecutively running lacrosse goalie blog on the planet. He is the "behind the scenes goalie mind" for some of the top lacrosse goalies on the planet and he has worked with lacrosse goalies from Junior High, to the PLL. He coaches goalies privately, year round, via video and phone through his Lacrosse Goalie University goalie coaching program. Don't wait for the summer to get to a camp and don't hire some local college kid who is home on break. Get unbiased goalie coaching from the coach who is changing the game, one goalie at a time.