Coach Edwards gives lacrosse goalies advice on how to use his 3 Keys to Making Every Save as a platform to improve their performance and turn bad saves into great opportunities. By analyzing whether or not a goalie saw the ball, knew where it was going, and moved properly, they will be able to determine the areas that need more work and bring their game to a whole new level.

0:15 – Coach Edwards introduces the 3 Keys to Making Any Save.
0:48 – Keep your cool and break down the reason the ball got by you.
1:16 – If you can’t see the ball you can’t stop it, so why couldn’t you see the ball?
1:42 – Do you know where the ball is going? Learn to recognize the average shot.
2:59 – How did you move to the ball? Some tips on moving more efficiently.
4:11 – Parents and coaches can help goalies keep a positive mindset and improve their performance.


Coach Edwards here with and and I am driving, spending a lot of time in the car, so I’m going to start ramping up the podcast with some tidbits for you.

The 3 Keys

The first one that I want to talk about it the 3 Keys to Making Any Save. You may have heard me talk about this before on the blog, and I want to touch on it here. The 3 keys to making any save. The first key is you’ve got to be able to see the ball. If you can’t see it, you can’t stop it. The second key is you’ve got to know where that ball is going. And the third key is you’ve got to be able to move to it.

Breaking it Down

The bottom line here, and I’m not going to go into all the details on each of the keys right now, but the gist of it is that every ball that goes by you, meaning goes in the cage or hits the pipe, you can break it down as to, “Well why? Why did it go behind me?” That’s the question. Every goalie needs to not get mad about the shot that went by them, but they’ve got to look at it critically and say, “Okay, why did that ball go by me?” Not, “I suck.” That shouldn’t be the first thing that goes in your head. The first question should be why. Why did it go by?

Seeing the Ball

Did you see the ball? If you can’t see it you can’t stop it. So if you’re screened, maybe there’s something that you can do to adjust your stance a little bit to see around a defender that might have screened you. Maybe they just had a really awesome play where there were guys in the way, girls in the way and you couldn’t see the ball. Whatever. Why couldn’t you see the ball? Now you get a productive answer that you can fix.

Knowing Where the Ball’s Going

Number two. If you saw the ball but you still didn’t stop it, did you know where it was going? Did it come out of the stick funny? Did it come out of the stick a different way than you’re used to? I used to get shot on by a coach in practice a lot who, he was too busy coaching and didn’t have a really good stick so he had this really shallow pocket. So the ball came out of his stick a lot differently than the balls I saw in a lot of games. So finally I got an assistant coach to shoot on me or I got one of my buddies to shoot on me who had a much better stick.

Recognizing the Average Shot

Remembering in high school, we had a kid on our team, an attackman named Zach Corkman, who is one of the leading scorers in our league and he had this crazy pocket in his stick, super deep, had this crazy lip on it, and I figured if I could stop shots from Zach I could pretty much stop shots from anybody because the pocket in the stick was really weird. But even then, I got used to his stick and the way the ball came out of his stick was different than a lot of the players I saw. So you’ve got to figure out, you’ve got to be shot on in a way that’s around average for what you’re going to see. That way you know where the ball’s coming, the way the ball comes out of the stick. You know the ball’s going to go on its way to you and then you can move effectively.

How You Move to the Ball

So if you saw the ball and you knew where it was going, but then you moved to it, the question is, “Well, how did you move to it?” Did you move to it too slowly? That’s usually the first step. Things are going to be okay. If you can see the ball and know where it’s going and then move slowly to the ball, slowly might just be because of age, you might be young, you might be weak.

Moving Efficiently

As you get a little older and you get stronger or you accelerate that by going to the gym and getting stronger, you’re going to be able to see and move to that ball faster than you were before. The other option there is if you moved to the ball and you moved incorrectly, like let’s say you just moved inefficiently and it took you too long to get to the ball. Usually that’s a technique fix, and a technique fix can be done slowly over time in practice with just a lot of repetition on moving to the ball.

Look Critically

Those are the three keys to making any save. So if you miss a save, the ball goes in, there’s a goal on the board, just ask how did that ball go in? And then you’re going to be able to look critically at yourself and your game and then be able to fix it.

How Parents and Coaches Can Help

If you’re a parent or a coach listening to this, it’s really important to help your goalie to think positively and get them thinking about positive responses to the ball and responses to goals that go in because obviously goals are a pretty negative experience on a goalie. Instead of saying, “Aw man, Jimmy, you’re horrible,” or “Sarah, why couldn’t you get that?” it’s like, “How did that ball go in?” and then, “What can we do to improve that area of the save that didn’t happen? Did you see it? Did you know where it was going? Did you move to it?”


That’s the tip for today. Coach Edwards, Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, leave me a comment. I always appreciate good reviews that way we can kind of ramp this up. That would be awesome. You can always email me at CoachEdwards@LacrosseGoalieTips.comwith any of your questions and I’ll answer them as we go. Cheers! Bye.



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