Coach Edwards explores save percentage and explains how it is the only true lacrosse goalie grade. He shows lacrosse goalies how they can dissect their save percentage to critique their games and bring their performance to the next level.

1:20 – Save Percentage is key, and some personal wisdom from Coach Edwards
1:42 – It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you win or lose.
2:26 – How to figure out save percentage.
3:14 – Dissecting save percentage to get as much out of it as possible.
4:00 – Observing trends through your game statistics to become a better goalie.
5:00 – How to tell if your goalie is getting better.
6:00 – How to critique your game to improve as a lacrosse goalie.
7:10 – Learning how to truly judge a goalie’s performance on the field.


Hey everybody, Coach Edwards here. It’s that time of year. Finally get that question. It’s like the fat question I always get every year. I also get this one too. I got two emails this week. Mom, Dad, frustrated, goalie’s really lit up and is just bummed out. Team lost a game like 14-2, another one was 8-0.

So here’s the deal. A goalie’s grade. If we’re going to have a game, a goalie’s grade is not the win-loss. When the team loses 8-6, 10-0, 14-0, 21-17, the goalie should not feel good or bad based on the win or the loss. They should feel according to how their save percentage was for that game, and then overall what their average is.

Coach Edwards’ High School Career

For me, when I was going through my high school career and I was trying to become an All-American, I knew that if I focused on my save percentage every game, every game that I went out and I just beat my save percentage, that most likely, whether we won or lost, I was getting better. So I either had a good performance or a bad performance.

It’s Not About Winning, It’s About How You Win

The first thing you’ve got to figure out if you’re a goalie, and this is important. Coaches, parents, I want you to understand that to keep your goalie focused and making progress and moving forward, you’ve got to focus on the save percentage. I was a high school All-American on a team. I think we went 6 and 8, or 8 and 6. It’s not about losing. It’s about how you lose. It’s not about winning, it’s about how you win. Because you can have a great game, your team can win, and you can have a bad day. And that’s when you look at the rest of your team and you go, “Hey guys, thanks. We won today because of you. I wasn’t really up to my average.” Save percentage is key.

Figuring Out Save Percentage

So how do you figure this out? Basically what you’re doing is you’re counting the number of shots and

you’re dividing it into the number of saves. And that’s going to give you your save percentage. What I do within that, is, within that you want to find out of the goals that went in, where did they come from? Were they shots from out here? Were they shots from in here? Were they shots from over here? Were they all on this side of the field or were they all on that side of the field? Because you can then dissect save percentage by where the shots come from.

Dissecting Save Percentage

This is how I would basically critique my games. My mom videoed every game of mine through like junior high school all the way through high school, which was awesome. So I still have them on VHS tape. So kids, ask your parents what a VHS tape is. So what I would do is say, “Okay, here’s a shot,” and if it was a save, it was a circle. If it was a shot from here and it was a goal, it was a square. If it was a shot and it went wide, it was a triangle.

Observing Trends Through Your Game Statistics

What I was able to see was, I wouldn’t count the shot that went wide as a save, but it does count as a shot to your team statistics. So if your teams giving up like 40 shots for the game but only 20 of them were on net, still, that 40 is a statistic for your team to understand and for you and your coach and your defense to use. But that’s where you’d then start to get a little bit of a trend. For me, in high school, outside of 15 yards my save percentage was high. In between 5 and 10, I could see my save percentage would go down. I wasn’t really good there. But inside of 5 yards my save percentage then went up again. So you start to see all these trends.

How To Tell If A Goalie Is Getting Better

If your goalie, if you lose a game 10-0, my biggest saying is, “If the team was so damn good they wouldn’t need a goalie.” Shots are going to happen and goals are going to go in the net. But the key to keeping your goalie’s morale high is to really focus on save percentage and not the score, not how many they let in, because if you’ve got a goalie who let in 20 goals but there were 40 shots on the net, that’s 50%. That’s a 50% save average. For girls, pretty decent. For guys, maybe not so much. But here’s the other thing. Over the course of a goalie’s season, how are they doing? Are they improving? Is their save percentage going up?

Critiquing Your Game To Become A Better Goalie

You can break this down in so many other ways. How many shots from way outside did you let in? If you let this one in and it’s like 18 yards, that’s a bad goal. In my opinion, outside of 15, nobody should be scoring on any goalie outside of 15 yards. Even in the MLL. And I get to that in our advanced DVD set, I don’t cover it here. But do you see what I’m saying here? Within save percentage you can critique your game, and by all means, with technology now, I should create an app for this, I think.

You’re going to start coming up with this stuff. You’re going to start seeing, “Hey, first quarter what was your save percentage? Second quarter, what was your save percentage? 3rd Do you have good quarters over bad quarters? Why?” You may have lost today but man, your 3rd quarter save percentage was huge. You had 15 shots against you, you let 2 in. You made 13 saves. Phenomenal. 4th quarter you find that you’re exhausted. Why are you exhausted? Everything from you  didn’t have lunch to mom and dad are getting a divorce. These are all things that affect save percentage.

Whether You Win Or Lose, Save Percentage Is A Goalie’s Grade

Whether you win or lose, if you look at the save percentage then you can really get a grade for your game and how well you did today. So don’t get frustrated. If you lose 10-0, it’s like come on, where’s your offense? Those are games where you just want to be able to hike it over the other team’s goal and hope it goes out of bounds down there so you at least get 5 seconds extra rest on the clear. But if you lose like 14-6 and you have like a 30% save percentage that day, yeah, you probably could have done a little better. But why?


That’s the deal. Save percentage is the grade of the goalie. Don’t forget it. Coaches, parents, if you’re watching this, by all means get some sort of statistics, statistician, or at least get a tape of your game, give it to your goalie, and say, “Goalie, as your homework do this. You’re going to map out where your goals were and why and what and what happened and you’re going to create a little bit of a journal that way and it’s going to be awesome.

I’m Coach Edwards at, If you like this, if this rings true to you, leave me a comment below. I’d really appreciate it. And by all means, do me a favor and tweet it, share it, like it, google plus it, find me on Linked In, pin it, I’d appreciate it. If you’ve got any more questions for me,, and I’ll talk to you real soon. Cheers.




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