There are three keys to making ANY save as a lacrosse goalie. No matter how a shot was taken, the reason the ball went in the net is a breakdown of one of these three keys.

The Three Keys To Making Any Save

[00:00:00] Coach Edwards here. And let’s talk about The Three Keys To Making ANY Save. Now as lacrosse goalie’s, coaches, parents, whoever’s watching this, it’s important to understand that there’s three parts to making every save. And the reason I teach this is that when a ball goes past the goalie, and it’s in the back of the net. What happens? Well, the goalie feels bad, for one. #1 every goalie that loses the ball behind them in the cage, doesn’t feel the best. And I said because there’s varying stages of it. Some goalies get on themselves really, really hard. Others not so much. But either way, the grade at that point, is an F! Right? It’s the net. Right. It’s important to understand when dealing with that goalie that there are Three Keys.

Key #1: You Must See The Ball.  Can’t See It…Can’t Stop It

[00:00:58] The first of the three keys is, you need to see the ball. If you can’t see the ball, you can’t stop the ball. This is why in lots of sports we put players in front of the goalie to distract the goalie. Especially if you watch hockey. You know it’s a primary tactic. Let’s get somebody in front of the net so that the goalie can’t see the puck. And in lacrosse, we do this in a different way, especially in the men’s game with deep pockets, you can bring the stick behind the head before you release it to delay the amount of time it takes for a goalie to recognize the ball and then it’s there. The Three Keys To Making ANY Save

[00:01:38] If it gets delayed behind a player’s head. If it gets screened by a defensemen or another player running in front of the goalie…if you can’t see it…you can’t stop it. OK? So that’s rule number one.

Key #2: Do You Know Where The Ball Is Going?

[00:01:50] Number two of the three keys. If you saw it, do you know where it’s going? With young goalies and new goalies, that’s a big deal because you can stand with courage in the cage, look at the ball, look at the shooter. See the ball. But when do you know where it’s going. When do you understand the direction it’s taking and where it’s going on the goalie. Because this is a big deal. So a new goalie will take that time when the ball leaves, is still in the player’s stick, and then leaves the players stick to decide where is this ball going.

[00:02:32] Right now I have another video about shot libraries and save libraries and things like that. So I’ll leave that to another video. But in the time that the ball leaves the players stick to the time it reaches the goal the goalie is trying to understand, first, where is that ball going. Because what that does is that then triggers the brain to say, “Oh, that ball is going to my off stick hip. Now I will apply my off-stick hip save.”.

Ask These Questions

[00:03:04] So step number two is, do you know where the ball is going? Because if a goalie sees the ball and thinks it’s going one place but it goes someplace else, that is obviously a problem. Right? So when a goal goes in on a goalie well ask him is hey did you see it?

[00:03:20] “Yup.”

[00:03:22] “Great , did you know where it was going?”.

[00:03:25] “Not so sure.”

[00:03:26] OK, that’s going to tell me, as a coach, that we need to work on that goalie now on this problem, which is, understanding where the ball is going. And that comes down to two things which is 1) your save library and 2) your shot library. Save library is what Save you’re going to apply to the input and the Shot Library is understanding when a shooter shoots with this motion the ball ends up here.

[00:03:54] Makes sense? OK. So that’s step number two. Know where it’s going.

Key #3:  Moving In Front Of The Ball

[00:03:57] Step three of the three keys: The last step to making any save is, moving in front of the ball. Notice I said moving in front of the ball. That’s very vague isn’t it. And what I mean by that is, it could be anything in front of the ball.

[00:04:19] And the reason I phrase it like this is that a lot of coaches over the years have really messed this up. There’s a lot of old school thinking in the sport of lacrosse goaltending. I’ll leave that to another video but I’ll just let you know that there’s a lot of old school coaching tactics that no longer work or never did work, but they got so much momentum literally back in the 80s and early 90s that it still lingers. And I’ve been preaching against a lot of this stuff for about 20 years now.

What Does That Mean?

[00:04:45] So moving in front of a ball what does that mean?

[00:04:48] Well, we teach a number of understood movements to make saves. The problem is, lacrosse goalies are taught to make, basically make every save, with one thing. Basically their top hand. Where where their stick goes. Their top hands. If I’m a righty, I’m taught to make every save, catching the ball with my stick.

[00:05:21] Now what happens is, and so we teach, stick side high, off stick side high, stick side hip, off stick hip, etc. And so on and so forth. The problem with that is that what it’s inferring is that every save we’re trying to make with basically this hand, or the stick that’s in his hand. No other sport, no other goalie in any other sport, is taught like that.

The Lacrosse Goalie Can Learn From The Hockey Goalie

[00:05:44] I’ll use hockey for instance. A hockey goalie has a catching glove and a blocker that their stick goes in. If a puck goes to their glove side they’re going to catch that. If a puck goes to their blocker side, they’re not taught to reach cross with that glove hand to make the save. Now granted, if it’s a long shot, and plenty of time to react, yes, they can put a glove on it no problem. But for the most part what are they taught? They’re taught to deflect. So one of the things that I’m encouraging goalies now, and kind of the new generation of lacrosse is that, yes we can learn how to make these saves. But there’s a point where the ball is moving so fast from the shooter stick to where we are standing that we don’t have enough time to get the stick in front of the ball. That’s where, what I’m encouraging, in a new generation of goalies to take to take advantage of, is you may have to block a ball with your off stick glove right. You may have to drop with your knees to the ground because you’re not going to get your stick there first.

You Have To Get Something In Front Of The Ball…Not Just Your Stick

[00:06:48] You’ve got to explode down to the ball and get something else in front of it. This might be the first time you’re actually hearing a coach talk about this stuff. And luckily because of how I teach and the way I teach and where I teach to goalies all over the world, I get to share this. And here’s the thing.

Peer Pressure Will Kill Your Development As a Lacrosse Goalie

[00:07:08] Most goalies are not doing what I recommend, because and only because, not because they don’t agree with the logic, but because of peer pressure. Because of cultural pressure in the sport of lacrosse.

[00:07:18] They’re like, “I can’t do that. I don’t look good.”.

[00:07:20] Well do you want to save the ball or not?

[00:07:22] So, I’m just sharing this with you now, to basically understand that we are trying to see the ball, know where it’s going, and then move in front of the ball with something. OK?

The Lacrosse Goalie Manifesto

[00:07:34] If you see my free video in Lacrosse Goalie I start off by talking about the Lacrosse Goalie Manifesto, which basically says that when you’ve signed up for the sport, you agreed to put anything in front of the ball to make a save. Right. Anything. Not just this nice plastic stick with mesh in it. That’s nice and protective and not part of you. Anything. Your knee. Your shoulder. Your elbow. Your left…you-know-what.

[00:07:58] All right. So here’s the deal. Whenever a ball goes by a goalie don’t just yell at the goalie and be like, “Jimmy! You should have had that!”

[00:08:10] No it’s this. “Hey Sandy. Did you see it?

[00:08:13] “Yeah, I saw it Coach.”.

[00:08:15] “Did you know it was going?”.

[00:08:17] “Yeah I knew where it was going.”.

[00:08:19] “Did you move to it?”

[00:08:21] “Yeah, but I just wasn’t fast enough.” or “I moved improperly to the ball.”.

The Three Keys Will Solve The Coaching Problem

[00:08:27] That will then dictate what you then teach that goalie. If they’re moving properly and unfortunately they’re just slow? Well, that means you’ve got to get in the gym and work on strength and explosiveness and and to be able to move the body faster. If they’re moving quickly and they’re moving past the ball, which is possible. That’s a technique thing. That’s basically an understanding of where the shots going in and basically spatial awareness and that comes down to lots and lots of shots and it just experience for the goalie.

[00:09:00] But I see a lot of young coaches coaching new goalies who are really hard on goalies because, and even experienced goalies. Because, like in a college game, I see a ton of shots being scored on lacrosse goalies to their off stick. Basically they’re off stick elbow and they’re missing them because they’re not putting their elbow there. They’re trying to get their stick across. And that’s too long it’s too much time. Well what are we doing? Those goalies I work on stance, I work on positioning and I work on padding because I want them confident enough to put something in front of a ball that’s probably coming out of that over 100 miles an hour. Right. And so instead of looking good and you know looking like a lacrosse goalie then basically missing a ball that they should be saving. OK. So those are the three keys to making every save. See it. Know where it’s going. Move in front of the ball. OK.

Grade Each Goal That Goes In

[00:09:51] Move in front of the ball and basically every goal that goes by goal you can grade them and then have an understanding like OK what do we need to work on with that goalie. Do they see it. Do they know what is going to they move to it. Well whatever your answer is going to dictate how you then continue to train that goalie to be better.

Take Your Game To The Next Level

[00:10:07] All right Coach Edwards from and If you want to get free videos and you haven’t seen any of my free videos at Go sign up over there as well. Another set of videos, that comes or three days. But also I would encourage you to join our Lacrosse Goalie University Online coaching program which is basically hours and hours of coaching footage. A lot like this. Me in front of a white board, me on a field. Me in my gym, talking about certain things. And we cover all sorts of stuff right. And for 19 bucks a month. It’s the most inexpensive thing you could possibly do for your lacrosse career. OK. And over the years I’ve coached goalies from just starting out in junior high and their coaches and parents all the way up to college and even pro level goalies have learned from what I have in there. OK. So if you want to join you can go above this video and Click on the Lacrosse Goalie University. It’s also on the coaching tab and products tab and you can sign up today. All right?

Get a Free Lacrosse Goalie Critique

[00:11:09] And part of it, is I’m going to give you a free goalie critique. What is that? Well, you can, send me a video of you playing (edited). What I recommend is you take some footage, either a warm up, or you know edited footage of a game: both saves and goals. Ok, not just like a recruiting tape, and what I’ll do is I will do a in-depth goalie critique about how your playing. What I’m seeing. This always floors me, is that, working with some of the best goalies in the country who have coaches, I’m always surprised at what they’re missing. And so I guarantee you that when you join and you send me your video, I’m going to send you back some tidbits that will completely change your game. And will completely change how you play and how you look at the position. And what that will do is that it will then accelerate your growth in the game. You’ll become a better lacrosse goalie faster than if you didn’t have this.

[00:12:05] Okay. And you have access to me which is great. So thanks for watching join Lacrosse Goalie University and I’ll see you soon.




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