Which lacrosse goalie should I go with.  That…is…the…question.  There is a raging debate going on.  Who plays?  The ball stopper or the goalie who can clear?  It’s simple really?  Or is it.  Let’s get started.

The Lacrosse Question:  Which lacrosse goalie should play?

[00:00:00] Hey there. Coach Edwards here with Lacrosse Goalie Tips.com and LacrosseGoalieUniversity.com I hope you are having a great day. I got a great e-mail today and I couldn’t resist reading this one. This is awesome.

[00:00:12] It says. “Dear Coach I’d appreciate it if you don’t use my name on this if you choose to shoot one of your videos. I’m the head coach of an elite lacrosse program in the Denver area and I was having a rather heated discussion with my assistant coaches today about our goalies and I wanted to get your opinion on it. I’m sure other coaches may have a similar situation, or will run into it at some point.”

[00:00:33] “We’ve got two decent goalies. Goalie A is a great ball stopper but a poor clearing goalie. His accuracy on passes is inconsistent but he’s lights out when it comes to stopping the ball. Goalie B is not as great a ball stopper but he can clear the ball. Accuracy is great but there are some saves we wish he’d be able to make that seem to get by him.” And this is my favourite part. “So so the question is which goalie do I go with? By the way both are the same age. Thanks for all you do for the lacrosse school community. Some of my past goalies who are now in college have been members of your Lacrosse Goalie University and I highly recommended it. Sincerely Coach X.

My Answer:  The Three Components To Great Lacrosse Goaltending

[00:01:09] Coach X I wish I could use your name on this. People are going to wonder if I made that up or not. But, here’s the deal. Listen when it comes lacrosse goalies there’s three components OK.

[00:01:20] A lot of people think there’s just two. They think of saving the ball and clearing the ball but there’s actually a third component in there which is decision making when clearing the ball. Right. And so that involves a lot of stuff. It involves after the goalie makes a save utilizing four seconds in the crease or longer for the girls. And then where to go out. Who do you pass to? Do you make a pass or not make the pass? And yes when the pass is made is it accurate.

  • Ball StoppingWhich Lacrosse Goalie Should You Go With

  • Great Passing and Accuracy

  • Making Great Decisions When Clearing

[00:01:47] So one of the things when it comes to goalies, and I know your team and I know who we’re talking about. Is that, I look at it this way. If your team can’t , if your goalie can’t stop the ball, your team doesn’t have the chance to basically apply its other abilities, right?

Can Your Lacrosse Goalie Make The Rest Of The Team Shine?

[00:02:09] So we’ve got a team with 10 people on the field. We’ve got attack men we’ve got middies, we’ve got face off middies, we’ve got long stick middies, face off defensive middies, we’ve got long poles that plays strictly defence.

[00:02:23] And so let’s look at this way if your team loses the first face off the ball comes down the field, there’s a shot on the goalie. The goal goes in. The ball goes in the goal. Now we’ve got another face off. Well if your face-off guy isn’t great then the ball that goes in the net is a problem because, it’s more of a problem than if your face-off guy is awesome. Right. Because let’s say you win a face off. You go down the field. You shoot on the other goalie. They make a save. Now you’ve got nine other people to hopefully disrupt the pass or stop the ball before it gets to your goalie. So this isn’t easy. You know, you have to look at this in the context of your whole team.

Which Goalie Would You Rather Have?

[00:03:06] So the challenge that most teams face is they might have a good goalie who can stop the ball but can’t make a pass. And I think that’s kind of silly because 1) I would rather have a goalie who can make the save first because I believe that we can make really quick headway with a goalie who’s not necessarily great at making an outlet pass if accuracy is an issue.

Is The Goalie Accurate With His/Her Passes?

[00:03:32] All right so this is what we look at first. We look at accuracy if accuracy is the issue we’re looking at while they have a good pocket in their stick is the stick the right length for them. In Lacrosse Goalie University I talk about this a lot with our members so if that’s something that, you know if you’re watching this, and you want goalies and parents to understand, have them look at that video.

Is The Goalie Stick The Correct Length?

[00:03:54] We want to make sure that the stick is the right length and it’s the right pocket for their physical ability if pockets too deep and they can’t make a decent pass. That’s a problem. You know I saw video the other day of a goalie making all sorts of fakes with a stick but can’t make an outlet pass. Or makes poor choices with the pass.

You Can Make a Ball-Stopper a Good Clearing Goalie Quickly

[00:04:11] But I think with concerted coaching that you can coach up a goalie who’s not necessarily great with a stick pretty quickly. So in that case I would put the better ball stopper in the cage and go, “Listen. You make lights out stops. We love that. But we’ve got to make better accurate passes we’ve got to make better decisions with the passes.”.

[00:04:36] And then put them with one of your assistant coaches. Spend a lot of time doing Chalk Talk and white board work. Right? Have them make sure they’re doing plenty of work with the stick get them involved in the offensive drills so they’re used to making passes on the move hitting open guys things like that.

So Who Win’s?

[00:04:56] So if it’s the choice between two goalies; one’s a better ball stopper and one is not as good of a ball stopper but as a better clearer, I’m more inclined to go with the ball stopper because even if my ball stopper gives up a rebound. I’ve got defensemen on the field that I need to coach up on getting rebounds anyway, and not giving up second shots and things like that.

[00:05:22] You have to weigh these two goalies amongst your team as a whole. Right. So if they’re close, if they’re pretty close, I go with a better ball stopper. Now if it’s, for people watching, if it’s a bigger difference: like you’ve got to get a stop the ball but can’t clear but you’ve got a kid who can clear the ball. I’m going to take that kid who can clear the ball , and pad the heck out of them and get them in the cage and coach them up on just being, like a full on warrior. Stopping whatever they can get in front of. Right.

It May Be Different For Your Team?

[00:05:57] So that applies a lot to younger teams, newer goalies on teams that don’t have goalies. So if that’s your situation, you know and you’ve got a good kid who can clear the ball, pad him up as much as you can. Get the shoulder pads on him. The baseball shin guards. Football pants. And coach him up on stopping the ball as quickly as you can, but make sure he’s protected, he or she is protected; because you’ve already got the benefit that they can clear the ball once they’ve got it. OK.

[00:06:26] So but in this case for this elite team, with two goalies that are pretty close. I’m going to go with a better ball stopper because I’ve got nine other players on the field who are also involved in that clear. OK.

Give Your Lacrosse Goalie The Best Chance On Clears

[00:06:39] Another video that I’ll link to in this post is an easy clear for most goalies. Because one of thing that is really important when it comes to clearing is the clear has to be systematic. People have to be in the right places. It’s like a theater production when people get ready for the show. It’s like, “Places everybody!” If your team is not in the right.(Timer goes off, lol) Excuse me, I apologize. If your team is not in the right place for that goalie to know and expect that there’s going to be a person open, it’s like a quarterback in football. You know guys are running routes so that the quarterback, when he gets pressure, looks and knows that there’s going to be a guy there.

[00:07:23] If that guy’s not there it’s not the goalies fault it’s that team, right? And it’s a coach’s problem. In that case. Anyway, I digress. So listen go with the better ball stopper in this case for your team and coach him up as quickly as you can on passes. Make sure their stick is good. The right length. Decent pocket for their physical ability. And he should be golden.

What’s Your Take?

[00:07:43] All right. You got a question for me? E-mail me coachedwards@lacrossegoalieuniversity.com. Share this with someone who needs to see it. That’s how we spread the word. And hey if you haven’t already, check out on Amazon, my latest book “An Athlete’s Guide to Winning In Sports and Life”. Check it out. All right. Cheers!




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