Coach Edwards explains why stepping beyond the ball is incorrect and gives advice on how goalies should be getting things done by working on the adjustment step and exploding in front of the ball.

0:34 – Stepping beyond the ball is wrong.
1:24 – Stepping to the ball is also wrong.
1:47 – The adjustment step.
3:11 – Exploding to the ball to move through the space.
4:22 – Practice the adjustment step.


Hey there everybody. It’s Coach Edwards from and I’m getting real controversial this month, and I don’t mean to be but it’s just kind of in my nature at this point. I’ve seen a bunch of videos this week and I got an email from a kid named Chris who says,


I was watching a YouTube clip and they’re talking about stepping beyond the ball. What does that mean? Why should I do it, or should I do it?

Great question.

Stepping Beyond The Ball Is Wrong

Stepping beyond the ball is also wrong. The concept is that if the ball is going to your right foot, the stick-side pipe. I’m a right handed goalie, stick side pipe. The idea is that you would take a big step with your right foot beyond where the ball is. This is in principle, a nice idea, but it’s wrong. It reinforces this massive step and a drag of the rear foot. If you tell a young goalie who is small, who has a short in seam to step beyond the ball, that’s a huge step.

Stepping To The Ball Is Also Wrong

What ends up happening is the goalie ends up stepping and it’s a stab step, where they step and they land and they then have to drag their rear foot up. Moving to the ball is the term that I like to use. In my Stepping to the Ball DVD, I talk about how stepping to the ball is wrong and the concept we want to get into is moving to the ball.

The Adjustment Step

Moving to the ball is a process of seeing the ball, exploding with our hands. Then what happens is our foundation, our base moves as well, it’s all one movement. What we need to do then is we step through the ball. The concept that I teach is called the adjustment step. I learned this from a guy named Guy Von Arsdale. I went to his summer camp my junior year just to get coached by this guy. Guy Von Arsdale, because he coached Sal Lucassio, who is one of the greatest goalies of all time. He taught me the adjustment step.

Make The Save

The concept of the adjustment step is that you step and you step through that step. It’s almost like a skip. All these concepts of stepping beyond the ball I hear taught are like, “One of the reasons you want to step beyond the ball is to get your foot there.” That’s true. If we’re trying to get our foot there, why don’t we just stick it out like a hockey goalie, like a kick save? Why don’t we just stick out our foot there? Well, it’s not protected, right? Why do we worry about not having enough gear on? Why do people say, “I shouldn’t protect my foot?” if we’re teaching people to step beyond the ball to get their foot there? If you protect yourself, fine. You’re going to move, you’re going to explode right through that ball and make that save.

Exploding To Move Through Space

It’s not about stepping beyond the ball. The concept is we are exploding to the area where the ball is, and by being explosive, we’re going to move through that space. You may end up outside the pipe when you make the save because you are so explosive and you move through that ball, you will be outside the pipe and that’s fine as long as you end up in a nice balanced position.

Step Through The Ball

This bugs me. It bothers me. It’s the right idea but coaches and goalies out there, you’re teaching it wrong. It’s confusing people. Step through the ball. In my Stepping to the Ball DVD, I talk about saving the space. We really focus on the proper adjustment step and skipping and being light on our feet. It’s not about taking some big honking step beyond the ball. That’s a waste. We want to go to the ball. We want to go to it and our momentum is going to take us through that space. Can you hear how this is making me angry?

Practice The Adjustment Step

Here’s the deal. Go out to practice tomorrow and focus on the adjustment step and moving through that space where the ball is. If I’m a small goalie and I’m in the middle of the cage, and the ball is going to the pipe and I try to step over there, that’s three feet from my center, right? That’s a huge step. I’ve got a 32 inch in-seam. That’s a massive step for me to get over there. Plus when I land, I’m in a bad position. Stepping outside the ball is wrong. Stepping to the ball is wrong. We want to focus on moving to where the ball is going to be. It’s almost a flat step. It’s about four inches forward. It’s tiny. It’s a lateral movement, it’s to the space, and your momentum, because you’re going to be so explosive, is going to take you through that.

Lacrosse is Faster

I was talking with Larry Quinn, one of the greatest goalies from Johns Hopkins, and he and I talked about how the game now is crazy fast, and for the goalie it’s a little unfair. There are kids shooting the ball so fast who have no right shooting the ball that fast because of all the offset heads and deep pockets. For the lacrosse goalie it’s almost becoming at the collegiate level, I see a lot of shots going in that I don’t like. The goalie just doesn’t have a chance.

We talk about all this stepping, but a lot of goalies don’t have time to step. They just don’t have time. It’s a matter of, can you get something on that ball? All this talk of stepping beyond the ball and things like that, it’s a byproduct of exploding your hand with your stick in it to the ball, and you’re going to get to that space.


Do me a favor. If you like this post, share it for somebody. Facebook, like it, pin it, tweet it, google plus it, and leave me a comment below because this makes me angry and I hate to see it. It’s just confusing kids. And a lot of goalies are missing saves because they’re so worried about this stepping beyond the ball or stepping to the ball. It’s like, “god, enough!” My Lacrosse Goalie University members know better, and if you’re not one you should be.

If you’ve got a question, email me at Check out Lacrosse Goalie University as well, and I’ll see you next week and hopefully I won’t be as mad. Cheers.

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