The end of the year is a time of reflection. And that’s exactly what I’ll be doing in this post.
Reflecting on the year in 2022 and also sharing with you all some of my plans and goals for 2023 when it comes to Lax Goalie Rat.
First Some Gratitude
Before I start I first wanted to express a bit of gratitude.
Gratitude is so important for a lacrosse goalie’s mental game and its a practice I’ve adopted in my life and business in 2022.
I remember during the rehearsal dinner for my wedding, my sister organized this “who knows the other better” game with my finance (now wife) and I.
One of the questions was – what is the other person’s dream job?
Lacrosse goalie coach – she nailed it.
Of course she did, I only told her my dream of being a full time lacrosse goalie coach only ever single day.
Towards the end of 2020, I was able to make that a reality. I went full time with Lax Goalie Rat.
The fact that I wake up each day and focus on how to make lacrosse goalies better is amazing to be me and I’m forever grateful to the lacrosse goalies, goalie Moms/Dads, and coaches who support me via purchasing the training products I offer.
Most of the goalies I help have never given me a dime but write me amazing messages of how I’ve helped their game and I love that so much!
Be sure as a goalie you’re incorporating a gratitude practice in your own life. One thing I learned watching sports psychologist Dr. T presentation at the Lacrosse Goalie Summit 8 is this –
When you appreciate your teammates, your coaches, the game – you do better. When you appreciate it, your brain thinks about it differently. Gratitude is correlated to your success!
So now let’s have a look at some of the main accomplishments of 2022!
Tillman Johnson Podcast and The TJ Mini-Camp
Tillman Johnson showed the lacrosse world the true power of the goalie position.
He inspired an entire generation of lacrosse goalies in the 2003 NCAA national championship tournament when he played lights out, making save after save, pumping up his team, winning the national title for Virginia and earning tournament MVP.
Suddenly middies, attackman, and D all wanted to be the goalie.
So many goalies I interviewed for my podcast mention this performance as the reason they wanted to be THE goalie.
💭 I’ve watched more older film of goalie play the past 3 weeks than my entire life combined…
Tillman Johnson sparked my love for this position and I remember watching him with a stick in my hands in my basement at age 10. I’m having trouble not calling him the best ever.
I pitched the idea of putting on a mini-camp virtual coaching event to my audience and he loved the idea.
Luckily I caught him in between jobs and he put so much effort into this coaching it was insane!
Here’s what one goalie Dad had to say about the Tillman coaching sessions:
Tillman had a cool to run the event as a fundraiser raising funds for the National MS Society, a cause near and dear to Tillman’s heart as his sister was diagnosed with MS. At the end we wrote them a check for $6750!
I love these events! They’re so much fun getting to interact with all the lacrosse goalies, goalie Moms/Dads, and coaches.
It’s always so cool how the best goalies and goalie coaches in our sport are willing to participate and help coach up the next generation of lacrosse goalies.
During Lacrosse Goalie Summit 8, pro goalie Colin Kirst demoed about 30 different lacrosse goalie drills in his basement and then answered all the young goalie’s questions.
When I was a young goalie learning this position that kind of experience would have been a game changer for me. And I hope it was a game changer for you youth goalies learning the position today!
As the event has grown I’m super grateful for the following sponsors which helped me cover the costs of putting on this event or donated a bunch of goalie gear that I used as giveaways. For the Goalie Summit 8 thanks to these sponsors:
I’m super proud of the training content these college students created. They were incredibly passionate and wonderful coaches.
I also love the fact that this project is a total win-win! The college athletes get to coach something they’re incredibly passionate about and help the next generation of goalies. And your young goalie gets coaching and mentoring from the top goalies in the NCAA. Win-Win!
This year the project did about the same financially as last year. Sounds good but when the pie is divided across 17 goalies (instead of 7) it meant it wasn’t as financially successful as last time. However, I’m still a believer because I know how amazing this training is.
I think during the college season when some of these goalies start lighting it up when can get some opportunities to promote the training packs they created. Or perhaps we can get Quint to mention it on ESPN!
One thing I’ve got to figure out in 2023 is how to expand this project while still making it financially rewarding for the goalies I sponsor.
Live Goalie Clinic in the Bay Area
For those that don’t know, I live abroad in my wife’s hometown of Córdoba, Argentina.
There are many things I love about living in Argentina but one thing I don’t – lack of lacrosse.
Since moving here my business is 100% online and I truly miss training goalies out on the field.
So when I went back to the Bay Area to visit my family in August of this year I decided to put on a live goalie clinic.
9 Bay Area goalies showed up and we had a tremendous event!
In my online business I’ve had some winners and some flops. Luckily more of the former though! And that’s put me in position to be able to give back to the lacrosse and more specifically the lacrosse goalie community.
Between buying gear to giveaway, paying out college goalies and other coaches, hiring sideline videographers and editors, and donating a large chunk of change to a cause near and dear to Tillman Johnson’s heart – we’re talking multiple 5 figures. I think that’s pretty cool.
I also believe the Lacrosse Goalie Summits are a way of giving back too. Sure its a profit event for my business but there are tons of young goalies who show up to every single live session (free of charge) or catch a free replay later that night and learn a ton without giving me a dime – and I love that!
Giving back to the lacrosse community is a huge part of our culture and it’s something that’s important to me.
Consistently Published Content
If you want to be great, you’ve got to show up and do the work!
One achievement in my 2022 was just how consistent we were with publishing (great?) content. Huge thanks to Evan from Team Lax Goalie Rat as he was working with me the entire year helping to pump out amazing stuff.
Here’s an idea of content I’m talking about –
On 1/7/22 I published episode 124 with Coach Chris Burdick (he later presented at Lacrosse Goalie Summit 7 too!).
On 12/29/22, I published episode 186 with North Carolina commit class of ’24 goalie Luke Arrighi.
62 episodes in one year!
I also sent out a Friday newsletter every single week and published a ton of content to my Instagram, YouTube, and the blog.
So those were the main highlights of 2022! Now let’s take a look at some of my goals for Lax Goalie Rat for 2023.
Double the Business Revenue
As I mentioned I went full time with Lax Goalie Rat at the end of 2020. Kind of scary time coming off a pandemic but I felt like I had so much wind in my sails. It was time to make the leap.
In 2023 I have a goal to double the business revenue. It’s a lofty goal for sure. But I do think its achievable.
On its surface this goal seems very much about me, but it isn’t.
I created Lax Goalie Rat because lacrosse goalies and coaching are my passions. Doubling the business revenue will allow me to help the lacrosse goalie community in ways that were never possible before.
Earlier I talked about giving back to the community, doubling the revenue of the business means I can double this number too.
It means double the number of goalies I can reach and it means double the amount of impact I can have on goalies who already follow what I do.
It also means I can sponsor more goalies too. So many goalies wrote me wanting a sponsorship and unfortunately I had to turn them away.
Lax Goalie Rat Summer Clinic Tour
This an idea I’ve had in my head for awhile and Summer 2023 is when its going to happen.
I’m hitting the road. Summer USA 2023 tour!
Going to start in San Diego in July for the men’s World Lacrosse Championships. From there, who knows?
But the idea is to travel around the USA to meet coaches and goalies that I know to host clinics in different cities.
Where should I go? If we can get a decent turnout in any city, it’s a possibility!
I took the iPhone out to the field and recorded hours and hours of tutorials. Techniques, drills, tips, situations, etc.
Then I grabbed the white board and did a bunch of classroom sessions on mental game and lacrosse defense and terminology.
I hired a bunch of stick stringers to make some tutorials on how to lace up wands.
I was super proud of the results but in the last 2 years I haven’t put much else into the Academy.
My goal this year is to really grow the Academy and help a ton of goalies who are in there. More announcements coming soon but I’ll be doing some form of live sessions exclusively for Academy members every week.
I’ll even invite some special guests to give exclusive coaching as well. Going to be a ton of fun.
Spend Less Time On Instagram
If I’m spending more time on the Academy, that means I need to spend less time elsewhere.
That elsewhere is creating Instagram content.
Don’t worry Lax Goalie Rat will still be pumping those tasty saves and nice drills.
But I gotta find someone to do this for me. I’m spending too much time on it.
Hire More Team Members
In 2023 I’d like to build up team Lax Goalie Rat. Right now its just myself and (part-time) Evan with the summer interns helping occasionally.
Coach / Sales
I have some amazing lacrosse goalie training products and for the most part they just sit on the shelf. I envision this role working with the goalies and goalie Moms/Dads in my community to help them out.
The idea would be a free coaching call where you help them in any way you can. And at the end of that, if there’s a Lax Goalie Rat product that would greatly benefit their game, pitch it.
Short Form Video Editor
Between all the podcasts and Lacrosse Goalie Summits, I have an insane amount of video content.
I’d love to have someone who can comb through this content, pick out the really impactful moments and create short form videos (reels/TikTok/YouTube short).
Will be announcing any open positions first to my email list, so get signed up there if either of these roles intrigue you.
Box Lacrosse Goalie Training Course with Brett Dobson
Dobbers was one of the goalies I sponsored during the 2021 season while he was St. Bonaventure. He lit it up! 2nd team All-American and the 1st goalie taken in the draft (PLL Archers).
He’s also a very skilled box goalie with the Georgia Swarm.
When you look at the landscape of online box lacrosse goalie coaching, there is VERY little.
Dobson is a great coach and a great guy and this is a great opportunity to reach a lot of youth box goalies with an awesome coaching.
Not sure when and what this course will look like just yet but it’s something I want to do in 2023.
In 2023, I want to continue –
3 Lacrosse Goalie Summits – March, July, December
College Goalie Training Packs – August/Sept
Podcast – not sure if 1 per week is sustainable but at a min. lets say 2 per month.
Save Edits and Social Media content – as I mentioned, I won’t be creating this but it will be a part of the 2023 plan.
That’s all I can think of for now. One thing I’m sure of is that opportunities will arise during the year that will require a quick change of focus.
If you read this far, appreciate you beyond what you know! Wishing all the goalies a prosperous 2023!
Lacrosse is my passion! The game has given me so much and this blog is my way of giving back to the lax community. Specifically the most bad a$$ part of that community - the goalies! After learning to play goalie from scratch, I wanted to create a site where I could share what I learned with others so they too can become champions in the crease and in life. Learn more about Coach Damon.
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