My Top 13 Lacrosse Goalie Pet Peeves
By Coach Damon on April 11, 2016
I was browsing the Lacrosse SubReddit the other day and came across the topic of lacrosse goalie pet peeves.
In this post I thought I’d discuss 13 of my top lacrosse goalie pet peeves for when I manned the cage. Things that just absolutely drove me crazy and continue to do so to this very day.
Here we go.
I want a clean goal. No exceptions.
I hate when balls are in the goal, doesn’t matter if its the result of the offense or whether they’re just there from a previous drill.
Before I started a drill during my playing days I always took every ball out of the goal and threw it to the sidelines.
Sometimes our coach would get pissed as he wanted to store balls there for quick access but I couldn’t stand having balls in the goal.
It should be an absolute disgrace to shoot on a goalie who isn’t looking at you and yet it still happens.
During practice when I’m standing in front of the goal that doesn’t mean I’m ready to take a shot.
I remember one practice we were doing an offense vs. defense drill and I was relaying some info to a defensive teammate. The whistle blew to start the drill while we were still chatting and the offensive player with the ball shot before anyone was ready.
It drilled me right in the ankle. Man, was I pissed. At least shoot it directly in the goal if I’m not looking.
Later in the same drill when the backup goalie was getting some reps I picked up a ball on the sidelines. The guilty attackman was standing a little past mid-field. I threw the ball at him and drilled him square in the back.
It’s still the most accurate outlet pass I’ve ever made in my career.
I don’t mind getting a bruise. What I do mind, is getting a bruise and still having the shot go in the goal.
There’s nothing worse than that. It’s pain of the contact plus the pain of giving up a goal.
Bruises should be saves.
It’s also extremely frustrating when you get your stick on the ball and it still goes in. This happens when high velocity shots hit the top corners of the flexible STX Eclipse.
It happens but its a pet peeve of mine: when you make contact with the shot it should be a save.
Many goalies have a pet peeve of horrible defensive players who can’t stop anyone.
I don’t mind as much if a D-man lacks talent, although its not preferable, its at least understandable.
But making mental mistakes is what I simply cannot tolerate.
It’s the goalie’s job to ensure each team member understands the defensive alignment.
But even after yelling the defensive arrangement at the top of your lungs, you’ll still get a middie who says “Oh I didn’t know we playing zone?” when the whole team is yelling “ZONE” at the top of their lungs.
I used to play ball with my best friend and the man who introduced me to the game of lacrosse.
He was an attackman. But he hated going against long-pole defenders so he switched to middie to constantly be faced up against a shortie on the offensive side.
The problem was he had absolutely zero interest in learning one-on-one or team defense. It drove me crazy.
I understand if he was a new player just learning the sport but attack driven middies who could care less about defense is a huge pet peeve of mine.
Like I’ve said before, I don’t mind defenders who get beat because of their lack of talent. But just like mental mistakes drive me crazy, I also can’t stand defenders who give up on a play.
Often this happens when an attackman catches the ball on the crease unguarded. Defenseman think the player is going to score and simply give up on the play.
The attacker then ends up throwing 3-4 fakes because no defender is in the vicinity to put pressure on him.
It’s hard enough to stop a 1×1 shot on the crease but it’s near impossible if the attackman gets to throw an unlimited number of fakes 1st.
Defensive players should never give up on a play and when they do, that’s a huge pet peeve of mine.
A lacrosse goalie’s warmup should be all about getting the goalie’s body warm and used to reacting to shots.
However some lacrosse players use the opportunity to show off their shot.
Shooting underhand worm-burners from 16 yards isn’t accomplishing anything. Neither is trying to rip a corner from close in.
Often times a coach or player will spend a rushed 5 minutes taking a few shots on the goalie and then declare he’s warm. Spending five rushed minutes in between the pipes isn’t sufficient for a young goalie.
A great warmup should simulate the shots a goalie will see in the game or practice. It should be all about the goalie and if it’s not – huge pet peeve of mine.
You’ve spent hours and hours on goalie drills, your save technique, more goalie drills, and learning to dominate the mental side of play.
And yet before a game your teammates have the audacity to ask you – “You ready?”
Am I ready??
Dude, of course, I’m ready. It’s game day!
I understand with the delicate psyche of a goalie that some parents, coaches, and players feel obligated to say positive things to the keepers. Also to some parents the position of goalie is so unfathomable that any save made is really amazing to them.
I don’t always need goalie metrics to know when I played well in a game and when I didn’t.
So if I clearly had a bad game, I don’t need to hear that I played well. I’d rather hear nothing at all.
Save it for the games when I actually play well. Then I know I’ve earned it and it carries more value.
You just played a solid 4 minutes defense that culminated with a great save and a clear.
The defense is tired, perhaps even still subbing in some fresh legs and the offensive loses the ball or takes an ill-advised shot in the 1st 15 seconds of the position.
As an offense, you’ve got to value the ball, and even further you’ve got to understand the game situation a little.
If your team just played a long defensive stretch, you’ve got to value the ball even more. Those teams that don’t, huge pet peeve of mine.
After making a save a goalie only has 4 seconds to get rid of the ball or leave the crease. That’s not a lot of time.
Thus its a huge pet peeve of mine of when a middie doesn’t even look back for an outlet pass. He might be wide open but with his head down I can’t deliver an outlet pass.
In practice I’ve tried to plunk middies in the head with outlet passes to teach them to look back at the goalie for an outlet.
I understand you might be tired but you’ve got to complete the clear before making the job to the bench for a sub.
Everyone playing defense should understand how to run a clear. And if you don’t learn it or else you’re on my lacrosse goalie pet peeves list.
Playing goalie in the sport of lacrosse is hard work. It takes guts and as a result every team should give a huge level of respect to their keepers, even when they play bad.
This level of respect means after the game, everyone should be saluting the goalie first.
It means goalies should get to be the 1st in the handshake line.
When I see teams not giving the goalie the respect that he/she deserves, its pretty infuriating.
Not only that, many youth teams have trouble convincing players to give goalie a try and it’s probably because they see all the challenges and none of the reward of being respected by the team.
My final lacrosse goalie pet peeve is one that really needs no explanation – losing games. I hate losing. Period.
Any lacrosse player or goalie with even an ounce of competitive spirit will hate losing.
Losing stinks and its my final pet peeve.
I love lacrosse and love being a lacrosse goalie. But every lacrosse goalie has those certain things that get under their skin.
I am no exception and above you’ll find my top 13 pet peeves at playing goalie in the sport of lacrosse.
Some of these you can control, others you can’t. But each is definitely a pet peeve of mine.
What are your lacrosse goalie pet peeves? Let me hear it in the comments.