My Top 13 Lacrosse Goalie Pet Peeves | Lax Goalie Rat

My Top 13 Lacrosse Goalie Pet Peeves


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.

Balls in the Goal

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.

Getting Shot on When I’m Not Looking

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.

Getting a piece of the ball, yet still having it go in

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.

Defensive Teammates Not Understanding the Defense

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.

Middies Who Have No Idea How to Play Defense

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.

Lacrosse Goalie Pet Peeves

Defenders Who Give Up on a Play

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.

Teammates Who Use My Warmup to Practice Their Shot

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.

When People Ask Me If “I’m Ready” Before a Game

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!

When People Tell Me I Played Good and I Played Horrible

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.

When My Team Doesn’t Value the Ball

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.

Not Giving the Goalie an Outlet Option After a Save

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.

Goalie Pet Peeves

Teams that Don’t Respect the Goalies

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.

Losing Games

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. 

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13 thoughts on “My Top 13 Lacrosse Goalie Pet Peeves

  1. More than any of these, the one about not having an option for an outlet pass is SO annoying. So many easy clears missed out on because a wide open middie didn’t feel like looking back for an easy pass.

  2. I always tell my team that the only time a failed clear is the goalie’s fault is if he completely shanks the outlet. If it’s a near miss, I’ll probably still blame the outlet for not being where the goalie expected him to be. If the goalie has to carry the ball because there’s no outlet and we turn it over, that’s not the goalie’s fault. If the goalie has to force a bad outlet pass, that’s the team’s fault. If the goalie gets jumped by a ride, that’s the team’s fault. Stand by your goalie!

  3. Lost our game today pretty badly. We’re a team of 15 against a team of 40 so we dont really have “fresh legs” too often. We only have 4 defensemen and 2 of them have no idea where to be during a play. This is what really killed us because a few passes around the box and there’s their best shooter with the ball throwing those fakes and the defender who lost his man is just standing there looking at it all go down. I can’t deal with a guy 5 yards away with no defender it just sets us up for failure. It sucks being just rag dolls for the attack.

  4. Very good read. I especially like “Teammates Who Use My Warmup to Practice Their Shot.” We at Navajo believe that youth goalies suffer from a lack of developmental progress due to reality that most programs do very little to train them- so the “warm-up” takes on an even greater significance. While field players are going through their drills for skills, the goalie goes through a short “warm-up” (not drills for skills/technique) and then becomes the target for the shooter’s. The crux of the issue is a lack of available coaches at the youth level.

  5. My biggest pet peeve usually happens in practice. It’s when during a drill that involves clearing, the middies see that you aren’t in your throwing motion yet, so they stop and wait, but really you were reading how fast they were moving so you throw 5 feet in front of them just because of a stupid stutter step.

  6. You should have no complaints at all, you had the privilege of starting a game and the opportunity to be a leader. A rare and honorable position. Great leaders take all types of cap everyday. To be a goalie is such a testament to our character. I have no pet peeves except aging out of my chest protector. UPSALA LAX 78 -81 . Best training you can get for business and life.

    1. Oh very honored to play this sport and this wonderful position. These are just the things that get under my skin. Agree on best training for biz and life for sure.

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