As the lacrosse season gets underway its important to understand that formal lacrosse practice is obviously a critical part of your development as a goalie.
However, spending time practicing on your own will give you an extra edge over your competition and turn you into a standout goalie once you join your teammates.
Alternatively you might find yourself on a team with no goalie coach or assistants and in need of lacrosse goalie drills that you can do by yourself. Ideally you have a coach, a backup goalie, or a player who can help you train but not every goalie has that luxury.
Below is a full lacrosse goalie workout / drills that you can perform all alone.
Lacrosse Goalie Workout and Drills to Perform By Yourself
The key to practicing on your own is to perform drills that focus on endurance, footwork, and hand-eye coordination.
You won’t be able to simulate live shots but by focusing on those elements you will definitely improve your goalie game and be better suited to stop live shots once they come.
For all of the solo drills below make sure to perform at full speed with 100% effort. With nobody watching you, accountability is in your hands!
This workout is setup such that you alternate endurance drills with slower paced skill drills. That way you’re able to get through the entire workout without burning out.
Of course if you need to take breaks to get water go ahead. But remember you’re holding yourself accountable. Push hard.
Agility Ladder – 5-10 minutes – The agility ladder is going to get your heart pumping. It also improves your agility (surprise, surprise) and your footwork.
If you need an agility ladder workout I provide one in my original post on lacrosse goalie drills. The ickey shuffle (any Ickey Woods fans out there?) exercise is perfect for mimicking the save movement a goalie makes.
Doc Drill – 5 minutes – A drill I learned from one of our position’s greats (Brian ‘Doc’ Dougherty) and carries his name. The Doc Drill is a hand-eye coordination drill with an added benefit of improving reaction time.
Throw the ball against the ball. Make the save stepping forward at angle. Repeat and repeat until you’re so close to the wall you mess up. Back up to the starting spot and repeat.
You can do this drill with your goalie stick or with a short stick for added difficulty.
Here is one of my favorite goalie Adam Ghitelman performing the drill.
Jump Rope – 5 x 1-minute sprints – Jumping rope helps goalies shuffle around the crease with the greatest of ease. When you watch pro goalies excel at their craft, their quick-footed movements are due in part to hours of practice with a rope. With jumping rope we’re working our endurance, coordination, footwork and balance.
Walk the Line – 5 minutes or 10 x 15 yard walks – Perfecting the save movement is all about muscle memory. We want this movement to be so ingrained in our body and mind that we don’t even have to think when a 90mph shot is coming our way. We just react.
Walking the line is a drill where you just mimic saves. Be sure to visualize the shots coming at you and make the saves with perfect form.
You can also walk the line with a heavy bar to increase difficulty.
Magic Square – 5 x 1 minute rounds – To setup this drill, we’ll place our goalie stick perpendicular to a line on the field as pictured above. This creates 4 quadrants.
Different exercises you can do in the magic square:
Two Feet Over and Back
Save as above with 1 foot (left then right)
Two Feet Quad 1 to Quad 2 to Quad 3 to Quad 4, back to Quad 1
Same as above with 1 foot (left than right)
Two Feet Side to Side
Same as above with 1 foot
This jumping exercise will again get the heart pumping and work on a goalie’s quickness.
Eye Focus Drill – 5 x 1 minute rounds – This drill is another from Doc to enhance hand-eye coordination. Pick a spot on the ground, throw the ball down (pretty hard) and catch it with your top hand. Pretty simple but requires intense focus on the ball.
Here is Doc performing the drill:
40 Yard Dash – 5 dashes (approx. 10 min.) – Sprinting builds muscle and increases a goalie’s explosion to the ball. Ease into it – we’re not trying to break Hussein Bolt’s record. 75%-85% intensity is enough to give you a workout while still allowing your muscles and nervous system time to recover.
Reaction Ball – 5 minutes – Grab a reaction ball off of Amazon (they’re cheap). Start with drops at knee level, then hip level, then chest level. Explode towards the ball like you’re making a save and grab it with your top hand.
You can also perform reaction ball drills against a wall.
Wall Ball – 10 minutes – Finally hit the wall. Goalies need to have the best stick skills on the team. Preferably use a shortie but the goalie stick will also suffice. Check this post if you need a wall ball routine for goalies.
Playing wall ball will improve hand-eye coordination and improve your stick skills. Both necessary elements for making saves, controlling rebounds, and dodging outside the crease.
Add or more drills and/or reps from the drills listed below depending on your skill and conditioning level.
I put a goalie through this workout recently and it took a little over an hour. Your time will vary depending on the amount of rest time you take in between sets and in between drills.
I’ve discussed each of the drills described above in previous posts. If you’re looking for even more lacrosse goalie drills be sure to checkout some of these posts:
So there you have a good lacrosse goalie workout and set of drills that you can do by yourself.
There are plenty of drills and exercises that benefit goalies that can be performed all alone. What I’ve provided above is not a full list of goalies drills that can be performed on your lonesome, just an example of a solo workout.
If you don’t have a shooter that you can work with, you still have plenty of options to improve your goalie game.
Whether through conditioning, agility, stick work, save technique – all of these elements can be enhanced in a solo workout.
Being all alone is no longer an excuse for not putting in work to improve your goalie game!
Until next time! Coach Damon
Anything I missed? What types of drills or exercises do you do to improve your goalie game when you’re all alone? Let me know about it down below in the comments.
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About Coach Damon
About Coach Damon
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.