Lacrosse Goalies and Weight Gain
By Coach Damon on February 20, 2017
I recently received a question from a high school goalie regarding weight gain and lacrosse goalies that I thought was very important to share with the Lax Goalie Rat community.
Since many other large goalies might be in the same situation this young goalie finds himself in I wanted to write up the answer and share it here on the blog.
Hi Coach Damon,
I write to you again thinking very highly of your input on the goaltending position. So basically I’ve gained a good amount of weight since last spring. I was at 5’11” 195 but now sit at 6′ 225. My question to you is, is it bad to be a bigger guy in between the pipes? I still feel as explosive as I’ve ever been and my endurance hasn’t suffered by much. I lost about 45 seconds to my mile of 7:20 since the spring. Should I try to maintain this weight to fill up the net? Or do you think I could drop a few pounds? I’ve attached photos of me in goal on the left is me currently. Thank you for your input. – GG
Thanks for that question GG! Since there are many lacrosse goalies who are on the heavier side I want to share this advice with everyone. Here we go.
Advice for Goalies on the Heavier Side
It’s a common cliche for the coach to put the largest kid as the goalie and it’s definitely ok to be a bigger goalie. That’s the beauty of our sport and this position – small goalies can succeed as well as large goalies.
But when we say “bigger” goalie, that “bigger” should mean stronger. Filling up the cage only does so much if that width isn’t muscular.
Some goalies are definitely overweight in junior high or high school but can get away with it because of a lot of reps and lots of natural ball stopping ability. They are so far ahead of the competition that the extra weight and associated slowness doesn’t hinder them too much.
In college its a different story. Suddenly they can’t rely on that natural ball stopping ability and the extra weight just gets in the way of being a great explosive lacrosse goalie.
The bottom line is its ok to be a bigger lacrosse goalie but you must be in shape. If you’re going to gain weight to occupy more of the cage, that weight should come in the form of muscle.
Slow Mile Time = Slowing Down
The mile time is the biggest thing that stands out to me.
I talked to a friend who plays at BU who is 6’3′ and about 240 lbs. He runs a mile in under 6 minutes.
If you’re losing 45 seconds off of a mile time of 7:20, to me that indicates you may have gotten out of shape.
Pick a lacrosse goalie workout and a solid nutrition plan and follow them both until you get that mile time back to under 7 minutes and then ideally under 6 minutes.
Fit Goalies Are Better Goalies
If you’re going to be an elite lacrosse goalie, that means being fit.
Everyone can think of the goalies at the MLL or Division I level who were overweight and were still successful like Jesse Schwartzman, Blaze Riordan, and Gunner Waldt of Byrant for example.
But I think these goalies are successful in spite of being out of shape.
Every heavy high school goalie may believe they’re going to be the next Blaze Riordan (shown in main post photo) but the odds of that happening are extremely small. Those guys are anomalies.
The best goalies are the best athletes: Scott Rodgers, Brett Queener, Jordan Burke, Adam Ghitelman, John Galloway…the list of fit goalies goes on and on. The list of overweight goalies who still became successful is very limited.
Nutrition is really important for any goalie. Eating healthy means more energy, which means better practices, which means better games.
GG – When I compare your two photos you definitely look more toned and muscular in the before (right) pic. Maybe the long sleeves in the after pic (left) are misleading me but you look fitter in the before (right) pic.
Time for Some Self Reflection
I think all goalies should be trying to lose fat weight and gain muscle weight.
My final advice to GG: drop the fat weight in a healthy way. It’s not going to be an overnight thing, but you’ll be glad you did it.
Start running, get that cardio up. If you’re losing that much time on a mile it’s going to be hard to make it through a high intensity game.
Then the last thing: every athlete (but especially goalies) are there own worst critic.
Look at yourself in the mirror. How’s your play since last Spring? I know you said you feel just as explosive but stats maybe a better indication of whether you see yourself getting faster and more explosive. What do your coaches say?
Even if you feel as explosive with the additional weight, you could be even faster without the weight. Just think about that.
With some serious self-reflection I think you’ll really be able to determine the answer, but there’s no doubt that extra weight to the point where it slows you down that much is certainly not helpful.
Extra weight in the form of lean muscle only helps make you more explosive and fit.
I’m a long standing believer that the best lacrosse goalies are the best athletes on the team.
If you’re a goalie who has gained a few pounds over the years its time to have a real conversion with yourself about whether those extra pounds are decreasing your ability to make saves.
Odds are – they are. Because while there are successful goalies who are overweight the list of fit goalies is far longer.
Just like it is for all athletes proper nutrition is a key for lacrosse goalies.
Thanks for the question GG. I hope some of this resonates with you.
Until next time! Coach Damon
Any questions or comments on this post for larger perhaps overweight lacrosse goalies? Leave me a comment down below.