Help! I Have No Lacrosse Goalie Coach
By Coach Damon on November 24, 2015
Even with the explosion of lacrosse’s popularity in the United States (and even the world), there is still a major shortage of lacrosse goalie coaches.
Many teams have no lacrosse goalie coach or a defensive coordinator who only devotes a little time to the position. Some do have goalie coaches but with very little experience.
One of the reasons I wanted to start The Lax Goalie Rat was to get good lacrosse goalie information to those without goalie coaches.
So if you (or your son or daughter) find yourself in this situation of not having a goalie coach, what are you to do?
This post will explore the plan and course of action you should take when you don’t have a goalie coach.
Perhaps its an obvious statement but if you don’t have a goalie coach then you’re personally responsible for your own development as a lacrosse goalie.
Instead of relying on a coach to determine which drills and exercises will be performed during practice, the responsibility is in your own hands.
Note that this is valuable advice even if you do have a lacrosse goalie coach.
Accepting the responsibility of becoming better and becoming a student of the goalie position is something every lax goalie should do.
There are tons of great resources online to help you develop a plan to transform from a rookie goalie into a champion in the crease.
Lax Goalie Rat happens to be one of those resources, along with these great websites for lacrosse goalies.
First read these posts to understand the basics of goalie play –
Then be sure to get outfitted with the right equipment to protect yourself –
Use these articles to get a wide range of lacrosse goalie drills to perform during practice –
Finally read this article so that you can instruct a teammate how to warm you up properly.
Have a specific question about lax goalie play not covered here? Shoot me an email at [email protected].
With no goalie coach, you’re in charge. I do recommend speaking with your head coach to let him or her know the plan.
Never show up to a practice without a plan. Spend some time the night or week before determining what drills and exercises you’ll do in practice.
Again, here its helpful to work with the head coach so you know how much time during practice you’ll have to dedicate to goalie specific drills and exercises.
There are plenty of resources available online to understand the basics and practice them with drills specifically designed to improve your game.
One of the major benefits of having a lacrosse goalie coach is that he/she can see mistakes the goalie is making that might not be obvious to the young goalie.
The goalie coach can point out these common mistakes live and then help the goalie correct them right then and there.
Without a lacrosse goalie coach, we can use video to act as the 3rd party set of eyes.
Setup a tripod with a camera or an iPhone and film your warmup. Or film yourself doing any number of lacrosse goalie drills.
After practice download the video and review it. While we’re watching the video, we can take note of the following –
- Are we 100% concentrating on the ball during shots?
- Is our top hand driving to the ball?
- Are we stepping with our lead foot? Following with a trail step and ending in a balanced position?
- How is our stance? Balanced? Feet about shoulder width apart?
- Are there any false movements, a false step? Or are we moving directly to the ball?
- Are we guessing on any shots?
- Are we giving up excessive rebounds?
- How’s our throwing technique after saves?
- Is our communication loud and crisp?
If you see problems on video, make a note to correct them during the next practice. As you review the video of that practice hopefully you’ll find the problems are gone.
If not, keep working.
Transforming yourself into an All-Star goalie will not happen over night. It takes time.
As an added bonus you can use clips of this video footage for your lacrosse goalie recruiting video that you send to universities when you want to get recruited.
If the lacrosse goalie coaches won’t come to you, then one option is to go them.
That is, attend a lacrosse goalie camp.
Going to lacrosse goalie camp was one of the best things I ever did to improve my game. The week long camp was full of instruction, coaching, and encouragement and it transformed my goalie play.
It’s rare that a goalie attends a camp and doesn’t came away with at least one ah-ha moment. At least, one thing that will drastically improve their goalie play.
There are plenty of very popular lacrosse goalie camps such as –
These lacrosse goalie camps take place around the United States so if you’re located in the US you should be able to find a camp near you.
If those 3 camps are not in a location where you live, trying Googling “Lacrosse Goalie Camp + Your city (or state)” and see if any closer options are available.
After attending a lacrosse goalie camp you can take what you’ve learned into the season and continue to improve your game in the absence of a dedicated lacrosse goalie coach.
Before attending these camps, its a good idea to understand what part of your game needs improvement. Then you take that specific plan into camp and ensure you get coaching feedback to improve that area.
In addition to teaching goalies how to make saves, one role of a lacrosse goalie coach is to be a cheerleader.
This is a tough position and often lacrosse goalies need encouragement.
They need someone who goes crazy on the sideline when they make a big save. And they need someone to tell them to keep their head up and move on when they let in an easy goal.
In the absence of a lacrosse goalie coach, try to ensure you still have this support system. This most likely will come from parents if your goalie is a youth.
But it could also come from teammates, from friends, or from the head coach.
Regardless of where this encouragement does come from, its extremely important to have in the development our lacrosse goalie careers.
Even if you are without a lacrosse goalie coach its still possible to reach your full potential as a goalie.
You must however take the responsibility into your own hands.
These means planning your development, analyzing your play via video, attending a lacrosse goalie camp, and setting up a support system to keep you going strong.
I wish every lacrosse goalie could get the best coaching but unfortunately that’s just not realistic. In the meantime, hopefully this article helps you develop your game without a goalie coach.
Until next time! Coach Damon
Have you ever been without a goalie coach? What did you do? Let me know in the comments.