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Hoss WATSONGoalie Coach
I have watched sports all my life or at least since I was five and I have seen some great plays.
One of the best is the TIC TAC TOE play, where a player at the top comes late to the play and passes to the far right or left then ; and that player passes across the floor to the opposite player and the shooter who started the play gets the ball back to make the shot. Usually it ends in a great goal.
As a Goaltender you have to spot this type of set up coming when you see a late coming player or the shooter at the top, moving to one side.
Always look at the TIC TAC TOE set up; when you begin to cover.
Don't over react to the first set of passes. Look at where the ball has started from and where it can go before the last pass.
The second pass may be a shot; but if you have kept a good eyeyou can tell if the shooter will pass.
That is why you teach your defensemen to attack the pass receiver so you know where the pass or the shot will come from.
Practice breaking up the TIC TAC TOE with your defensemen.
Have you ever noticed that when the ball is passed across the crease; the goalie immediately places their foot on the far post to try and make sure the shooter can not score. The truth of the matter is, that most shooters either stand on the goal line outside the crease on the far side of the net or is one or two feet off the goal line out towards the face off circle.If the shooters feet are in those positions; then their stick is further out from the goal line.
So you ask what does that mean? Well this means that when a ball is passed from one side of the crease to the other, you should look at placing your foot 3/4 of the way across the crease, so you can use your foot and leg pad to stop any bounce shoot taken. This will still give you good balance where you can use your stick & body to save a straight shot.
When you are at practice, try placing your feet in different positions to see what works, Have the other goalie try placing his foot in different positions and you should stand behind the shooters stick to see what can be blocked by placing your feet in certain positions.
As I always say ,give it a whirl and see what works for you.
Back in the old day I played goal in Lacrosse, Hockey & Soccer. Each position required a different approach in playing goal. I carried over the ability to catch or block shots with my free hand (glove hand). I use to catch pucks and believe it or not, catch Lacrosse Balls shot at max speed. I have the dislocated fingers to prove the point.
Anyway I have noticed that most lacrosse goalies hang there free hand down by there side or place the free hand on the hip, behind there shoulder. If you watch a hockey goalie you can see that he challenges the puck with his glove hand by placing it out in front of his lower thigh or lower rib cage.
I have recommend to the goalies I teach, to place there free hand at thigh level just in front of there goalie pants . This position will allow you to use your free hand as a blocker or give you the ability to quickly raise the free hand & shoulder up on a shot.It also allows you to push the glove outwards to make a save.
Having you glove just horizontal to your thigh, just in front of you thigh allows you to see the glove in your peripheral vision as well as allowing your shoulder muscles to move the shoulder/Glove up or down as wll as out.
If you place the hand on the hip you lock your shoulder so it cannot move quickly and your glove hand is really slow. Most goalies watch the NLL and see goalies hold there hand on their hip and use their free hand as a blocker.Remember what works for one goalie does not make it best for you. I used my free hand to catch balls since I worked on my hand eye coordination. I also use it as a blocker but remember I played goal in different sports.Have a look at my discussion on where to hold your free hand in the level 2 Lacrosse section on the Goaltender. TV web site.
I have been watching hockey goalies a lot in the past few months. Some are athletic and when the puck goes behind the net they have a PLAN on what to do. They do not wait until they are behind the net to make a decision on what to do. They go there knowing exactly what they should do.
In the Level 2 training I talk about; in the Lacrosse Section on the GTV website; I go through the 5 things that a goalie can do when the ball enters the crease. This is an important consideration in order to move the ball out of your zone and create a scoring chance for your team and stretch the floor( keeping opposing players in a defensive mode).
You should take the 5 options and practice them away from the arena so your response becomes automatic; when the ball enters the crease or goes behind the net.I have watched so many pro goalies make game changing mistakes by not having a plan.
If you are not sure what is the best opportunity to stretch the floor and move the ball; you should discuss this with your coach and players. This may appear to be a simple exercise but it can change momentum, scoring chances and make the opposing team more cautious when you have the ball.
Anytime you can take charge of the movement of the ball; the opposing team is not shooting on you.
So have a look at the 5 options and practice them until ,what to do is an automatic decision.