Goalie Drills - Footwork

Drill Objectives - The focus of drills is to improve on technique/concentration so that when the chips are down and the shots are flying around the keeper can depend on that move.  Stepping helps the keeper get the fast part of their hands to the ball faster.  Work on footwork.

Working on Footwork - The Walk the Line Drill - Recently both a keeper and a coach asked how to get stepping to the ball.  Besides the Ball Toss drill which is great for getting the hands to lead to the ball and the hands and feet to move together, I suggested the Walk-The-Line drill.  We use this all the time at clinics and camps but somehow neglected to highlight to coaches and keepers this is a great way to work on the overall save mechanics.  It can be done indoors or outdoors.  Outdoors the keeper straddles a line on the field, like the sideline and gets into his/her best setup.  Then he/she simulates that a shot is going to a specific area (off-side high, for example) and makes the best move to make that save (rotating the stick, stepping with the ball-side foot and ending up in a good stance with the stick on the off-stick side high).  To get something good out of this the keeper does 20 stick side high, 20 off stick side high, 20 stick side hip, 20 off stick side hip, 20 low between the legs (five hole), 20 low outside the stick side foot and 20 low outside the off stick side foot.  Play on the balls of the feet, step aggressively on every shot and keep knees and elbows bent throughout and better technique will develop.

Lots of Jumping - Since listening to Jim Beardmore on agility and conditioning, I have been doing (yes doing) and encouraging keepers to do a lot of jumping over your stick.  100 times a day (side to side) and then once your have mastered that 100 times today with you stick higher off the ground (put your gloves under each end).  This is an amazing thing in that it builds great leg strength and quick fire muscle action and you can do it every day (once you build up to 100).  No excuses, do a hundred and become a better player. Although jumping rope is good, this is better since it develops the muscles used in goalkeeping (pushing off from side to side or side to forward).  So don't get fooled that jumping rope produces the same results.  Jumping rope is good, jumping stick is vital.

Shooting with a Rope - As I work with keeper and play myself, I catch keepers and myself trying do every thing with only the hands (or do minimal stepping).  To encourage stepping, I use a Mac Diange (USMA Assistant Coach) drill where the keeper does normal shots with a rope in front of his/her feet and is encouraged to step over the rope on every save.  This is a great re-enforcer.  I use it a lot.

Work from the Side - Another in that class is a drill for those who don't step to the off-stick side.  Have the keeper set up to outside the goal (on their stick side) and face you and then shoot right down the middle of the goal.  If they don't step they miss.  This really works to help them lead with he top hand and step correctly (triple step) with the off-side foot.  Use the rope on this too and your keeper will definitely improve.

Coaching Women - Rapid Fire - When I was coaching at American University as the goalie coach for the women's team we only had one minor disagreement, Rapid Fire.  I have heard a lot of speculation as to why coaches would set up shooter at the 8 meter and have them fire in rapid succession at the goalie without giving the keeper any small amount of time to setup.  This activity is as far from a simulation of a real game as I can imagine.  But, worse it fosters very bad form/technique on the part of the goalie most notably lots of rebounds.  So we changed the drill to include a good pause between each shot and the keeper retains good form and the shooters get to warm up their shooting quickly.  

Copyright Weston Lacrosse 2009