Tewes Pick-Off Technique

"Doc" Tewes (wtewes@umaryland.edu) and his son Patrick (1999 Salisbury State) are goalies that use a specialized technique to pick-off feeds from behind.  At my request, he wrote it down and I have included it below:

The classic technique taught to the defense and goalies is to get their sticks up in the air to knock down a feed from behind. When the ball is behind, it must move to the front of the goal to be scored (either run or passed). Classically, the raised sticks are brought down on the ball or the ball's target (the shooter). The Tewes Technique works opposite this classic tradition and works on the subliminal consciousness of the feeder. With the defense sticks high, the goalie holds his stick down so far that it is, from the view of the feeder, within the perimeter of the goal, with the goal net effectively camouflaging the goalie and the stick. The goalie stands half way between the plane of the goal and the front of the crease.  This facilitates an easy turn to a set position in case the pass from behind is successful.

The top hand holds the stick loosely near the head. The bottom hand is down at the end of the shaft.  With hands in front of the chest and half extended, the keeper is set to make the save, except the keeper is playing the pass.  In the usual speed of play, the attackman sees a new passing slot next to the goal post (usually not over the goal, but be prepared) and goes for (the bait) an inside pass without thinking about the "pick-off".

The goalie follows the ball and feeder's stick movement to anticipate any pass, especially to the inside.  The speed of the pass is medium to medium-fast as they want to pass through this slot quickly, but the pass needs to be catchable by the shooter.  As the feeder commits to the pass, the keeper's bottom hand drives the goalie stick through the right hand on a path perpendicular to the path of the ball on an intercepting course. If the stick angle is other than 90 degrees to the path, the opportunity of a pick-off is reduced.  If the pass is within stick length it is either deflected or picked-off (caught).  If not, the keeper needs to step to the pipe and setup for the shot by the shooter.

One more point.  Don't show this technique to the attack all the time, as they will learn it and avoid the deception. Or, the keeper will get a reputation for trying to pick off passes.  It is most effective when used sporadically. Then it makes the opponents (and fans) think that the keeper just got lucky or the offense made a bad pass.  That's fine because that is just what the Tewes' want them to think.

Weston Lacrosse 10-29-08