Warm-up Drills

Steve Koudelka, Head Coach at Lynchburg and a very accomplished goalie and goalie teacher, passed on some of his wisdom to the Goalieman readers. He likes to warm-up goalies this way:

  1. Have the goalies take 10 minutes to "walk the line", simulating saves. This gets them stretched, focused and let's them work on the PROPER FORM -- 20 imaginary shots to each area. Stick side high, hip and low; off-stick side, high, hip and low. Then let them imagine different shots coming to different areas.

  2. Then get in a goal and work on their arc play. I feel this is the difference between saving 50% of your shots to 60% of your shots. Whichever arc they feel comfortable with, whether it is a 3, 4 or 5 step arc, they must be able to master it. I have them work on the arc for 30 seconds at a time. Have them imagine the ball up top, to goal line extended then having the ball behind. This allows for them to work on turns also. The objective in this drill is to be in the proper place at all times, use effective footwork when moving and try to not use the stick to find the posts.

  3. Then shots. Goalies love to take shots. We will shoot tennis balls at our goalies a lot. Here are a couple of tennis ball drills:

    • Just using gloves, practice stepping to the ball and leading with your hands - catch the ball with the top hand thumb and forefinger (only)

    • Using an attack stick, practice getting the body behind the ball, while still working on hand-eye coordination by watching the ball into this small pocket

    • Using the goalie stick, practicing on not giving up rebounds. The tennis ball is a lot harder to catch because of the weight. If a goalie can catch a tennis ball shot, the lacrosse ball shot gets is easier.

  4. When using the real ball, I like for the goalies to see shots that they will see in a game. We will have our players shoot on our goalies. I like for the shots to come from about 10 yards and tell the shooters where to shoot. This allows for teaching of the goalies and accuracy work for the shooters - don't forget shots on the move from up top and behind including shots off dodges

  5. Another drill that we use for the goalies is the break-out drill. Goalies will throw about 50-75 break out passes to defensemen. A goalie is only as good as his clearing ability. The way the game is now, goalies must have a great stick.

Thanks to Steve for his insight and the time he spent to pass this on.

Weston Lacrosse 10-29-08