Protect the Crease!
Lacrosse is a fast, frantic, and ferocious sport that is loved by millions. And there’s perhaps no position on the field that’s more fascinating or formidable than that of the goalie. After all, protecting your team’s crease provides the foundations for claiming the win.
Learning to maximize your efficiency in the cage isn’t easy, but here are five simple steps that will help you register those valuable shutouts.
Looking the Part
The lacrosse uniform might not be a fashion show, but wearing the right attire is vital for all goalies. From removing the fear of getting hurt to ensuring your sight is unimpaired, those simple benefits will aid your performance.
A goalies attire should include various items. The list includes; throat guards, shin guards, chest protectors, goalie pants, and a lacrosse stick made specifically for the position. An athletic supporter is essential equipment while comfortable footwear helps too.
Reading the game and staying alert to the danger is crucial for all lacrosse goalies. That's because a strong starting position instantly makes it tougher for the attacker. Likewise, it’ll help you feel comfortable and accustomed to your surroundings.
Aside from standing in the right place depending on the action in front, you should get the stance right. Practice standing with bent knees, feet just over shoulder width apart, back straight, with hands positioned for maximum coverage.
Develop Shot-Stopping Skills
While there are many factors to consider, the role of goalie basically boils down to saving the ball. When facing shots of more than 80 mph, stopping the shot is all that you need to consider. There are many drills that can help, but there’s no substitute for just facing shots in practice and matches.
The basic technique of making a save starts with great footwork, leading with the foot that is nearest to the ball (so right foot if the ball goes right). Meanwhile, using the stronger hand to drive towards the ball before following with the back foot and hand should serve you well.
Learn to Play
When you look at the professional leagues, goalies are often the best stick users on the field. After all, they need to start attacks for their teams as well as stop attacks from the opposing team. Therefore, having the stick skills to effectively clear the ball is vital.
The best way to do this is to play outfield in some training sessions and matches. When coupled with some of the drills that your teammates are using, you’ll feel more confident with the stick. Besides, this sense of versatility can enhance your enjoyment of the sport.
Become A Leader
Even the best goalie will struggle if they aren’t protected by their teammates. Given that you can see everything in front of you, your eyes can be one of the greatest assets for your whole defense. Unfortunately, you can only make good use of it with great communication skills.
Learn all of the necessary lacrosse terms. Get to know your teammates, and have no fear about shouting at them. When you position them in the right places throughout the game, the team’s structure will become far stronger. Crucially, it’ll make your life in the crease far easier too.