0:11 – Get a stick in your hands that’s about 40 inches long to improve your hand strength.
0:55 – If a stick is too heavy, you don’t develop the right muscles in your hands to control it.
1:31 – Find a wall and a ball and get yourself in the ready position to throw with.
2:07 – Using tennis balls is a great way to practice without your gear in athletic stance.
2:43 – Coach Edwards advises goalies to look for nice, flat walls to bounce balls at yourself.
3:15 – Not having good stick skills can come back to haunt you, so improve them before it’s too late.
3:51 – Keep a stick with you in the car and bring it out whenever you can to practice.
Hey there. Coach Edwards at LacrosseGoalieTips.com and LacrosseGoalieUniversity.com and we’re going to talk about the #2 thing you can do to get better faster.
Get a Stick in Your Hands
The #2 thing you can do to get better faster is to get a stick in your hands. I recommend it doesn’t have to be your goalie stick, it can just be a short stick. For girls, you want to have a short stick with a 40 inch length. Unless you’re tiny, then you can go shorter, but you want basically an immense pocket in that stick. You want a pocket that’s going to help you get your elbows up away from your body. It’s going to improve your hand strength and things like that. Don’t worry about jumping to a goalie stick.
Develop Your Hand Muscles
The goalie stick is really heavy. What I find is that if a goalie stick is really heavy for you, you don’t develop the right muscles in your fingers and your hands that really help you control that stick, so I’d like to see you have a short stick in your hands. The same is true for the boys. I would say 99% of the boys that I coach can benefit from just using a short stick. Like a 40 inch attack shaft, unless they are, again, young and small. You can go shorter, 38, 36 inches. You name it.
Find a Wall and Throw
What you want to do is you want to find a wall and a ball and you want to basically throw with and cradle with your hands in your ready position. So if I said get in the cage and get your stick in your hands, you would have your top hand up at the throat and then you would have your bottom hand, depending on your size, about 12 to 16 inches apart. What you want to do is you basically want to get in your ready stance and you want to be close to that wall. You want to be like 10 feet away.
The Benefits of Tennis Balls
Tennis balls work great. I used to do this in my parent’s kitchen against the silverware drawer in their kitchen. I would take a tennis ball and my stick and I would just watch tv and throw the ball. I would basically throw. I wouldn’t worry about stepping too much, as much as being in athletic stance and just moving and just being used to the ball. I would throw the ball so that it bounced back at me at different positions so I would have to adjust and move accordingly.
Practicing With Equipment
If you can get outside and get a wall, like near where I live there’s a middle school that has a really flat, nice, brick wall. There’s also a grocery store and a gas station. There’s a gas station that I used to go to right across the street from my mom’s house where I would throw lacrosse balls to it. But when you’re throwing lacrosse balls, you really need to get a helmet on and get a cup on and your gloves. Tennis balls are nice because you really don’t need anything and you can stay pretty safe, and you can start to really rifle that ball.
Practicing Alone to Improve Stick Skills
If you don’t have someone to shoot on you and you don’t have that advantage then get your stick in your hand and get working on the wall and improving your stick skills. As I mentioned in an earlier podcast, you take a kid with good stick skills and throw them in the cage and they’re probably going to be a really good goalie. The really sad thing is that a lot of goalies start being goalies because they don’t have really good stick skills. But what ends up happening is they realize that they really need to learn to have really good stick skills to be a better goalie. Eventually, having good stick skills is going to bite you in the butt and you’re going to have to do it anyway, so you may as well do it now.
Keep a Stick in the Car
Throw a stick in the back of your car if you’re old enough to drive. Put a stick in the back of your parent’s car. If you’re waiting to pick up your sister or brother at school, get the stick out of the trunk and just go throw and just get used to that. The more you do that the better you’ll be. That’s my #2 tip for getting better faster. Get a stick in your hands and work on your wall ball a lot. Work on your wall ball a lot.
The exception, obviously, if you can get someone to shoot on you and you can work on all that stuff, great. If you can’t, get your stick in your hand and get out there and do it on your own. I’m Coach Edwards. Do me a favor, leave your comments below and if you’ve got any questions for me, CoachEdwards@LacrosseGoalieTips.com. Please do me a favor. Like it, share it, Google Plus me, all those goodies. I really appreciate you guys having a listen. We’ll talk to you soon. Bye.