Coach Edwards goes into detail about the drastic difference it can make in a lacrosse goalie’s game if they use more protective gear and practice in the cage without using their sticks. He gives tips on how goalies can practice to really improve can feel comfortable enough to make dramatic saves.

0:23 – World Lacrosse Championships were awesome – more to come on those.
1:47 – Are goalies ready to get in the cage and drop their sticks?
2:08 – Calf pain resonates, it’s worth protecting your shins.
2:44 – Peer pressure can leave lacrosse goalies vulnerable to injury.
3:22 – Young goalies who try to look like their MLL heroes are on different levels with accuracy.
4:48 – Coach Edwards’ advice on how to completely change your game.

 Introduction

Hey guys, Coach Edwards here at LacrosseGoalieTips.com and LacrosseGoalieUniversity.com, and today I’ve got on my Belgium Lacrosse sweatshirt. That was given to me by Tibor Van den Wildenbergh. Tibor, hello, and all the guys from Belgium, I really appreciate it.

The World Lacrosse Championships

I got a chance to see these guys play down in Denver at the World Lacrosse Championships this past summer, and I still haven’t done a post about my trip or my comments or posted videos of all the goalies that I met down there. It was just awesome. It was really cool to see the reach of the blog, and goalies from all over the world. That was really, really inspiring.

Looking Good Is A Goalies Last Concern

So today I want to talk about a comment that I got on last week’s post about equipment. This post comes from Colton. If you guys want to head back and check out the comment from Colton, I’d appreciate it. This is awesome. Colton writes,

Coach,

I’m a goalie from a small town in Colorado, and when you said to hop in the goal with no stick I got a little smile on my face. All four years of high school I was confident in my goal. I’d stop everything no matter what I had to do, and I think the reason for that was me hopping in the goal once a month without my stick. Once I started playing college ball, I stopped doing that and became more worried about looking good.

Like you hypothesized, the amount of saves I made dwindled, so I have to say that I believe you are 100% correct. It’s about being safe to make the save. I’ll have to try slipping in there with a hockey chest protector in the next few days and trying that out. Thanks for continuing to post and continuing to want future goalies to do great things.

Colton, thanks a lot.

1:47 Can You Handle Dropping Your Stick During Warm Up?

In that post I made a comment about something I do with goalies when I first get them in the cage. I put them in the cage and say, “Now drop your stick. We’re going to go through a warmup without the stick, a full blown warm up.” Stick-side high, offstick high, stick-side low, offstick low – would they make the save? Because the question is, would you?

2:08 Calf and Shin Protection

We see college goalies and ML goalies making kick saves with no padding, and you see an occasional goalie with a pad on – usually their offstick calf or their offstick shin because they’ve kicked out that offstick leg to make a save and they haven’t been able to get a stick all the way down there to get on the ball. So they end up taking a shot off the fleshy part of their calf. I swear, getting hit off the calf was the worst pain I think I’ve felt and it took forever to heal. Every time you stepped, you’d go to class the next day and you’d feel it.

2:44 Peer Pressure Leaves Goalies Unsafe

The bottom line here is just being protected. What Colton touches on here is something pretty interesting. It’s that reality that we lose the equipment we wear as we get older based on peer pressure, on how we’re supposed to look. I really feel that the lacrosse goalie is confused. We’re stuck in a transitional period where the lacrosse goalie is dressed less than a field player in a lot of instances. Yet they’re getting shots that are faster than a hockey puck, typically, and hockey goalies wear way more equipment.

3:22 Young Goalies Want To Look Cool

A hockey goalie has evolved into a blocker and a deflector. I recently started playing some hockey goal and I hadn’t done it in like, 18 years. I put on the equipment again and it was really interesting because it taught me a lot. It’s something that I wish every lacrosse goalie could get a taste of. What ends up happening is we, especially with young goalies, junior goalies even before junior high school, put them in the cage, we put them in the chest protector because they look just like their MLL counterpart. They want to look like their hero.

3:54 The Problem With Looking Like Your MLL Hero

The problem is there’s a difference between the shot against a young goalie that’s shot and the MLL college goalie. The accuracy is completely different. You need to decide here what you need to wear for equipment, and as Colton said, you’ve got to remind yourself every once in a while and test yourself by dropping that stick and making those saves.You don’t want to be shot on by your coach shooting at like 75-80 MPH plus if you’ve never done it before. You’re just going to get injured. But I guarantee you this. If you drop the stick, take the stick out of the warm up, and you work on bounce shots and you work on getting in front of the ball…I’m going to try to post a video below this of one of my favorite movie clips from Major League, you’ll see it tomorrow.

4:48 How To Completely Change Your Game

Get in the cage. Work on stopping the ball without the stick, and do what I call, “Get ugly.” These aren’t going to be pretty saves. Get a bucket of balls with your buddy, or your coach, or someone you trust, and get shot on. Try to make saves with your body only and see what that feels like.

Here’s a better thing. Go out there and do that warm up and go get some baseball catcher’s equipment. Go get some shin guards. Get some football pants or some hockey pants so that you can just throw them on and work on getting in front of the ball and making that save with your body. Catching a ball with your chest, not your hands. Catch it with your chest. Working on things like that can totally change your game.

Conclusion

Colton from Colorado, I really appreciate you leaving a comment below the post. Don’t be shy, people. Leave me a comment below. Go back to see Colton’s comment and leave a comment below. Let me know what you’ve done to improve your game by testing out more equipment, less equipment, making saves without your stick, getting ugly. It’s awesome and it will totally change your game. Give it a shot. I’m Coach Edwards from LacrosseGoalieTips.com. I thank you, as always, for checking me out and reading these posts, and I always appreciate you leaving comments below or facebooking it, sharing, tweeting, liking, Google Plusing, all that good stuff. I really appreciate it and I’ll talk to you real soon.

Cheers.

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