0:24 – Goalies should have a serviceable level of throwing and catching skills so they can be an asset on a clear.
0:53 – If the other team wants to face off and you can’t save the ball, your team will get annihilated.
1:33 – Lacrosse goalies are ball stoppers, and clearing is usually taken care of whether the goalie is good or bad at it.
2:19 – If a goalie is staying home more, Coach Edwards advises you do everything you can to improve at stopping the ball.
2:46 – Field lacrosse goalies need more protection so they can stop the ball more.
4:00 – Line drills, long passing, face dodging, and one on ones should be worked on by goalies who want to improve.
4:34 – Advice for the coaches on how to incorporate the best drills for goalies.


Coach Edwards here with LacrosseGoalieTips.com and I want to share with you today, should you be able to clear the ball or should you be able to save the ball? Which one’s better?

Be an Asset on a Clear

Over the years I’ve had some pretty good arguments with people on what’s more important. Should a goalie be able to save the ball or should a goalie be able to clear the ball. First off, if you’re listening to this I know that you’re a pretty smart goalie. You’re looking to improve. It’s only a matter of time until this is a non-question for you. Goalies need to be able to have a serviceable level of throwing and catching so that they can be an asset on a clear and not just a goalie in the cage stopping balls.

Facing Off

In terms of what’s more important, if you think about it this way, let’s say the other team wants to face off, comes down and you can’t save the ball. So the shot goes in and it’s a goal. Now it’s one – nothing. Now you go to the next faceoff and your team loses the faceoff and comes down and the team comes down and scores again. Now, because you can’t save the ball, now it’s two – nothing. Next faceoff, your team wins the faceoff, goes down the field. Their goalie makes a save. They clear the ball. It comes down to you and because you’re not a very good goalie you can’t save the ball, now it’s three – nothing.

If You Can’t Stop the Ball, You Can’t Clear the Ball

If you can’t make a save you don’t have the chance to clear the ball at all, so I would argue that the first idea a goalie needs to embrace is that first and foremost you are a ball stopper. You are a ball stopper and when your team can get into position to clear the ball, clearing isn’t really an issue even with a poor clearing goalie. If you look at it this way, also the rules have changed in lacrosse. There are different rules on restarts now. Especially in the college game where a goalie venturing out of the cage is not as common or as accepted in some ways. Goalies are kind of staying home more.

Improve Your Ability to Stop the Ball

If that’s the case, if a goalie is staying home more because the rules are changing a little bit and the focus is on ball stopping, then what I would say is that you also need to do everything you can to improve your ability to stop the ball. That can mean lots of practice time, it can also mean more equipment so that you’re better protected and you can stop the ball with more parts of your body, not just your stick.

The Equipment Crisis

I always say that the field lacrosse goalie is a little bit confused because they are trying to play it both ways. They’re dressed with less equipment than most players on the field and yet they’re in the position to be in front of balls shot at 70, 80, 90 miles an hour. With very little equipment on it doesn’t quite make sense to me.

Making Good Saves

I think a goalie who decides that they’re going to be protected and they’re going to be a ball stopper that can control their rebounds and then once they yell clear, their team can get in a good position to clear the ball, that they’re going to be okay. They’re going to be a good goalie making good saves and everybody’s going to be happy.

Football Analogy

It’s kind of like a quarterback trying to be the field goal kicker and the defensive lineman all in the same game. They don’t try to do that. They basically have specialties. Like quarterbacks, you can throw the ball like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, those guys don’t run a lot do they? They just basically stay out of the pocket. The team around them is designed to basically let them be their best and they rifle the pass down field and they do their job.

What Goalies Should Work On

In terms of the goalie in lacrosse, if the goalie can focus on stopping the ball and doing more of it, now your team has more chances to clear the ball. If you can’t stop the ball you can’t clear the ball, so focus on being a goalie but take your time in practice to do line drills and work on long passing. Work on some one on ones just for fun. Work on face dodging, which is a really good skill to have if you get stuck out of the cage. I think you’ll be a better goalie faster.

For the Coaches

Coaches, make sure you’re incorporating your goalies into those types of drills. Please don’t let your backup goalie or your star goalie be a backup to your backup goalie’s warm up. Don’t do that. Really maximize your time, but really focus on being a ball stopper first and then we’re all good. Alright?


Good luck! Leave your comments below. Make sure you head on over to iTunes and leave us a review. Make sure you subscribe so you get updates on every time we post a podcast. And also, make sure you sign up for our email newsletter because it will also notify you there. Lots of cool stuff and more to come. Coach Edwards here. Talk to you soon. Bye.





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