1:23 – Lacrosse is constantly changing and needs some improvements.
1:55 – With the improvements in technology, goalies need to catch up.
3:27 – Things need to change, because lacrosse goalies are in danger.
4:12 – Protection isn’t keeping up with the velocity of shots.
5:00 – If goalies embrace equipment, everything will go their way.
5:48 – The lacrosse goalie of the future will make saves however is necessary.
7:37 – Goalies are going to get lit up with higher shots.
9:00 – Goalies will have to work harder to make up for their dominant hand position.
9:53 – Goalies are going to evolve and become more proactive.

Introduction

Hey guys. It’s Coach Edwards and LacrosseGoalieTips.com and LacrosseGoalieUniversity.com. This week I have probably my most controversial post: What the lacrosse goalie of the future is going to look like. Over the years, I’ve been doing this for a long time now, and I think one of the things that has really helped me as a coach is dealing with goalies, not just within one area but all over the world. I get emails every week from goalies somewhere in the world.

What’s interesting is that I get to see a lot of commonalities. I get to see a lot of challenges, a lot of problems. What’s always fascinating to me is I get a lot of the same questions, no matter if that’s coming from Long Island, some of those traditional hotbeds like upstate New York, or some of the newer hotbeds like Minnesota. Shout out to all my guys in the middle of America. I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately from those parents. The game is really exploding, which I love, so congratulations to all of you.

Improvements In Lacrosse

Here’s the thing. I think the game of lacrosse is at a big crossroads because the game has gotten so fast. With the introduction of offset heads years ago, and the introduction of strength and conditioning and training for young athletes, we’re seeing kids bigger, faster, and stronger than ever, both men and women. The lacrosse goalie position as you’ve heard me say, hasn’t really evolved much.

Goalies Don’t Have As Much Of A Chance

I was on the phone with Larry Quinn, who I grew up watching play at Johns Hopkins. One of the best goalies of all time. He sent me a picture of his chest protector, which looked like an oversized bandaid. He found it in his attic, and I thought hey, it’s kind of interesting because fundamentally it wasn’t much different than the chest protector I wore like 20-30 years later. That to me kind of shows that there’s a problem brewing, with lacrosse goaltending specifically, because the game is improving to the point where a lacrosse goalie doesn’t have as much of a chance to stop the ball as they used to when sticks had different pockets in them, guys weren’t as well trained, girls weren’t as well trained.

Things Need To Change

What I wanted to talk about today was where I see the lacrosse goalie of the future going and what that’s going to look like. This is probably almost as controversial as my “Why stepping to the ball is wrong” post, but I hope you’ll read this and you’ll share it and you’ll comment below. Let’s talk about this and get some changes happening here. This needs to happen or else it’s not going to be a lot of fun watching lacrosse games when a lot of shots go into the net.

Goalies Are In Danger

The first thing the lacrosse goalie of the future is going to embrace is protection. You only need to look at protection in other sports as where a lacrosse goalie is really going to fit in. I’m not talking about protection just for their own protection, although I think that’s really important, because I think what we’re going to see soon is, unfortunately, we’re going to see a high powered shooter take a shot from like 12 yards and hook it right into a goalie’s chest, and that goalie is going to drop dead because they’re not going to have enough equipment on.

Protection Isn’t Keeping Up With Velocity

Maybe we’ll see broken collar bones, broken ribs, things like that. These things already happen. But we’re going to see something pretty major happen, and I don’t like to throw that out there, but as a parent I know it’s coming. The protection, and also the culture of protection, is not keeping pace with the velocity of the shots. That’s one thing. The goalie is not going to look at it just for their own protection. The lacrosse goalie of the future is going to embrace protection as a way to stop more balls just like hockey goalies evolved to stop more pucks. Hockey goalies went from a stand up style to a butterfly style. Nowadays, you cannot have a goalie with a stand up style who plays hockey. They’re just not good enough.

Goalies Embracing Equipment

The equipment evolved. The first thing you saw happen was hockey goalies started to cheat a little bit. Garth Snow, who played the University of Maine and was a New York islander really stretched this a lot, where they would add gussets in his jersey or between his legs and his pants to catch pucks. Goalie equipment like leg pads got super wide. For lacrosse goalies, we wear practically nothing. What you’re going to see is goalies start to embrace equipment like catcher’s shin guards, which is something that I’ve espoused for a really long time, which cover all the way up to the middle of your thigh and they cover the top of your foot.

Making Saves However Necessary

They’re going to embrace that, and this kind of goes into my Phase 2 of what the lacrosse goalie of the future is going to do. They’re going to migrate now to not trying to catch the ball with just their one hand. I envision your goalie stick, whether you’re a righty or a lefty, is like you have this big extended glove on that hand. We’re the only goalie in any sport who’s taught to try and catch everything no matter where it’s shot on us.

I’m a righty goalie. If the ball’s shot to my left foot, we’re teaching kids to bring the stick all the way down to make the save. We’re not teaching kids to just put their foot there. We’re saying lead with the foot, but really, in the back of a lot of people’s heads we’re thinking, well lead with the foot but don’t make that a kick save. But in fact, we’re going to start to see that.

Using The Bottom Hand

We’re going to see goalies who start to embrace, using their bottom hand, that glove, more as a blocker for shots on their stick side hip. I’m working on an advanced moving to the ball DVD. I’ve got the footage shot and I’m still just trying to wrap my head around the best way to share this. I’ve already shared this information with my Lacrosse Goalie University members. We’re going to see goalies start to use more of their body, as a hockey goalie, using the closest appendage to the ball. They’re going to move there first to make the save. Are they going to give up rebounds? Yes, but they’re going to be making saves. Are they going to be safer? Yes. Are save percentages going to change? I think so.

Defensemen Will Be Better Ball Carriers

What’s going to be interesting is we’re going to see the ball on the ground more, and we’re going to see defensemen who are now better ball carriers. Back in the 90s when titanium shafts were brought into the game, thank you David Morrow, we saw defensemen who start to strip players, and the ball would be on the ground. We’re not seeing that a lot anymore. We’re seeing these very calculated offenses that all of a sudden get the big shot from outside and they’re lighting goalies up.

Shots Will Mostly Go High On The Goalie

What’s going to happen here though is you’re going to start to see goalies get lit up higher, especially their offstick high side, because that’s the one place that’s the hardest place for them to move. There and offstick low. So you’re going to see that. Then what you’ll see happen is you’ll see the discussion of shortening the cages. The third phase, and this is really out there, but you’re going to start seeing goalies play both hands. Not with two sticks, that’s not what I’m saying. But you’re going to see a goalie where if I’m a righty goalie and I’m standing on my right pipe, you’re going to start to see goalies who mess around with putting the stick in their left hand.

Disadvantages of Dominant Hands

From a fundamental percentage, a percentage of covering the net and having to move to the ball, if I’m a righty goalie and I’m on my right pipe, and the angle of the shot has moved and it’s a smaller angle shot, the odds of that shot coming to my right side to this near pipe has lessened. The odds of that shot going to my offstick is higher, so you’re going to see goalies starting to put their stick there.

I’m kind of sick already of seeing goalies who are right handed and they’re getting lit up by an attackman or a middie shooting from side right to their offstick hip, because they’re trying to move like this, they’re trying to get the stick all the way over there. That’s when you’re going to start to see goalies start to move that hand, move that stick into the hand where there’s a higher percentage of that ball to go.

Goalies Will Evolve To Become Proactive

Will shots be snuck by the near side pipe? Sure. But goalies are going to evolve to that. I think what’s going to happen now is you’re going to see goalies be more proactive. It’s something that I try to teach with kids that are more advanced. I say “Okay, we’re going to be more proactive as a goalie and we’re going to start to dictate where that shooter’s shooting, because otherwise we have no chance. We’re basically a sitting duck hoping not to get hit, or hoping to get hit depending on how much protection you have on. There’s a difference there. If you’re unprotected you’re thinking, “Oh my god, I hope it doesn’t hit me.”

Conclusion

I see this with goalies. I see it in college goalies too, where you see the shot come in and the goalie is almost standing up before the shot even gets there. I just think that’s a shame. What I want to do here is I want to talk a little bit more, I’m going to save that for next week’s video. But I want to talk about the changes that need to happen in the game to help lacrosse goalies, and I think you’re going to look forward to that.

Do me a favor. If you liked this post, leave me a comment. Shoot me an email. CoachEdwards@LacrosseGoalieTips.com. Leave me a comment below. Share it, pin it, like it, tweet it, google plus it, I’d really appreciate it and I’ll talk to you next week. Cheers.

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