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Coach Jonathan Edwards gives goalies advice on which type of camp they should go to in the summer – recruiting camps versus teaching camps. Coach Edwards cautions against showcasing before a goalie is ready and the importance of learning at least one thing from every camp they go to.

0:39 – Should goalies go to teaching camps or recruiting camps?
1:27 – Teaching camps are often repetitive.
2:09 – A goalie can learn a game-changing gem wherever they go.
2:55 – Make sure goalies have a plan before they go to any camp.
3:46 – All position camps will teach goalies more than goalie specific camps.
4:26 – Don’t waste your money on showcases if you’re not ready.
7:24 – Goalie specific camps.
8:00 – Don’t try to get seen too early.

Introduction

Hey guys. It’s Coach Edwards at LacrosseGoalieTips.com and LacrosseGoalieUniversity.com, and this week I got a great question. It’s hard to think about this already because the season is about to start, but already people are thinking about summer camp and what they need to do. I got an email from a parent the other day wondering if their goalie should be going to a recruiting camp or more of a teaching camp.

Teaching Camp Or Recruiting Camp?

This is a great question. Usually my first answer to this is if you’re hedging, if you’re not sure you should go to a teaching camp or a recruiting camp, most likely you should go to a teaching camp. If you think your goalie needs that then they need to be working on technique and working on proper movement to the ball, because there are a thousand other goalies out there who are trying to get seen. So we want to get that technique up and running.

Coach Edwards’ Private Lacrosse Goalie Camps

I’m now starting this year some private camps. I do not run mass camps. I run private camps. More like private consulting, because I find that’s the best way I can really teach a goalie. In two days I can totally overhaul a goalie. So instead of spending $720 plus travel and expenses and things like that, people come to me and we can overhaul you in two days. Plain and simple. So we’ll get into that later.

The Issue With A Lot Of Teaching Camps

For now, in terms of teaching camps, there’s a lot out there. My only problem with a lot of the camps that are out there is they really rehash basically the same stuff, or they put a different spin on the same stuff. And that really bugs me. I see a lot of video footage from kids at goalie camps, from some pretty prominent names, and I’m just kind of shocked that nobody’s in the goalie’s ear working on technique.

What I usually see is a goalie getting shot at with a tennis ball machine, and that’s kind of fun. Or I see some high school or college kid just hiking balls at a goalie and there’s really no focus on proper step, proper stance, those sorts of things.

A Goalie Can Learn A Game Changer At Any Camp

You can spend your money anywhere, but I would like to say this about camps. Anywhere you go, and this is the problem with camps, anywhere you go you’re going to get what I call a gem. I attended the Cornell Camp for two summers when I was in high school, I went to the Syracuse Camp, I went to 205 East, I went to Gettysburg, I went to probably one of the first camp where teams came from different states where I went with an All-Star group of kids from the 205 East camp, and we played, so I’ve been to all sorts of camps. What I have to say is that at every one, I learned something that changed my game.

Have A Plan For Your Camp Experience

What I try to do when I coach guys is that I try to pile that all in into two days so that you can get all the gems that I ever learned. I do hear from parents that their kid went to this camp and their kid didn’t really learn much, and I attribute that really to the typical coaching camp model, which is the best names you can get in the sport right now, and you throw them all together in a camp and you run them through the drills, and the kids have lunch together and they stay up too late in the dorms, and they get the T-shirt and the shorts and maybe the stick giveaway.

That’s all well and good but you’ve really got to have a plan when you go to those types of camps. Your goalie needs to understand, “This is what I’m going to this camp to work on,” so that they go there, they drill every instructor that they can about that question and whatever comes off of that, so that they can become a better goalie.

Goalies Should Attend All Position Camps To Learn As Much As Possible

For goalies that are new, the biggest mistake I see a lot of parents and new goalies make, is that they don’t want to go to a camp because they’re afraid they’re going to be the worst goalie. What I say is, if you feel like you’re going to be the worst goalie, you need a camp. You need to go now. Goalies, once they get around other goalies, whether it’s an all position camp, which I recommend more than a goalie specific camp, is you learn from everybody. You get around better defenders, you get around better middies, you get to play against better attackmen. You get coaches from different schools and different levels who are in there teaching you. But you’ve got to be proactive about it.

Getting Your Money’s Worth From Showcases

In terms of recruiting camps and showcases and things like that, if you’re the best goalie on a showcased team, I think it’s worth your money. If you’re not the best goalie on a showcased team, I tend to find these as being problematic. Goalies either don’t get enough time or they don’t play at all, or they just don’t really get their money’s worth. If you’re the best goalie on a showcased team, and you’re going and you’re going to play and you see a lot of shots, that might be good for you. But if you’re not that goalie I would probably recommend someone like me, or you need someplace you can go to get your game ironed out and get all the package.

Camps That Focus On Lacrosse

What I do find with a lot of camps is they only focus on playing lacrosse. They may focus a little bit on the recruiting story, but all in all it just comes down to the same stuff. I find that that’s a bit of a waste of time. One of my biggest things is that when I see kids go to camps, coaches show up and they’re wearing flip-flops and shorts and a cool hat on. I think that’s the most disrespectful thing for a parent who’s shelled out close to a grand to get your kid to that. If you’re going to charge that much money, so you’ve got to make sure that your goalie is going to go and is going to get their money’s worth.

The Sky Is The Limit

But like I said, your goalie may go to any place and get a gem that totally changes their game. My hope for you is that whatever you pick, you get so many gems that your goalie comes back transformed. And I don’t always see that happening. So in terms of camps, where to go, really, the sky is the limit. Bill Pelot runs his camps, he’s been running them for 25 years. It’s really like a goalie farm. There are lots of goalies.

The Goalie Games

I disagree with the Goalie Games. I think that makes no sense to me, that’s a bit of a time waster in my mind. Why do I want my goalie to go to a camp and get shot on by a bad shooter? Which, technically, most goalies are. Most goalies struggle with that stick – why have a goalie game? Most goalies are in the goal because they couldn’t play anywhere else on the field. Why put them out as attackmen and middies? It’s fun, it’s cool, I guess in some ways it’s a good break to the day, but I don’t necessarily think that’s the most effective way to coach.

But that being said, going to that camp you’re just going to get overwhelmed by what you learn. You’re going to see this whole spectrum of goalies. For that goalie who doesn’t think they’re the best goalie, they’re going to be the worst goalie out there, sure enough they’re going to show up at that camp and find out they’re not the worst goalie, and come back with a whole ton of inspiration and motivation and esteem as a goalie, which I think is pretty cool. Keep that in mind as well.

Goalie Specific Camps

There are other regional goalies now. Places where guys throw goalie specific camps. Those are the ones that I see the bad video of. Not that that’s a snapshot of the entire camp, but again, I do find it’s just goalies maybe not always getting the best support and the best teaching, because it’s hard. There aren’t a lot of great coaches out there. But again, you may get a gem or two and that’s all you need. So keep that in mind.

Don’t Try To Get Seen Too Early

If you’re thinking about teaching camp versus recruiting camp, you probably need a teaching camp. If you’re thinking recruiting camp or showcase, make sure you’re that best goalie. Or if you’re on a team where you have two All-Star goalies, great, go, and you’re going to share a time. Go. But I know money’s tight for a lot of people and they’re trying to make some tough decisions. I’m going to get into recruiting later. We’re going to talk about that later. I think a lot of people think they need to showcase to get “seen” way too early. I know there are guys getting recruited out there at freshman, sophomore years. Goalie position is a little bit different. But by all means, don’t think you’re a grade 8 and you’ve got to go to a showcase. I would rather see a grade 8 kid go to a teaching camp and come out with some great skills because then they’re going to have a great season and that’s going to matter.

Conclusion

It’s a big answer to a big question, so I hope that helps. Shoot me an email if you’ve got a question. CoachEdwards@LacrosseGoalieTips.com, and do me a favor. Share this, like it, tweet it, pin it, plus it, I’d really appreciate it and I will talk to you real soon. Cheers.

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