Lacrosse Practice Drills For Goalie

Luckily for the average keeper, most lacrosse practice drills for goalies are both straightforward and effective. The key elements of goalkeeping in lacrosse are agility, awareness and hand-eye coordination. Without all three, you're pretty much doomed to fail at this vital position. And with all the pressure put on goalies in lacrosse, failure is not an option. Use the following practice drill for goalies to sharpen your own skills and shine on the field.

  1. To work on your agility in front of the goal, use a footwork drill. The great thing about this lacrosse goalie drill is that the only equipment required is your own stick. Additionally, it can be performed any time—whether you're just practicing or preparing right before the game. To do it, start by laying your stick down in front of you. Then, with two feet, jump from side to side over the stick, landing on both feet each time. Next, turn sideways and jump forwards and backwards over the stick with both feet. To make the drill even more effective, repeat these two moves using each foot individually. Fifteen to twenty reps for each move will work to improve your quickness in front of the goal and can warm you up in the pregame.

  2. Use the clearing drill to practice possession changes. When the goalie gets possession of the ball in lacrosse, it's up to him to transfer possession to his own team and change the advantage by passing the ball to another player, or “clearing.” And since goalies focus on their ball blocking skills, this facet often gets ignored. To prevent that from happening, use a clearing drill in which the goalie starts off with the ball and attempts to make a pass to one or two players cutting down field. For an added challenge, you can also use a player to defend the goalie as he attempts to make the pass.

  3. Use the hands drill to work on hand eye coordination. This lacrosse practice drill for goalies is unique in that it doesn't involve the stick at all. You'll need two players to perform it, one at the goal and one about fifteen feet away who will act as the shooter. Have the shooter throw the ball at a relatively fast pace to different places and attempt to catch the ball with your top hand. As soon as you catch it, throw the ball back and return to a centered position. To really give yourself a tough drill, do it as fast as possible until a ball manages to squeak by.

  4. Use the shot drill to mimic game situations. The final and most obvious lacrosse goalie training drill involves the actual blocking of shots with a full stick and padding setup. Have the rest of the team line up in different offensive positions and let them take shots on goal one by one at a fast pace. Make an effort to block each ball and return to position fast enough to block the next shot. To improve reaction time, let the offensive players take shots at random instead of in line. 

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