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Learn from one of the game’s greatest goaltenders as two-time NCAA Champion and former All-American Trevor Tierney dishes out tips and misconceptions concerning lateral stepping. First, Tierney discusses proper technique and footwork before demonstrating the concepts in action through live on-field simulations. Finally, watch a terrific goalie warm-up that you can easily implement into your practice plan.
Although sometimes controversial between coaches and goalies, lateral stepping is something that Tierney really believes in. Many coaches will say, “step to the ball.” But Tierney thinks it’s one of the worst habits to teach today. While Tierney believes in stepping, he doesn’t believe you should step at something that is moving 80-90 mph at you and hope to see it and save it. It makes things so much harder.
Instead, Tierney teaches players to step laterally. Try pressing off your back foot almost like you are skating. So if you’re going to step to the left, you will push off the right foot and get everything across. If stepping to the right, you’re going to push off the left. Often coaches will teach you to step and then drag your body across. But what happens is that you step and then the back foot stays put. When you push off your back foot, you can use more muscle strength and be able to skate across. It also keeps you square to the shooter. If you move laterally, you are always behind the ball.
The premise of stepping to the ball is that you take away the angle of the shooter. But often a goalie will step out to the ball and he will miss the trajectory of the ball and it ends up going by him. By going side to side, you can still see the ball well and you are able to keep your body behind it at all times. Also, you are taking up a lot of room in the goal.
Also, if a shooter shoots it right at you, you don’t have to step. Make it easier for yourself. It he shoots it behind your legs, don’t step if it is right at you. Drop down and get low and get it. There is no reason for you to step at something if its coming right at me.
Stillness is really a key ingredient to being a great goalie. If you are still, your eyes and brain are going to be able to react to the ball. If you are moving, it’s going to make it a lot harder for you to stop the ball. Work on staying home and work on staying laterally and it will help you become a better goalie.
1) Have a shooter walk around the arc from up top about 10-15 yards out and start with ONLY high shots. Go stick side and then non-stick side.
2) Now move the shots to the hips. Go stick side hip and off stick side hip. You should be always moving laterally.
3) Now move to feet shots. You won’t have to move as much with these shots and you can just get down low and catch it. ALWAYS keep your feet moving during your warm-ups.
4) Bouncers are next. Start with nice and easy bouncers and train yourself to move laterally and find the ball where it bounces. Sometimes you need to get your body behind it. If it’s a high bouncer, stay home and keep the stick up. One common error that youngsters make on bouncers is bringing the stick in close to the body. Here, you can’t move it around very freely.
5) Now mix it up. You can start to bring the heat a little bit. Of course, only if the goalie is ready.
The previous clips can be seen on the DVD “Evolution in Goaltending” with Trevor Tierney. Check out more goaltending videos in our extensive lacrosse library by clicking here.