|My Account||Wish List||View Cart||Checkout|
Learn from one of the lacrosse’s most renowned goaltenders as two-time NCAA Champion and former All-American Trevor Tierney dishes out tips, techniques, and drills surrounding proper goalie positioning. After discussing essential goaltending strategies, Tierney shows off an effective warm-up focusing on proper positioning that you can easily implement into your own practice plan.
During his college playing days, Tierney was known for being “back” in the goal along the goal line. This gave him the time needed to react to the ball. Today, many coaches believe you should be way out on an arc and playing the angle. But according to Tierney, that applies better for hockey goalies (who have lots of padding and play with smaller goals).
It’s easy for hockey goalies to come out and take that angle. Plus, they know where the puck is on the surface. But lacrosse shooters can change where their stick is positioned at any time. The release point can come from anywhere, so angles become less of a factor for lacrosse goalies.
Setting yourself back in the goal gives you the time and room to see the ball and make a quick reaction. And when it comes to reaction time, the difference between a yard or two is huge. Tierney likes to put his heels nearly on the goal line. This is called the “Flat Arc.”
Positioning becomes key for squaring up to the shooter. Many coaches teach you to play on an arc, moving your feet side to side in a small arc in front of the goal. While that’s perfectly fine, Tierney teaches goalies to be square to the shooter. Pretend you have two lines coming out of your shoulders and they are making a target to the shooter. That shooter should always be between those two lines and the goalie.
You’ll often notice that when a shooter moves from side-to-side up top, goalies will move all the way across the goal and their feet will be all the way on the pipe. Tierney prefers to teach goalies to stay in the middle of the goal.
Shooters like to shoot across their body and across your body, so if a dodger is sweeping top left to top right, bring your left foot up and stay in the middle of the goal. Few shooters can find the back of the net from that area. Meanwhile, you’ll be there to make the save easily. Plus, you don’t even have to step very far. It should also force shooters to miss the cage a lot because they think they see some open space to the side.
As a player comes further and further down the left side, look to slowly make your way over to the pipe with short steps, and bring the outside of the left foot to the inside of the pipe. This will take away that pipe area shot or any easy goals to the inside.
The same rules apply for the opposite side as well, with the right foot staying to the outside of the pipe. You should be able to get around the entire goal in very few steps — always remaining in a good position.
Meanwhile, with inside shots, the further back in the goal you are, the easier it can be for you. If you step out too far, good players will fake and shoot it around you. But if you stay home, you can make it harder on them. The closer players come to the crease area, the further back in the net you want to be.
When the ball is behind the net and to the side, keep your body forward and look behind. If the ball is directly behind you, that’s when you can turn around and face the feeder. But if it’s to the side, look behind and over your shoulder. If the feeder makes a good pass out in front, you’ll still be in good position to react and make the save.
Finally, let’s walk through different goalie positions based on where a shooter may be on the field. In this drill, the camera provides the vantage point of the shooter. You’ll also get to see how a goalie should move and adjust based on the shooter’s movements and shifts. The action starts with the top middle, gets lower and lower, and then arcs back around to the other side.
The previous clips can be seen on the DVD “Evolution in Goaltending: A New Perspective on Goalie Fundamentals” offered by Championship Productions. You can also check out more goaltending videos by visiting our lacrosse library.