By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
In this week’s player development feature, follow along with Haverford School (PA) boys lacrosse coach Travis Loving as he reveals goalie footwork drills and his go-to in-season warm-up. In addition to reinforcing proper technique and fundamentals, these drills will get your players adequately prepared to cover every angle of the cage.
Goalie Footwork Drills
We begin with a series of goalie footwork drills that place an emphasis on technique and will help players explode to the ball. Notice that all drills are performed with a lacrosse stick in hand.
Side to Side – Players hop from side to side with quick feet across a designated line on the field.
Right Foot Side to Side – The drill is the same as before but now players should only use their RIGHT foot.
Left Foot Side to Side – The drill is the same as before but now players should only use their LEFT foot.
Side to Side Mixed – Start with side to side both feet and then the coach will direct which foot to use from there.
Front to Back – This drill is similar to before, but now players will be going front to back with their steps instead of side to side.
Front to Back Left Foot – Now players should only use their LEFT foot.
Front to Back Right Foot – Now players should only use their RIGHT foot.
Figure Eight – Players should now jump with two feet in a figure eight pattern.
Figure Eight in Reverse – Now do figure eights in reverse order. Start at the back right.
Figure Eight on One Foot – Now do figure eights on just one foot.
Check out this formal goalie warm-up done every day at Haverford. A coach will start by shooting against the goalie in net from about 15 yards out. He will start with high shots on both sides of the net — stick-side high and off stick-side high. By doing this, the goalie doesn’t know where the next shot is going. Also, the coach will always walk around the field and shoot from different spots to mix up the angle.
Overall, the coach won’t make too many adjustments when it comes to positioning or corrections. Meanwhile, it’s key to make sure the last three shots are on cage. From here, the coach will then shoot around the hips and go around the horn once again. It’s critical that the goalie can’t anticipate the shot on net before it’s even released.