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Lacrosse Goalie Drills: Stepping from X to Pipe

Lacrosse Goalie Drill: Stepping form X to Pipe

I got a great question this week from a lacrosse dad. His son plays goalie was having trouble shifting from X to the pipe as the ball passes goal line extended (GLE.) Instead of standing straight, he was squatting down unintentionally.

Have you ever seen how you transition from X to the pipe? It is a really important step for a goalie, as the shooter is just becoming a scoring threat as they pass GLE.

The best place to start is by filming yourself. When you film your movement, you can literally see what you’re doing instead of what you think they’re doing. This doesn’t have to be fancy, just have a friend, coach, or parent use an iPhone or iPad to capture how you make the transition from looking through the net at X to the right and left pipe.

After identifying how you’re stepping, you should walk through some lacrosse goalie drills to make that important step stronger. Jump into the net and have a coach at X. The coach should simply walk toward GLE on both sides and walk through the proper movement. Talk through what you see as the goalie and they can talk through what they see as the shooter

After doing this for a bit, you can switch to a variation of the shot-turn drill. Here you want to have a shooter stand 2-3 yards above GLE. As the goalie, you want to be facing X. When the shooter yells “SHOT”, step and turn from facing X right to the pipe. The step will be a simple pivot.

While he is stepping, the shooter releases a shot. The point is to make the foot movement instinctual. Keep the shots light at first while your son figures out his foot positioning and sealing the side of the pipe with his body.

Lacrosse Goalie Drills for Faster Feet

Lacrosse Goalie Drills for Faster Feet

As a lacrosse goalie, there are only a few rules that apply across the board. Stepping to the ball is one of those rules. No matter how fast the shot, where is is coming from, or where it is going, you always, always, always step to the ball. Foot speed is a critical aspect of being able to step to the ball in time and bring your trail foot up the the right position. These drills will help you in season and in the off season to develop quick feet and make more saves.

Jump rope

Every goalie needs to own a jump rope. If you don’t, buy one now. It will become your best friend and one of the greatest investments you will ever make. Mix jumping rope into your workouts, warm ups, cool downs, and during commercial breaks while you’re watching ESPN. Take it with you in the car, on vacation, and to the grandmas house.

Try to see how many you can do in a row. Try for 200. Then take a quick break and do it again. This is the fastest way to quick feet that I know of and it really worked for me. I’m a tall guy, 6’3″ and it takes a lot to get me moving. This helped.

Magic square

This is a drill that every goalie should use a few times a week during the season. Find any straight line on the field and lay your stick perpendicular to the line. This will create four quadrants. We will call the upper left side 1, upper right side 2, lower left side 3, and lower right side 4. In doing these drills, you want to be facing the same direction and allowing your feet to just move around beneath you.

Start in quadrant 1 and with your feet together, jump to 2,4,3 and back into 1. Upon returning to one, reverse the order and repeat. This is just jumping in each quadrant.

After doing this for 10 reps, start in quadrant 1 and with both feet still together, jump to 2, diagonally to 3, over to 4, and diagonally to 1. Do this for 5 reps and reverse the circuit.

Agility Ladder Drills

Everyone’s favoriate piece of fitness equipment is the agility ladder. There are a ton of variations that can be used on a ladder to improve your foot speed. Start with your foot in each square and go through the ladder as fast as you can. Then transition to touching both feet inside each square. To get fancy, touch your right toe to the left side of the ladder, just outside rope, the tap both feet inside, and then touch your right foot to the right side of the ladder square just outside the square. Proceed to the middle of the next square by tapping with each foot and then touching the outside left of the ladder. Repeat.

Stretch a Lot

Staying loose and limber is pretty important for a goalie. After all, you have to be ready to spring and save a shot in .19 seconds. A good way to increase flexibility and in turn foot speed is to take the appropriate amount of time at the beginning and end of practice to stretch out.

I recommend a warm-up lap and dynamic stretch to start. Consider including high knees, butt kickers, straight leg kicks, hip rotators to the inside and outside, and calfs. Then after practice, take time to cool down with a static stretch.

Hot Feet

This drill is similar to high knees dynamic stretching, but with the floor on fire. The idea is to minimize the amount of time that your foot and the ground are in contact. Bring you feet up and down as quickly as possible. Bring your feet high enough off the ground to reach the high knee position. Ten repetitions makes a set.

Lacrosse Goalie Practice Plan

A practice plan for a lacrosse goalie will change throughout a season, but for the most part should remain the same. A sound lacrosse goalie practice plan is built on principles that rise above the current state of the team or performance of the goalie. Time is important for a goalie. Not just time with […]

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Lacrosse Goalie Drill with Scott Rodgers called “Land Mines”

Lacrosse Goalie Drill with Scott Rodgers called “Land Mines”

Scott Rodgers is a man’s man and an awesome goalie for the Hamilton Nationals. He has a great lacrosse goalie drill to share that will help goalies learn to drive the head of their stick to make low saves and helps to improve foot speed between the pipes. The drill is called “Land Mines” and […]

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2013 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rule Updates: What Goalies Need to Know

2013 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Rule Updates- What Goalies Need to Know - Mind the Crease

The new year upon us and the 2013 lacrosse season is fact approaching. With the new year comes the 2013 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rule Updates from the NCAA rules committee. There are some pretty substantial updates to the rules in all areas of the field, and it is important for all players to understand how they […]

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10 Awesome Lacrosse Goalie Drill Videos

Ten Awesome Lacrosse Goalie Drills - Mind the Crease

Lacrosse goalies and face-off men are the hardest working players on the field, don’t be fooled by perceptions. They are also the most under coached position in all of lacrosse. Coaches of a youth, high school, or travel teams have a duty to make sure that the goalies on their teams are receiving the coaching and drilling they need to succeed. It doesn’t require a former All-American goalie to coach a future All-American goalie. All it takes is a commitment to learn the fundamentals of the position, a desire to find the right drills that build responsive muscle memory, and a commitment to give them time to develop.

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