Thought of the day – Did you know that A^2 +B^2 = C^2? Okay well I did too, but that is about the only thing that I remember from 10th grade geometry class. What has me opining today on angles? Another question we received!
A player reached out to us who was having some understandable troubles aligning themselves correctly in the cage based on where the shooter was. Understanding lacrosse goalie positioning in the goal can put you in a place to succeed before the shot is even taken. Here are some basic tips on this important topic, maybe they will help you or your players out.
Being a goalie is really about understanding angles. The trick is to always appear to the shooter as though you’re in the center of the goal. This means that they need to be looking between you and the pipes to make a shot. If you’re centered in the goal, you should be able to react to a shot to your left or to your right with equal ability and reaction time.
Work the Arc
This can only happen if you’re in the right position. I would recommend you work on your arc and angles.
Working on your 5-step arc is easy and you can do it by yourself. Just start at the right pipe, looking down goal line extended, then step to 45 degrees, then 90 degrees or centered in the goal, then 45 degrees the other direction, and finally end up at the other pipe.
If you are working on a grass field it is helpful scratch out a section of the dirt with your cleat as a visual reminder at each of the 5 spots. Work this 5-step pattern until you can do it blind folded. There will be times when you have to adjust yourself here and there, but in general you always want to be in one of these five spots.
Practice Each Step
After practicing this, just have a shooter walk around the arc in front of you. As they walk, practice staying centered. Have the shooter let you know if you’re not centered and which way you need to go to get centered. This can really help you get an idea of what the shooter sees.
After you have worked through that drill a few times, have the shooter start taking shots at different points on the arc. This will help you react and learn in a more real life setting.
Mix it Up: Juggle While You Step
Once you have the steps down you can try juggling while you step, this takes the focus to something else and is a good check to see if you really know what position you are supposed to be in.
It takes time, but just remember you’re playing a game of angles.