FloridaLacrosseNews.com was able to listen to Amy Altig, 8-year Team USA Goalie and Assistant Coach of the Penn State Women’s lacrosse team, as she detailed her thoughts on efficient goalkeeping at the US Lacrosse National Convention last weekend in Philadelphia. Don’t just think that her pearls of wisdom only apply to girls goalies – she gave great advice that would be well heeded by any boys goalies as well.
How to handle the “1v None”: What do you do when an attacker has beaten the last defender and is streaking toward the goal getting ready to take a shot? “Wait. She will be greedy and try to get really close and wait for you to move. I just square up my hips, wait and make her rethink her shot.” Altig says most shooters will go to your weak side every time, but know your shooters. Waiting gets in their head. Most importantly, “react only when she releases the ball, you’ll have much higher success…. But even 1 in 10 is good.”
On intercepting the ball from an attacker behind the goal: Altig makes a point to keep her stick low to the side and below the top bar of the goal to bait the attacker to make the feed, but she is ready to get tall and push the stick up through her top hand to have her hands and arms extended together and maximize her reach. If she misses, she drop steps, turning with the ball, takes another short step to open up and be ready for the shot from the front. As a side note, she mentions that if a goalie is having a hard time with crisp footwork, use an exercise band to tie her feet together and quickly build the muscle memory that she needs to continually return to a ready stance.