Small Group Training - How to Blend Field Players a Goalie

One exciting trend we’ve started to see more of is small group training occurring outside of Rec/Club/HS practices. As coaches and parents alike are becoming more knowledgeable and passionate about the game their kids have fallen in love with, more and more we are seeing groups of 5-8 players getting together for a little extra work. In these situations, though, we see a common issue: “We want and have a what do we do with him?”

Too often, it can get pretty rough for the goalie, as they get a few obligatory warm-up shots and then are thrown to the wolves. So how do we get the most out of these awesome sessions for everyone involved?

First, have the player do the warming up. Assuming it is truly a small group session, 5-6 players should still be able to get enough valuable reps as part of a rotating warm-up. Set cones to an appropriate distance, control the tempo between reps, and force the players to hit specific spots on the cage just like you would in a traditional warm-up. Will shooters of all ages miss their spots? Of course, and it forces the goalie to keep on his toes. The key is to control the distance/velocity and keep the odds tilted in favor of the goalie to start while really focusing on technique for the shooters. 

From here, a great way for both the field players and goalies to get better is to progress through skills building towards a specific scenario and live play. Wing shots coming off of a pass-down/pick-down followed by live 2v2 from the R wing allows players to work on the skill, build some connection and practice it while being coached, then to go and put it into action and blend it with all the other elements of live lacrosse. But for the goalie, we get the same benefit. Seeing the same (or similar) shots in succession, and then working through them in a dynamic environment, is an awesome way for a goalie to not only improve their technique and reactions in that scenario, but also their CONFIDENCE and COMMUNICATION. Here are a few clips/examples of small group work, in most cases with about 5 shooters and 2 goalies. 

We’re fired up to answer any questions, so message us if you’ve got em!

Dave Page