As the summer continues and tournaments begin to end, there is still time to improve as a goalie prior to the school year starting. Goalies of all ages, male and female, can use the following drills to improve in the late summer.
- Footwork: As a goalie, proper footwork is required to move in goal and having a strong lower body is key to being explosive when making saves. Drills to improve footwork include ladders, jump rope, cone drills, and line jumps.
- Hand Eye Coordination: Developing quick hands is essential for a goalie. As a goalie gets older, opponents will start to shoot harder and more accurate. This means goalies must react quicker in getting their hands and stick to the ball. Drills to improve hand eye coordination include juggling, hand wall ball, using the shaft of the stick to make saves, and using a reaction ball.
- Stick skills: No secret here. Hit the wall! Develop a routine (Example: 50 right hand, 50 left hand, 50 one handed right, 50 one handed left, 50 catch right throw left, 50 catch left throw right, 25 quick stick right, 25 quick stick left) Focus on throwing the ball hard and hitting the same spot on the way.
- Balance: Goalies must have good balance while playing in order to keep themselves in position. Stand on one foot for 30 seconds while closing your eyes then alternate feet. It is harder than it sounds!
- Flexibility: Stretch regularly. This will lead to a more athletic goalie and aid in recovery after training.
- Endurance: While you may not run much during the game, it is important to stay in shape. Find a track or run through the neighborhood. Set a goal and challenge yourself. Increase or decrease distance as needed.
The best parts about many of these drills? Can all be done alone, little equipment needed, are not time consuming, and will help improve as a goalie. Be creative, be competitive, challenge yourself, and have fun.