Goalie Communication

One of the most important jobs of a goalie is to communicate with his defense. There are some basic calls that a goalie should know and his defense should understand at the intermediate level. When making these calls, the goalie needs to be loud and commanding as he is the quarterback or captain of the defense.

A goalie should call out where the ball is at all times. The different positions on the field are top-center, top-left, top-right, left-wing, right-wing, right-pipe, left-pipe, back-left, back-right, and X. A goalie needs to make these calls so all the defensemen know exactly where the ball is without looking at it.

Another call that the goalie has to make is “hold”. The hold call is made as an attackman drives up to goal line extended so that the defenseman can turn his hips and make the attackman inside roll. If you drew a line from where the two bottom pipes meet in the back of the net, which form the v of the goal, and you drew a line from the tip of that v to the sidelines. This is the line at which goalies should make the hold call so defensemen have time to react and adjust by the time attackmen drive to goal line extended.

The last call that is important for goalies to make at this level is the check call. Anytime a pass is thrown towards the middle or any time a feed is made to someone who can take a shot, the goalie should call out “check” so that his defense knows to check the hands of the player receiving the pass. For an intermediate level goalie, these are the important calls that need to be made. A young goalie needs to understand that it is up to him to lead the defense. He needs to be a loud, vocal leader on the field so that the defense plays as a cohesive unit.

Some great tips to get you going:

Away From the Defense

In moving the ball around the circle, make all passes sharp, short, and to the outside, away from the defense man.

Back Up shots

Always have one, preferably two, men behind the goal to back up shots.

Give and Go

After receiving a pass, as the ball moves around the outside, look first at the man who threw you the ball to see what he is doing, then at the crease.

Cut Hard and Fast

Make full cuts - go through and out - don't cut at half speed or hang around the crease after your cut.

Dodging

Never try to dodge when men are in position to back up.

Teamwork is Key

Always remember that teamwork is the key to a good attack.

Make Passes Hard

Make feed passes hard.

Feed Passes

All feed passes must be thrown crsiply and accurately. If it's a bad pass, do your best and make a great catch to help your buddy out.

Back Each Other Up

Always be in position to back up shots and feeds. When a cut is made, or a shot is taken, the whole attack must play a part, moving to be in a position to backup a pass or a shot. Control the ball!

Ride Hard

When you lose the ball, ride it. The close attack must ride and ride hard until the ball is past midfield.

Zigs and Zags

Zig your cuts, fake left - go right, fake right - go left. Don't always run at the same speed, change of pace is a very effective method of getting open.

Hard Work

Hard work is great, but hard and efficient work is even better.

Balance the Field

Always keep your field balanced in order that you stay in better position to back up, and give your teammates space to work in.

Move the Ball

Don't dodge if there is an open man. Don't hold the ball long unless you are planning a dodge. Keep it moving with quick, short passes.

Circle Away From Pressure

Always move to meet every pass, and circle away from your defenseman.

Never Pass to a Covered Player

Never make a pass to a man who is covered just to get rid of the ball.

Never Stand Still

When you have the ball, never stand still - keep moving all the time - if necessary run backwards and forwards - but keep moving. When you are ready to make a pass, take one step back quickly and move. If you are standing still, you're wrong.

Pick a Corner

Place all shots, usually for a far corner, and shoot hard. When within five yards of the goal, the shot should be for a top corner.

Get it Off the Ground

After picking up a loose ball, turn and face the crease immediately. If nobody is open, move in fast until you are picked up.

Fake Passes

When you have the ball, be constantly faking passes - keep your defense man's stick moving. Go ahead, throw that sky-whammy.