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:

Make Passes Hard

Make feed passes hard.

Possessing the Ball

When in possession of ball, make the defense man play your stick - watch his stick - the position of it will determine the direction of your feed and the type of dodge you might try.

Dodging

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

Circle Away From Pressure

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

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.

Outside Shooting

On all long shots, a man must be on the crease.

Move to Meet the Pass

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

Be an Outlet

If an attack man is being ridden hard and can't dodge or get away - the nearest man on each side goes to help him.

After the Clear

After the ball has been cleared, if you have a wide open opportunity to dodge, do it. If you are sure a man is open, pass to him, otherwise settle the ball down and let your attack get set up. Remember, after a clear the midfielders will need time to catch their breath. Middies rest on offense, not defense, Control The Ball!

Don’t Rush at Him

Don't rush at a man when riding - particularly behind the goal. Force him to pass - force him in the direction where there is help. Talk all the time and run hard. The success of an attack depends on their riding ability and their desire to have the ball.

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.

Ride Hard

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

Time Your Cuts

Time your cuts, don't cut if the man with the ball is not watching or not in position to pass.

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.

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.

Keep Proper Spacing

Never stand so close together that one defense can cover two offense.

Loose Ball on the Ground

When there is a loose ball on the ground, go after it fast and hard, you must have the ball!

Back Up shots

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

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.