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:

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.

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.

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!

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.

Take Quality Shots

Shoot plenty, but only if you feel you have a good shot. Shoot to get hot, shoot to stay hot.

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.

Outside Shooting

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

After the Pass

If you receive a pass after cutting and haven't got a good shot, hold onto the ball.

Teamwork is Key

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

Time Your Cuts

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

Make Him Play You

Make your defenseman play you and you alone every second you are in the game. Keep moving all the time so that he must center his attention on you an not be in position to help out his fellow defensemen.

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.

Don’t Force it

Never try to force in, with the ball or by a pass, if the defense is drawn in. Pull them out first.

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!

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.

Circle Away From Pressure

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

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.

Try Some Dodges

Every man on the attack should try at least two dodges every game. Learn at least three different types of dodges.

Ride Hard

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