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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

Never Pass to a Covered Player

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

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.

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.

Back Up shots

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

Keep Proper Spacing

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

Time Your Cuts

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

Take Quality Shots

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

Hard Work

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

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!

Fake Passes

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

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.

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.

Make Passes Hard

Make feed passes hard.