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Goalie Tips from the Best: Billy Daye

Former North Carolina All-ACC Goaltender and USCLA Player of the Year

(from a recent interview by Great Atlantic Lacrosse)

Your feet should be shoulder width apart and your hands should be way from your body to prevent being handcuffed on offside shots. Your hands should be 12-18" apart. Most importantly, you need to find a comfort zone where you are ready to attack the ball and make the save. Practice your outlets just as much as you practice making saves. There is nothing worse than making a great save and then giving the ball back to the other team because of a bad pass.

Talk to your defense and let them know where the ball is on the field. As the quarterback of the defense, you must recognize situations such as fast breaks and direct your defensemen to the correct positions. The tone of your voice says a lot; if you are not a vocal person, you better start being one. Stay positive even after a goal is scored. A goalie who has control of his defense will have the respect of the team.

If you give up a goal do not get down on yourself or your defense. You can't take the goal off the scoreboard but you can recognize what you did wrong, practice that step or specific movement, AND GET THE NEXT ONE. Have confidence in your abilities to stop the ball. If you lose your confidence, your defense will soon follow. Always believe you can save every shot.

Your warm-up should be a warm-up, not target practice for the best shooters on your team. Find someone you trust to give you a proper warm-up. Tell the shooter what you want. I recommend:

* 8-10 shots stickside high
* 8-10 shots off-stick high
* 8-10 shots stickside hip
* 8-10 shots offstick hip
* 8-10 stickside bounce
* 8-10 off-stickside bounce
* 10-15 shots "mix it up"

In Conclusion
Watch and listen to the great goaltenders and notice their different styles. Take what works best for them and adapt it to your specific style of play. Good luck this season!

Nick Patterson, of the Vancouver Ravens, shares his expertise on goaltending.

Hello young lacrosse players. My name is Nick Patterson and I am one of the goaltenders with the Vancouver Ravens Lacrosse Club. For all of the young goaltenders out there I would like to share some very important tips with you.

1.) Always watch the ball all of the way into your body or stick when making a save. This will increase the likelihood of making some of those tough saves and help you keep sight of your rebounds.

2.) You should always try and step sideways into the shot so you make the saves with your body instead of just your arms. In doing this it will allow you to make the save with the biggest part of your body and also it is much easier to keep control of your rebounds when you make the save with your body. Also, there is less chance that the ball will deflect off your arm and into the net if you only get a piece of the shot.

3.) Get out and practice with your stick as much as possible. If you are able to make quick, accurate outlet passes to your players it will speed up the transition to offense and increase the amount of odd-man rushes your team will have. Getting the pass off quickly also gives the opposing team less time to try to get in front of you and block your pass. If you start practicing young, making the long break-away passes will come easy to you and help your team immensely.

4.) Always have fun out on the floor. That is the most important aspect of the sport. You will perform a lot better and enjoy this great sport when you are having fun playing it.

These are 4 aspects of the game that I feel are very important to work on when you are young because they will become very important to your game when you become older and move into more competitive levels.

Thank you and I wish you the best of luck in the upcoming season.