Sept. 4, 2008
Note: This article appeared in the "Lacrosse Classroom" section of the April 2008 issue of Lacrosse Magazine, a US Lacrosse publication available exclusively to its members. Join today to start your monthly subscription.
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by Matt DaSilva, Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff
Jack Crawford has seen his share of great goalies. As a former Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse player, he saw Larry Quinn. As the Loyola-Blakefield (Md.) boys' lacrosse coach, he saw Alex Cade, now of the Los Angeles Riptide.
They were different goalies bred by different generations, but bound by a steady presence between the pipes that, Crawford says, has become rarer in the modernization of the position.
Perhaps the single-defining characteristic of a good-versus-great goalie is in his ability to limit goals scored off put-backs and second chances. Here's a start: mind your footwork.
Crawford demonstrated the "heel-to-toe relationship" at the 2008 US Lacrosse National Convention in Philadelphia.
Some goalies are plagued by the tendency to overcompensate for their first step, especially on low bounce shots, or "grass-cutters," as Crawford calls them. Avoid lunging off balance. When your stick makes contact with the ground, drag your back foot forward, so that the heel of your front foot is parallel to the toe on your back foot.
If a rebound surfaces, it will be easier to recover to your ready position.