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Lacrosse Tip

Presented by Bill Pilat, Camp Director
Bill Pilat’s The Goalie School in Virginia Winter Clinic For Boys

The Goalie School Tip: Do Goalies need to work on their “Weak” Hand when clearing?

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I am often asked if goalies need to be able to throw and catch with their “off” hand. The answer to this question is a little complicated. First, it is rare that a goalie will need to make a pass with their off hand and even more rare that they need to catch a ball using their off hand.

For this reason, my opinion is that goalies do not really need to practice catching the ball with their weak hand. Any time a goalie is out of the net and someone is throwing them a pass, they should use their strong hand to make the catch. If this involves moving your feet in order to get open or create more space, goalies should do this instead of catching a ball with their off hand.

As far as throwing the ball using your weak hand goes…This should be practiced because the time may come (perhaps once or twice every season) where a goalie is running out of the crease with the ball and because of the angle he is running or the defense given by a riding player, the goalie must throw with his off hand.

Goalies should practice running out of the crease to their weak side (for right handed goalies this means running out the left side of the crease and up the field). This way the goalie must throw left handed because to throw right handed means opening up his body and slowing down to make the pass. If a riding player is chasing the goalie on the right side of his body (the main reason the goalie is running to the left side of the field), goalies cannot throw righty or else risk being checked when making the pass.

Run right, throw right handed. Run left, throw left handed - Practice it and have fun!

Bill Pilat's The Goalie School
Coach Pilat has put together the most innovative curriculum for goalies wishing to improve their skills. Individual analysis, extensive videotaping of each goalie and new methods of teaching techniques and footwork are all elements of the Goalie School.

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