Course & Training Recommendations


Every time you train with Virtual Goalie, start with a Warmup course. The data from this course is not stored. It is intended as a warmup only. 


The first time you use the system, you must do an Assessment course. This course has two drills, each 100 shots. The first drill has shots going everywhere, with no bounce. The second has shots going everywhere, bouncing. For both, the speed increases incrementally from your baseline minus 5 MPH to your baseline plus 35 MPH. For example, if your baseline is 65 MPH, the speeds will range from 60 to 100 MPH. (You entered your baseline in the Settings in the app.) 

The point of this assessment is for you to collect a lot of data about your abilities. It gives you a starting point to compare your progress over time, and provides data that gives you insight into your ability to make saves at different speeds.

Speed Training

We highly suggest you do the Speed Training course three times per week. It is designed to increase your ability to make saves at high speeds. It will take you out of your comfort zone. That’s OK! The course consists of five drills, each of which increases the shot speed incrementally from your baseline minus 5 MPH to your baseline plus 20 MPH.

Tailor Your Training

Beyond these suggestions, tailor your training routine to your needs. If you have trouble with bounce shots, do Bouncer Training. If up close shots freak you out, do the Up Close drill. You can also create your own drills and courses in the app to further customize your training experience.

Have fun!

What is a Field General?

Field generals are the rarest of lacrosse goalies or defenders. In 17 years, I’ve only coached one goalie and one defender who qualified as field generals. Interestingly, they were brothers. In the past four years, I recall playing against only one obvious field general goalie.

Here’s a simple example: Suppose the goalie sees that a player is about to dodge. It’s usually obvious. If in a crease slide defense, he yells to the crease defender, “Joey, you’re hot. Joey, get ready.” Then, turns to the back of the defense and yells, “Sam, you got the back. Sam!”

In this example, what did the field general do? He directed his troops. He moved them, mentally and physically, into position to protect the goal.

A field general understands the entire defense, and better yet, understands why the defensive coordinator uses each defense.

If the field general understands why we make defensive calls, they can make those calls. That is a tremendous advantage to the team because the defense cannot always hear the coaches.

For example, let’s say your opponent is in a 2-3-1 (from top) and you are in a crease slide defense. Now they rotate into a circle. You no longer have a hot slider. The field general changes the defense immediately to an adjacent slide package.

Be a field general and you’ll be invaluable to your team.

Bad habits goalies should not develop

Lacrosse goal-tending is a tough job. You go on runs where you save a lot of goals, then one where you’re giving up goals.

It’s the nature of the position.

When you go on a bad run of goals, believe in your training. Your form is what defines what you do as a goalie. If you lose confidence in your training and your form, all is lost.

When losing confidence, you have an important choice to make. The best players train harder and reinforce their training. Dejected players train less, guess on shots, and blame the defense.

When your confidence slips, train hard and reinforce these top four skills:

  • Attack the ball – If you’re stepping backwards on a shot, you shouldn’t be a goalie.
  • Punch your bottom hand – Don’t give up disastrous rebounds.
  • Position – Check your arcs!!! You may be confident in your arc, but you might be a foot off.
  • Get low on low shots – Whether it’s a bouncer or not, who cares?! Get low on that shot. Do not drop to your knees. Get your butt on your heels.

Make the right choice and perfect these skills and you’ll be back on top of your game.

Why be a goalie

Lacrosse goalies are a valuable commodity. It’s that simple. There is only one goalie starter, and they are rarely substituted.

Coaches can find fast players. They can find shifty players. Or find pure shooters. They can find people who are always open. Athletes are everywhere.

You know what’s harder to find? A person who can make saves they “shouldn’t make.” A person who doesn’t care if they get hit by a hard shot. A person who can “see” the ball. A person who directs their defense!

That lacrosse goalie keeps teams in games. That goalie makes a good defense great. That goalie creates a contender.

That goalie is a most valuable player, because they’re hard to find and replace.

Be that goalie, because someone will want you to be their goalie.

Goalie Basics

I’ve seen many lacrosse goalies over my years of coaching. Regardless of whether I’m coaching offense or defense, I know what kind of goalie I admire. Here are the basics:

  • Position – Learn your arcs! Know where you are in the arc without looking at the goal.
  • Fearlessness – Don’t be afraid of the ball. Step forward at shots. Attack that ball. Some shots hurt, but learn to ignore it.
  • See the ball – React. Do not guess. The physics of goal-keeping says you have no time to think and react. At 15 yards and 70 miles per hour, you have 0.44 seconds. Training is the key.
  • Bouncers – Many goalies try to read the shot after the bounce. That is wrong. You are stealing 50% or more of your reaction time. Attack the shot and get low. It is easier to come up from getting low than to get low late.
  • Punch your bottom hand – For both high and low shots, punching your bottom hand prevents rebounds.
  • Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. Did I mention you need to talk? Tell the defense where the ball is.