How often do you find your goalers following the ball from side to side across the circle, driving for every single pass that’s thrown? Well, they don’t have to! In this session, we’ll show you some simple ways to coach your goalers to set up for the NEXT pass, in order to open up a great angle for a hold to the post, or unlock a heap of space on the open side of the goal circle.
– Initially, start slowly with very passive defence to allow the goaler to become accustomed to finding the defender’s body as the ball moves around the circle.
– Start with only the basic movement – the ball begins in the pocket, the goaler positions on the non-ball side of the defender, and then maintains that position as the ball is swung to the top of the circle. Once the ball reaches the top, the goaler can open up to receive a pass in front, or in the space Repeat until the goaler becomes comfortable and confident with the setup, then switch to a swing from the top to the pocket.
– It’s important that the goaler maintains their hold for as long as possible as the ball is swung, and doesn’t move off too early. Moving too early may give the defender a line to the ball, or the goaler may give up valuable space
– For goalers who are ready to progress, add some movement in. The goaler must now receive a number of passes in the circle before receiving a final finishing ball close to the post. Here’s where it’s important to practice the goaler not needing to drive to get in front for every pass. If they pass it to one of the midcourters and can’t beat the defender to receive a pass in front, they must find the defender’s body, set up a hold, and call for the ball to be swung to the other midcourter. Then they can open up to receive the final pass in the open space.
– To advance the drill/skill further, create a more game-like scenario by asking the two midcourters to start on the transverse line and drive to the pockets. A stationary passer in the middle of the transverse line must select one of the midcourters to pass to. Rather than trying to receive the next pass from the midcourter who receives the first ball, the goaler should try to make the best position possible for the NEXT pass – a swing to the top of the circle. The second midcourter must hit the pocket, and then push off to get to the top as soon as their teammate receives the ball in the other pocket. This drill also gets your midcourters into the habit of always working hard to get to the top of the circle, as it’s the best position to feed the ball to a goaler. We should always be aiming to have one midcourt at the top, and one in a pocket, as it helps to create great angles to open up your goalers.
– Advance the drill again by adding one or two defenders to cover the two midcourt players.
– Now practice it in a game/matchplay!