GOALING: BEAT THE BLOCKER

Summary
Teach your goalers how and where to enter the goal circle, as well as three simple moves to beat their opponent on the drive and set up an easy shot.

Difficulty
Basic

Players
3+

Equipment
1 ball
2 bibs

Coaching points
– Set up with a centre courter/feeder at the top of the goal circle, and a goaler and a defender just outside the circle, on about a 45-degree angle.
– Practice each of the three moves – front cut, back cut and stop dead/pop – remembering that each of the moves requires a hard preliminary movement in order to open up space. For example, to open up space for a front cut, the goaler must initially drive hard towards the baseline and “sell” the baseline drive to the defender to get them moving backwards and away from the front space, before the goaler pushes off hard towards the ball to lose the defender. If the preliminary movement isn’t at 100%, the defender won’t fully commit to defending it and the goaler won’t create the necessary space for the next drive.
– On the front cut and back cut, look for the goaler to push off on their outside foot just PAST the defender. If they push off before reaching the defender, the defender will have time to adjust their movement and block the finishing drive.
– On the front cut and back cut, remind the feeder to look for body cues in order to release the ball at the right moment. The goaler’s shoulder being level with the middle of the defender’s chest/back after the change of direction is generally a good cue, as the goaler will generally already be moving faster than the defender, and will therefore be open to receive.
– Passing into the backspace requires some practise, as the feeder needs to trust that the goaler has beaten the defender, even though they might not be in the clear yet, and put the ball out in front of them.
– Allow each goaler to practise each of the movements a number of times on both sides of the goal circle until they’ve mastered them.
ADVANCE THE DRILL by allowing the goaler to do any of the three finishing moves, so the defender doesn’t know what’s coming, and the feeder also has to read the movements and develop an understanding with the goaler.
ADVANCE THE DRILL again by adding a drive out of the circle from the goaler, followed by a drive onto the circle from the midcourter, to create a more dynamic, game-like situation.
ADVANCE THE DRILL further by mixing up where the midcourter stands on the circle. Vary their position between the top and 45-degree marks, to create slight variations in the passing and goaling movements.

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