There are typically seven areas that a goalie should practice making saves at in order to effectively stop a variety of the shots they can face during a game. This is often referred to as the “Shot Menu.”

By deliberately working on making saves to these locations, a goalie will become conditioned to react appropriately and will be more successful. Remember, when coaching beginning goalies, the emphasis should be on seeing the ball and stopping the ball.

1. Stick Side High

The save for this shot is much like playing catch, only the ball is traveling at a higher velocity.

The face of the stick is open to the shot and the goalie should step at a 45-degree angle to he shot to get both the stick and their body in front of the ball.

2. Off-Stick-Side High

Today’s more accurate shooters will shoot for this corner of the goal in hopes that a goalie’s footwork is not technically sound enough to get them into a position to make the save.

To make this save, the goalie must still step with the ball-side foot at a 45-degree angle, as well as bring their hands and head to the stick across their chest and face to the opposite side of the goal.

3. Stick-Side Hip

Shooters will often aim for the hip area of the goalie, in hopes that they can’t properly judge the level at which the shot is coming.

The face of the stick is open to the shot and the goalie should step at a 45-degree angle to the shot to get both the stick and their body in front of the ball. Allow gravity to help the goalie lower the stick into position to make the save.

4. Off-Stick-Side Hip

Shooters will often shoot for the off-stick-side hip area of the goalie, in the hopes that they can’t properly judge the level at which the shot is coming and misplay the method in which they transfer the head of the stick to the hip area.

To make this save, the goalie must still step with the ball-side foot at a 45-degree angle, as well as bring their hands and head of the stick across their chest and face to the opposite side of the goal.

There is debate over whether a goalie should come underneath or over the top to make this save. Have your goalie try both methods and see which works best for them. There is no right or wrong, only what works based on the shot and the goalie.

A good tip for goalies is to go underneath if the shot is below their armpit and come across if the shot is higher than their armpit.

5. Stick Side Low

Low shots are commonly seen, and they are some of the hardest to save.

The save is made by the goalie inverting the stick, so that the head is pointing to the ground, while they maintain the fundamentals of stepping at a 45-degree angle to the ball and getting their body in front of a shot.

6. Off-Stick-Side Low

Often, this is the shot that goalies have the most trouble with, as it requires them to move their stick the greatest distance from the ready position to the save position.

The save is made by the goalie inverting the stick, so that the head is pointing to the ground, while they maintain the fundamentals of steeping at a 45-degree angle to the ball and getting their body in front of the shot. The goalie should bring their stick and hands completely across their body when making this save.

7. Bounce shots

On natural grass fields, the bounce shot can be the hardest to save, as the playing surfaces are often unpredictable and cause the ball to drastically alter its course. Solid fundamentals are essential to stopping a bounce shot.

When stepping to the ball, the goalie should strive to get their navel and nose over top of the ball to prevent it from bouncing back up and past them.The stick should be inverted, between the goalie’s legs, and in contact with the ground at approximately a 15-degree angle forward to direct rebounds to the ground directly in front of the goalie.

Fundamentals of Goalkeeping

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