June 27

Beginner Goalie Tips

As a goalie, is my first priority after blocking a shot,
1)try to score or 2)just get the ball up the table out of my zone? If all I do is clear the ball, does this make your partner mad because he has to try to grab the loose ball all of the time? I am not much of a shooter out of the back and get stuffed a lot if I try to shoot, so I just get the ball out of my area any way I can. Am I doing my job as a goalie?


Yes you are doing your job as a goalie. It is NOT your job to score. It’s nice to be able to score, but that will come with experience. It’s more important to not score on yourself. Clearing the ball out of your zone is your number one priority following a block. Actually it’s number two. The first priority is to GET CONTROL OF THE BALL. Learning to pass will also open up lanes for you to shoot out of your area. If you are getting stuffed alot while trying to shoot, that is your clue to try passing.


This is good stuff, Tim. John is right. You must develop control through much practice. You should strive to gain possession of a loose ball as fast as you can. This gives you more time to read the opposing team’s zone defense.

This must be done with control though; not just flying off the handle with huge goalie movements. Learn the areas that each man in the goalie zone can reach and assign a man on each of the rods to grab the ball. Use the corners of a goalie area to trap the ball or, if it’s spinning, you can dissipate the ball’s energy here in a safe area AWAY from the mouth of the goal. This will come in time, with practice. You must not let the ball bounce back out of your zone to the opposing forward for a turnover or another shot/quick pick-up opportunity. Scoring from the back is a bonus for your team. If you get stuffed it is because you are being predictable or else you are very limited in your options.

You must learn to pass to your forward so that you can open up the shooting lanes. Now the opposing forward must cover more area to include defending against both shots and passes. This will open up your clearing /shooting possibilities. I as a forward, I am glad when I get a partner who can clear the ball safely. First and most importantly, it’s MY job to get my 5 bar down as quickly as possible after the ball clears my 5 bar. Then it is MY job to pick up those loose balls and convert them into shot attempts. If your forward shoots well you should feed him the ball as often as you can. The benefit of this tactic will be that your shooting lanes will open up as a result. Then you can choose your options. In fact, you will HAVE options to choose.

Lastly, if you are attempting set shots and passes ( ie…the ball is still and in place), you must work on a good, clean takeoff. Don’t give them any “tells” of when and where you are going to shoot or pass. Don’t give them a freebie stuff attempt. Be prepared as you shoot for a possible stuff and where it might come back at you. You must anticipate where the ball can go if this happens and prepare for further defensive maneuvers.

Hope this helps you out some and good luck.

– Jim (Full-Ninja-Snap) McKenney

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