Game Ready: How To Stop Low Shots With Liz Hogan

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER


This article appears in the September/October edition of USA Lacrosse Magazine. Join our momentum.

How low can you go?

Just as shooters are trained to fire high-to-low, goalies need to practice the mechanics of making saves at or near the ground.

Liz Hogan, who has trained with the U.S. national team since 2012, shared in a virtual clinic for  USA Lacrosse members her fundamentals for making low saves.

HOGAN KNOWS BEST

1. Get your stick there first. It’s virtually simultaneous, but your body should trail your stick by a split second. “We all love our bruises, but we have a stick for a reason,” Hogan said. “Get it to the ball.”

2. Stay square. Point your toes at the shooter. If you miss the ball with your stick, your body is there as backup.

3. Use both hands. “As goalies, we tend to preach driving your top hand to the ball,” Hogan said. “God gave us two hands. We want to make sure we’re using both getting to any save, especially low saves.”







4. Beat the ball to the bounce. “Especially those of you who play on grass,” Hogan said. “Get to the ball before it bounces, because you have no idea where it’s going after.”

5. Drop your back knee. This goes against convention, but it’s all about getting your whole body as low to the ground as possible to cover the gaps.

6. Keep your eye on the ball. On low saves, goalies tend to drop their head and look to the ground. “Whenever I see just the top of a goalie’s helmet, you can tell they’re not tracking the ball,” Hogan said.

GORILLA HOPS

Before seeing live reps, get a feel for these mechanics by doing gorilla hops — an exercise from a squat position in which you hop laterally with your hands out on the ground in front of you. Incorporate a step and a stick as progressions.

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