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Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

for all the Goalies? Tips from the coaches. Advice from players.

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Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby UKLaxfan Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:05 pm

In 2003 12 Goalies had a save percentage better than 60%

In 2010 just one Goalie was higher than 60% Scott Rodgers (Notre Dame) with 60.5%

QK discusses what he thinks the reasons are
http://video.insidelacrosse.com/video/v ... e--in-2010

Figures: Goalies above 60% Saves
2010 - 1
2009 - 7
2008 - 8
2007 - 7
2006 - 8
2005 - 8
2004 - 9
2003 - 12
2002 - 13
2001 - 16
2000 - 15
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby KagedAnimal Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:50 pm

That might be one of Quint's best bits of analysis. I think he's dead on with the fact that top goalies are undercoached, but I think he insinuated but missed one component of that. Just as elite athletic fitness has not kept up with the field players, elite coaching strategies for the goal keeper position has not kept up with the advanced offensive strategies of the modern game. Most goalies are taught the fundamentals - step to the ball, eyes on, stance, basic angles and positioning.

Every goalie is taught the same way as if they are the same type of athlete. Additionally, every goalie is taught the fundamentals of stopping shots in for an antiquated version of lacrosse. Take ice hockey for example. In ice hockey there are at least 3 distinct styles of play - the butterfly goalie, the stand up (not as common now), and the hybrid. Some styles suit some players better than others. In lax goaltending, we have what maybe 2? The high arc and the low arc. And even those are just angle preferences more so than styles of play. The fundamental way of "playing" goalie in lacrosse is more or less the same regardless of arc choice, and is more or less the same as it was 20 years ago.

There has been some level of change in goalies playing out in the field and being a larger part of the clearing game. Even this I dont think is significantly different from the games of the '80s and '90s. If ever there was a position in a sport that needed radical revolutionizing, its lax goaltending.
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Put your best athlete in goal?

Postby davewilliams Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:04 pm

Imagine how good John Grant Jr or Max Siebald would be if they tried out for the position? I noticed Queener playing short-stick defense in the MLLvTeamUSA game, and although it sounded an odd concept, he didn't look out of position.
On the other hand, Dougherty and Rodgers are examples of the old-fashioned fog-horn leg-horn style of game management rather than athletic ability. Attackers get tinitus within 10 minutes and that can lead to serious disorientation; I recommend ear-plugs and sign language to counter-act the din.
When I started playing the game, Paul Condren was the best passer of the ball in the English game. His arm could have made him a top X man or shooter, but he just didn't need to work on his mobility because from a shot on goal the ball was saved and at half-way with David Flowers before the attacker had finished his follow-through.
Drills and coaching are a good for a young goalkeeper, but in the end, brilliance shines through to make the game more fun. Quint's stats prove that the NCAA tournament can be a dull event when players are frightened to shoot on their own initiative; method lacrosse is not the Creator's Game.
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby plainnash Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:05 am

KagedAnimal wrote:Every goalie is taught the same way as if they are the same type of athlete. Additionally, every goalie is taught the fundamentals of stopping shots in for an antiquated version of lacrosse. Take ice hockey for example. In ice hockey there are at least 3 distinct styles of play - the butterfly goalie, the stand up (not as common now), and the hybrid. Some styles suit some players better than others. In lax goaltending, we have what maybe 2? The high arc and the low arc. And even those are just angle preferences more so than styles of play. The fundamental way of "playing" goalie in lacrosse is more or less the same regardless of arc choice, and is more or less the same as it was 20 years ago.


Sorry to sound really thick and digress here, but what are high and low arc please?
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby Paul_lboro/wildcats Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:19 am

I would be interested to see the difference between last year and this year in the number of years the starting goalies had under their belts. I read a really interesting article a while ago which talked about how a goalies save percentage tends to go down year after year in NCAA play because at the start they are unknown and as the years progress they are scouted more and more and their weaknesses become more readily exploited.
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby UKLaxfan Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:50 am

Stats

http://www.lax.com/stats.phtml?div=1

Pick any team stats going back to 2000

for more detailed info go to individual team websites links are included in above link

Lax . com run a fantasy league which is updated daily
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby plainnash Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:37 pm

UKLaxfan wrote:Stats

http://www.lax.com/stats.phtml?div=1

Pick any team stats going back to 2000

for more detailed info go to individual team websites links are included in above link

Lax . com run a fantasy league which is updated daily


Which I seem to remember you won this year, without any real congratulations. Congrats!
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby Paul_lboro/wildcats Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:13 pm

He did, by a landslide! Will have a better crack next season
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby KagedAnimal Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:13 am

plainnash wrote:
KagedAnimal wrote:Every goalie is taught the same way as if they are the same type of athlete. Additionally, every goalie is taught the fundamentals of stopping shots in for an antiquated version of lacrosse. Take ice hockey for example. In ice hockey there are at least 3 distinct styles of play - the butterfly goalie, the stand up (not as common now), and the hybrid. Some styles suit some players better than others. In lax goaltending, we have what maybe 2? The high arc and the low arc. And even those are just angle preferences more so than styles of play. The fundamental way of "playing" goalie in lacrosse is more or less the same regardless of arc choice, and is more or less the same as it was 20 years ago.


Sorry to sound really thick and digress here, but what are high and low arc please?



This just refers to where the goalie stands in the crease in relation to the goal line in order to take away the angle of a shot. The further out a goalie stands, the "bigger" he is in goal since he's closer to the shooter. The arc is the imaginary semi circle from one post to the other where the goalie stands in relation to the ball position on the field.

A low arc goalie tends to stand deeper in the cage giving himself more room to step to shots and more time to react to shots on goal. This is a benefit to goalies who are larger and fill up more of the goal, to goalies with slightly slower reaction speeds, and goalies with slower lateral movement speeds. Since they dont have as far around to move in the crease, it is easier to play passes across the crease because the step required to get into position is not as long. Its a more "technical" way of playing as it encompasses the more traditional method of using stance, proper step maneuvers, and is generally easier to stay in the proper spot (angle) to the ball. Jesse Schwarzman (former hopkins goalie) was a more traditional low arc goalie.

A high arc goalie uses an over-exaggerated or extreme crease position for cutting down the angle on the shot. Where a low arc goalie might be a step or two off the goal line, the high arc goalie plays further out closer to the crease line. In this way, the keeper takes away more of the net from the shooter forcing the shooter to have to make a more accurate shot or find the back door pass as quickly as possible. The high arc is useful for goal keepers who have quicker hand speed and reaction times (as being in the high arc shaves off precious milliseconds from a shot), goalies who are quick footed and can recover laterally, and smaller goalies who would give up too much net playing deeper in. If a keeper is good at smothering shots and/or deflecting rebounds where he wants them to go, the high arc makes getting possessions of loose balls outside the fairly simple. But the high arc can be quite dangerous if a goalie isnt fast enough to recover from the lost time on shots (.05 seconds is an eternity in goalie time and can very will be the difference between a save and a goal), it gives the goalie less space to step to the ball (thus requiring more athletic and unorthodox save techniques), because it often leaves far post open to back door quick stick catch-and-release shots, and because it is much easier to be in the wrong position give up large chunks of gimme goals to shooters smart enough to know the goalie is off his angle. The Navy goalies are all coached to play an aggressive high arc system - many of them playing right near the goal crease.

Ultimately, there is no big difference between the two systems, and they have more to do with angles than with goaltending technique. The saving technique is the same regardless of the arc. Both goalies will still step to the ball the same way, with the only difference being that the high arc goalie has less room to do so. Alot of the choice to be a high or low arc keeper is preference, ability, and compensation for a individual's weaknesses. Truthfully, there are few low arc keepers and even fewer real high arc ones. Most people play somewhere in between, closer to low than high.
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby plainnash Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:01 pm

Cheers for the in depth reply, a lot of helpful info there!

For goalies, plyometric training has to be better than training for stamina right? It seems to me that simply getting to the ball faster is key.
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby DommoBath Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:21 am

WHY do goalies step towards the ball when making a save?

A football goalkeeper would dive laterally make a save, sometimes reaching behind to stop the ball, as would a cricketer catching the ball. I don't understand the reasoning for stepping OUT towards the ball (I can understand stepping laterally across) - surely it will decrease the time you have to move the stick to the ball as you are decreasing distance as you move...
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby KagedAnimal Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:29 pm

DommoBath wrote:WHY do goalies step towards the ball when making a save?

A football goalkeeper would dive laterally make a save, sometimes reaching behind to stop the ball, as would a cricketer catching the ball. I don't understand the reasoning for stepping OUT towards the ball (I can understand stepping laterally across) - surely it will decrease the time you have to move the stick to the ball as you are decreasing distance as you move...


Yeah this is one of those situations were goalkeeping does not equal goalkeeping. The method for foot ball and lacrosse saves are entirely different even if the mentality is similar. Stepping to the ball as a lax keeper is one of those things that just works for a number of reasons - and if you compare save percentages of goalies who are good at stepping to those who arent, in every case the ones who do are higher. Its one of these old pillars of the position that simply hasnt yet been replaced by anything better. Ice hockey dealt with the same thing. The Stand Up method of big angles and "kicking" pucks worked because no one invented anything better - until one player invented the butterfly method of playing shot percentages and totally changed the position. Lax goaltending will have the same revolution someday.

Anyways, back to your question. The benefits of stepping to the ball are:

~Cuts down the angle of the ball in its path to the goal.

~Prevents the keeper from making flat-footed saves. Saves made from an athletic movement are easer to control.

~Confuses the flight or fight reflex. The mind wants to move the body out of the way of the hard, fast, potentially lethal object. Step training replaces the body's natural tendency to protect itself.

~Backs up the stick with the body. Ensures that if the goalie misses the ball with his stick, he can still make the save. Also helps get the hands to the ball quicker.

~On bounce shots, puts the body in position to smother the rising shot rather than letting it skip over the shoulder.

~Hurts less. A hard shot to the thigh doesnt hurt when stepping to the ball because the muscle is tensed and solid. The ball simply deflects off as if were concrete. If you're not stepping, the full force of the shot is going straight into soft tissue. Thats when you have problems.

I think that more or less covers it.


addendum: Nothing short of shaolin monk kung fu training does anything to lessen the impact of a direct hit to the balls. Just thought that was important.
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby Paul_lboro/wildcats Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:38 pm

The best comparison I have heard is to a batsman in cricket rather than other goalies. Good recruiting policy for Uni goalies.
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby Ash Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:33 pm

i was gonna mention the batsmen thing, but some of the worst new goalies i've seen are former cricket batsmen!! The batting motion just won't go away and cushioning doesn't come naturally!!!
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Re: Decline in Save Percentage in NCAA

Postby UKLaxfan Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:28 pm

Goalie Coaching is in it's infancy

John Marr had a very unorthodox style that some people ridiculed (HaverGoalie?), he was a tremendous shot stopper though and 1-on-1 close in was unbelievable.

There are no mini John Marr's though, ultimately if it works stick with it, if it doesn't try make adjustments to improve you percentage and performance.

Most Goalies are taught to step at 45 degrees so that you are still attacking the ball but making lateral movement as well.

High Arc vs Low Arc

Trevor Tierney (Princeton/USA) preferred to stay on the line giving him that fraction of a second longer to react but obviously didn't decrease the angle and so the shooter could see a lot of net.

If I could go back in time I would love to play Goalie, fascinating position, unique and you can play for longer than an outfield player at the Top Level.

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