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Dougherty’s Winter Goalie School gives young goalies head start on 2012 season

Friday, 17th February 2012

Categories Boy's/Men's, Clinics, Events, High School, Youth  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 2/17/12

Brian Dougherty believes it’s wise to get a head start on the season – especially if you are a goalie.

The former college, pro and international champion is the director of the Winter Goalie School, run by World Champion Lacrosse. The camp runs on Sunday mornings at Suburban Sports Complex in Conshohocken and enters its fifth and final session on Sunday. This year’s camp features 36 boys, ranging from middle school to high school senior.

Brian Dougherty instructs goalies with the aid of a computerized video during his Winter Goalie School

Some of the grads from Dougherty’s camp (in its eighth year) include three preseason Division I college All-Americans – Penn State sophomore Austin Kaut (Springfield-Delco), Maryland sophomore Niko Amato (La Salle) and Drexel senior Mark Manos (Salesianum School). Amato and Kaut were Phillylacrosse.Com Players of the year picks. Another grad is Drew Adams (Springfield-Delco), an All-American at Penn State who now stars for the Long Island Lizards of Major league Lacrosse.

Joining Dougherty (Chestnut Hill College head coach) as camp instructors are two former pro goalies who played with him on the Philadelphia Barrage, Kevin Keenan (Springfield-Delco alum) and St. Joseph’s Prep coach Eric Gregg, as well as Chestnut Hill goalies Dakota Maurer and Jesse McGinley (Abington).

“It’s designed so the kids, who graduate on March 1, can be ready for the season on the first day of practice. This is instead of needing a month to get ready,” said Dougherty, an Episcopal Academy grad who was a three-time Major League Lacrosse Goaltender of the Year for the Long Island Lizards and Philadelphia Barrage and two-time college Goaltender of the Year at Maryland. “We go three hours for five weeks and after 15 hours they are way ahead of the game.”

The camp has three major components: lots of shots, many specialized drills and a unique visual display area where players get to watch each other on tape and receive constructive criticism. Dougherty also gets in the goal and spends segments on skills such as bounce shots or high shots and many other key points to being a better goalie.

Dougherty, who also won two gold medals in the World Championships and last year was inducted into the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame, said the visual display helps him break down techniques and areas of need so his campers can then apply the information to the next session.

“We break it down, sometimes in super slow motion,” he said. “We work on foot skills, stepping to the ball and so many other things,” he said. “If they are dropping their hands or false stepping when they are facing a shot, we can see that. This may be the first chance for kids to see themselves in slow motion.

“There are not a whole lot of basic fundamentals to playing goalie and either you are doing them right or wrong. But when the kids get to see each other on tape it makes a lot more sense when they see someone else doing it and not just them.”

Dougherty also said he also used tapes of his old games with the Barrage to use footage of himself or Keenan in a pro game as demonstration.

“We could tell the guys what we were doing, why we were sliding or why not, how we were talking to the guys…” Dougherty said. “You’d be shocked how uneducated the high school goalie can be. They can hear me talking so loud; that’s probably the best thing I do. I am screaming that, ‘OK, it’s 6-on-6 and this guy’s got no left hand.’ Now they know why no one is sliding; because I want him to shoot.”


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