By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/26/15
Longtime instructor Greg Cattrano said the message never changes when coaching young goalies: Be aggressive and understand that you cannot stop every shot.
“As a goalie you have to be as aggressive as possible; I call it ‘controlled aggressiveness,'” said Cattrano, the former college All-American and pro MVP who held his Goalie Clinic for boys and girls for the 14th year Sunday at Shipley School.
“That aggressiveness is important for the physical aspect and the mental aspect. You have to be ready to face the shots. You don’t have to worry about getting scored on. You are going to get scored on, you just have to handle it and brush it off.”
With the spring season just weeks away from starting, Cattrano worked with boys and girls from 8 to high school on mechanics of stopping shots, positioning, and the mental aspect in Shipley’s Yarnell gymnasium.
“We don’t get as much shooting as we do outside, so we work on agility and ball talks that work on proper mechanics,” he said. “I like to work on breaking up high shots, mid shots and bounce shots. We had station work and got some coaches ripping on goalies in a controlled fashion.”
Cattrano, who played for the 2004 MLL champion Philadelphia Barrage, was an MLL MVP with the champion Baltimore Bayhawks in 2002 and a three-time MLL Goalie of the Year. He also was the NCAA Goalie of the Year in 1997 at Brown University and was a member of the USA 1999 World Cup team.
Cattrano said that kids that keep confident can overcome the ups and downs of being a goalie.
“Kids in general are tough on each other, but the best goalies I have seen, no matter what you age, are the ones that keep their heads up,” he said. “Teammates recognize what a leader they are and recognize how tough the position is.
“But if the goalie starts struggling and gets his or her head down, the teammates are tougher.”
Cattrano also said that no matter your size, if you have confidence, aggressiveness and quickness, you can succeed.
“You can be big or small or wide, but if you have the quickness and can move you can be successful,” he said. “It’s not like hockey where you can take up a lot of space. To be really successful in lacrosse, a goalie has to have that quickness.”