DIY Coaching Tool: Goal Blocker

This post was written by Coach Tom on October 27, 2015
Posted Under: Coaching Equipment,Equipment,Kids Lacrosse,Miscellaneous

Goal blockers–also known as shot trainers, goal targets, goal trainers, shot rejectors, shot blockers, target rejectors, or Hector the Rejector’s–are pieces of cloth or vinyl that attach to a goal and block the majority of the goal opening. Teams often use them for shooting practice–particularly to encourage shooting along the goal pipe perimeter (the “pipes”) and the goal corners.

In kids’ lacrosse, goal blockers are often used as a substitute for goalies. My league supplies me with one blocker to use in games or practices. But I often want to set up two goals for a scrimmage during a practice.

For this purpose, I could buy a goal blocker. But prices range from $50 to $150. I’m of a vintage where $50 and up is still real money. That amount could keep anyone in lattes for at least two weeks. Also, young kids don’t need sophisticated blockers to train their shooting. You just need something to keep every shot on goal from going in.

I’ve constructed various makeshift goal blockers over the years, even tying up an old crib sheet until it was more holes than fabric. But I’ve settled on a simple quick and easy DIY alternative: an inexpensive 4′ x 6′ vinyl tarp.

My tarp has six grommets, four at the corners and one in the middle of each longer side. To turn the tarp into a goal blocker, I fold the long dimension back to roughly 4 feet so that the bottom and middle grommets are lined up, and I tie the lined-up grommets together with string. The new rectangle will fit inside a goal with about a foot to spare along all sides of the tarp. I cut four strings of a yard each and run them through the (now) four grommet holes to tie the tarp to the goal. Only the bottom remains untied. I put the tarp on the cage so that the front is smooth and the folded part is in back, so that it isn’t catching blocked balls.

The only thing special about my tarp is that I bought it at a dollar store for $1. For the record, it describes itself as a poly 4′ x 6′ tarp (finished size 3 ft. 8 in. x 5 ft. 8 in.), 5 mils thick, all purpose, corners reinforced with grommets, hem reinforced with plastic rope, tear resistant, weather flexibility, washable and reusable. It was made in Indonesia for a no name brand.

So if you need a goal blocker or want a second one for a full-field scrimmage, you can buy a tarp–and still keep your coffee habit fully funded.

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