If you came looking for a magic answer on how to bury every shot you take, you’re looking for a magic elixir salesman, not Chris Bocklet. What one of the greatest finishers in the game can offer you is a little advice. You can trust a guy who has an NCAA National Championship and two MLL titles to his name. We promise.
Like all righties, left handed goalies are a thorn in his paw too. Too often get comfortable shooting off hip, low and away, or offside high on righty goalies. For lefty goalies that is stick side and their bread and butter. You can’t just do you all of the time. If you’re stuck in a pattern or have a small bag of tricks, you’re going to start spinning your tires as a shooter. Bocklet’s advice is to be aware of which goalies you are shooting on. Every goalie has different tendencies. Learn what his habits are and adapt to find ways to beat him.
But just as you study a goalie and what he is doing, goalies are putting just as much effort, or more, into studying you. Bocklet always thinks of his roommate at Virginia, Rob Fortunato. He would watch endless film on all of the shooters that he was facing. Bocklet calls him an “expert guesser” when playing goalie, based on Fortunato’s understanding of what each shooter was trying to accomplish.
Once he saw enough of a certain player, he would understand their patterns and give himself the upper hand. It’s goalies like Fortunato that remind Bocklet, again, to be aware.
You need to keep awareness of where you’re shooting and try to change it up. That said, if you’re panicking while changing it up to beat a goalie, you’re fighting a battle you can’t win. Once you let a goalie get into your head, that is when you’re going to struggle. Mix it up to stay fresh, not to get locked in a chess match. Bocklet stresses to not overthink it and just go with what you know. Sometimes the thoughts running through his head on the field are almost too simple. Just shoot, shoot to score. Shoot when you see cage. It’s not having about the fastest shot, the craziest fakes, or a secret way to get it past the goalie. The secret is what you put in behind the scenes to prepare yourself for that moment.
One thing Bocklet believes in: See net, let it fly. Get a bucket of ball and get going.