Pilat’s Goalie School welcomes lax prospects to Roanoke College

The camp trains the next wave of netminders in 15 states from coast-to-coast, with 60 boys and 30 girls in this week’s Salem camp.
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 5:58 PM EDT
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - In 32 years since taking the head job with the Roanoke College men’s lacrosse team, Bill Pilat has seen the sport explode in the region.

“Kids are picking it up like crazy here in the Roanoke Valley, and the Goalie School has grown the same way,” he said. “There’s more specialization. Being a goalie is a very unique thing, like a pitcher or catcher, so we’re happy to work with the guys and give them the extra coaching that they might not get back home.”

Besides coaching the Maroons, Pilat’s Goalie School trains the next wave of netminders in 15 states from coast-to-coast, with 60 boys and 30 girls in Salem for this week’s camp.

“To be a goalie in lacrosse and any sport, it takes a certain mindset and you gotta’ look at things a little differently,” said Pilat. “Other people get out of the way of the ball. We, as goalies, need to get in the way of the ball. So we kind of work on that, and we do some drills with tennis balls since the lacrosse ball’s really heavy. We do drills to get them used to getting hit with the ball, but no matter what, it still hurts if you get hit, so it makes you want to catch it more than get hit.”

Goalies from the ages of 10 to 18 have been coming to Pilat’s camps for more than 25 years, with alumni at some of the top college programs from Division III all the way to Division I.

“It makes you better as a player because you’re up against so many other goalies in your age group who are better than you and who have played different club teams against better players than you,” said Teddy Siddons, a rising 9th grader at the camp from Montclair, New Jersey.

“One thing that I’ve learned about the Goalie School over all the years that it definitely gives the goalies is confidence because we give them drills that will make them better,” said Pilat. “And we also give them techniques that can make them quicker or make better saves. I know that they leave here with more confidence and more knowledge, and those two things just make you have so much more fun in your sport.”

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