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Meet Michael Gvozden of Goaliesmith in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Gvozden.

Michael, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I moved to LA in 2010 after finishing up a collegiate Lacrosse career at Johns Hopkins, where I was the starting goalie. There was a lot of talk on the East Coast about the popularity of Lacrosse growing in California. I began coaching at various programs around LA and found my niche in training goalies. My clientele grew from roughly 15 goalies in LA to 40 between LA, Orange County and San Diego.

A few years later, my brother, Andrew, moved to San Francisco for a job and also began training goalies. He had recently finished a very successful collegiate career at Hofstra University. Between the two of us, we were training enough goalies to see the writing on the wall- it was time to brand ourselves. In 2016 we started Goaliesmith; expert advice for Lacrosse Goalies in the form of training camps and private sessions.

Not long after we began, we started hosting training camps back East in Baltimore, Long Island, Syracuse, and Charleston. Currently we train and engage 300+ goalies nationwide.

Has it been a smooth road?
Establishing ourselves in California was a bit challenging to begin with. Lacrosse is typically seen as a Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern game. While we found that the game was growing rapidly here, the level of commitment and intensity was not always there. Convincing young men and women to dedicate themselves to a game that their parents barely knew was challenging. It has been truly amazing to watch California adopt Lacrosse in its schools and youth culture.

Andrew and I work very well together, which has helped us keep the road relatively smooth. From time to time, we have our disagreements as business partners, but in the end, there is enough mutual respect to make decisions as a team and move forward.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Goaliesmith – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Our business is training Lacrosse Goalies. Boys and Girls, youth to collegiate, we are essentially a mobile Gym for Goalies. We host training camps for elite goalies nationwide where we combine rigorous workouts with expert level teaching segments. We specialize in blending high energy training with a mastery of the “mental” challenges that come with playing Goalie. At times it feels very much like we are the Boxing Coach in the corner of the ring for all of these athletes.

We are most proud of the relationships that we build with our goalies, their parents and their coaches. Andrew and I believe in our product through and through- the events that we host guarantee strong results for every Goalie that attends. It feels great to see young, passionate athletes seeing results. But what we truly love is being ambassadors for the position. Nationwide, there is very little Goalie coaching in Lacrosse. We are unbelievably grateful to be able to connect with so many people who want to be great at something that we both enjoyed playing for 20 years.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love LA. I find so much inspiration in the blend of the beach, the city and the canyons. I could wander around LA any day and never get bored.

I’m no different than any other Angeleno- my least favorite part is the difficulty in getting from one part of the city to the other. I live on the West Side, but really enjoy Echo Park, Silverlake, Downtown and Hollywood. It’d be great to be able to get to them easier.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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