As you get older, you’ll find that
teams improve their crosses and that wing attacks become increasingly
dangerous. By age 12 or so dead ball crosses are already a problem. Soon
after, crosses from the run of play start to become very challenging for
Dealing with crosses is among the
hardest aspects of goalkeeping to master. It requires good technique,
excellent communications, and sometimes a hefty dollop of courage.
Always take the
ball at the top. The goalie’s advantage is that he is allowed to use
his hands. On crosses, if you catch at or below head height, you have no
real advantage over the attackers. So come get the ball at the highest
point you can – where only you can reach it.
Decide early to
punch or catch. If you are going to catch, then catch.
It’s dangerous – worse than useless - to try to catch the ball and ending
up just flapping at it with an open glove.
Catch if you can,
You are not under
direct physical pressure from an opponent
The ball is at an
easily managed height
You have room to
You can take it
at the top of your jump
Punch hard and
make good contact. A good punch should take the ball out of the
penalty area. To do that:
ball hard – don’t just deflect the ball with your fist, make sure
you try to thump it!
Use both fists
in a two-handed punch. It’s twice as likely you will make good
contact if you do this – but you must practice using both
fists. It’s a different feeling, and a different action to strike with
two fists rather than one. (as usual, make sure you do in practice what
you plan to do in the game).
Watching pro goalies, you will see that as they take the ball at the top,
one knee is raised as high as it will go. This protects the goalie against
incoming attackers – no-one wants a knee in the guts!
must let your defenders know what you plan to do. You have to
shout for every ball into the box -