This section is not about
blindingly fast reflexes or cat-like leaps across the goal mouth. Itís about
getting the technique right so that when you do get to a shot you do the
Whatís the goalieís worst
nightmare? Sure itís that ball trickling slowly through the legs. Or maybe
itís the easy shot that slips right through the hands into the net. Or
spilling an easy ground ball so that a forward can tuck it away before
anyone can react. These are all nightmares Ė and they can all be eliminated
or at least much reduced with the right technique.
body in line with the shot
Body positioning starts with a
simple fundamental point: always move your body into line with the ball,
rather than just reaching out to grab the ball with your hands. React
quickly to the line of flight of the ball, and use your feet to move the
The point here is to make
this a habit. Move into line every time, even on soft simple shots that
you can easily save.
correctly for ground balls
Simply bending from the waist to
pick up a low shot is poor technique. An unusual bounce or slight
misjudgment and the ball can be behind you in the back of the net before you
Instead, you need to kneel down to
cradle the ball into your arms, and you need to do it correctly.
second, make sure that the leading
leg is bent outwards at the knee. Donít have one arm on either side of the
leading leg Ė you need to have both arms working together and the leg out
of the way
third, watch the ball all the way
into your arms
finally, put your hands under the
ball and wrap it up like a present into your chest.
Even if you have hands the size of
dinner plates, itís basic common sense that you should always use two hands
to grab the ball when you come. One hand = 2x the chance of a mistake.
Itís important to learn to dive
correctly. If you dive like a pancake, with your body parallel to the ground
and grabbing the ball with both hands, itís easy to make a misjudgment and
let the ball slide under your body into the goal.
Once again, work to get your body
behind the ball. In this case, itís only your hands as you
extend out into your dive, but the leading hand must be behind the ball, not
on top of it.
Start facing the shot. You
recognize that you must dive to reach it. Dive so that you are not flat with
both side of the body equally high off the ground. Instead, dive so that
your leading arm (the arm nearest the ball), is parallel to the ground and
aimed to that you land on the leading shoulder and hip.
The leading hand should be between
the ball and the goal. The trailing (other) hand then comes over onto the
top of the ball, immobilizing it.
Hands in the
Even the hands need to be
positioned to get the most body behind the ball.
When taking a ball below the waist,
with the fingers pointed downwards, the hands should be in a W shape, with
the thumbs touching and the fingers spread out.
When taking a ball above the waist,
with the fingers pointed upwards, the hands should be in the reverse
position, making an M shape with the thumbs touching and the fingers again
stretched out wide.
This W-M shape provides the maximum
contact with the ball, and the maximum amount of hand behind the ball.
ball into the body
However you save the ball, the next
immediate move must be to bring the ball into your body. Wrap your arms
around the ball and bring it in ass soon as possible.