Shot stopping  






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 right things.

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.


Moving the 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 body.

The point here is to make this a habit. Move into line every time, even on soft simple shots that you can easily save.


Kneeling  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 can move.

Instead, you need to kneel down to cradle the ball into your arms, and you need to do it correctly.

  • first, kneel down
  • 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.


Two hands, not one

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.


 Diving correctly

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 right place

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.


Bringing the 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.