Goalkeeping Tips, Tidbits and Random Thoughts
An athlete talking to themsleves during competition is hardly a new phenomenon.... The talk does not have to be vocal. By merely thinking you are talking to yourself and sending a message.
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The most well-known etiquette rule is to knock the ball into touch to allow an injured player to receive attention. In return, the team receiving the throw will return it to the team that knocked it out, allowing play to resume fairly without requiring intervention from the referee.
Another not-so-well-known rule of etiquette is for a charging striker to leap over a sliding goalkeeper who has clearly won the race to a through ball. This is not necessarily a natural instinct; the first reaction of a player is to continue to go for the ball whether or not the keeper will get there first, and perhaps dislodge the ball. However, this can be dangerous for both keeper and striker -- not to mention the fact that kicking the ball (or, of course, the keeper) after the keeper has gained possession is a foul.
Unfortunately, many young strikers are not taught this, creating very dangerous situations for the goalkeepers they face. As much as we train keepers to protect themselves, there is only so much they can do. If we train the field players as well, we can prevent injuries out on the field. Train the goalkeeper to slide low and stay low and strikers to hurdle the keeper if they are going to win the ball, and it will result in a safer situation for everyone on the field.
When it comes to positioning, everyone thinks about the obvious -- knowing the position of the ball. But what needs to come before that, that may not be quite so obvious, is that the goalkeeper must always know the position of the goal. May young and inexperienced keepers get caught ball watching, with the result that when they have to come out to challenge a breakaway or cut down the angle, they start from a poor position. That initial poor position just gets magnified as they get farther from goal.
A good goalkeeper takes a second to locate the goal whenever they have the opportunity -- near post first, since it's closer, then far post if there is enough time. Good times to check the posts are:
Not only are these good times for the keeper to position themselves, but these same opportunities can be used to scan the field and see how the defense is organized and make adjustments, spot dangerous attackers and anticipate how play might develop.
Stand behind the goal during a game-like situation and watch your goalkeeper's eyes for a few minutes. Are they scanning the field, checking the goalposts, and taking everything in? Or are their eyes glued to the ball the whole time? Ball watching is a cardinal sin for any defender, but getting caught out of position because of ball watching is often a fatal mistake for a keeper.
For some more ideas and activities related to this, see this post on SoccerCoachingForum.com.
Labels: Footwork and positioning
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