How To Build An Effective Wall
August 15, 2010
Whether the ball is 18 yards out or 30 yards out, a goalkeeper has to feel comfortable on an opposing free kick. Building a wall is a great way to make sure the goal is secure and you feel comfortable enough to make a save on any ball that gets through. Let’s go step by step on how to make a really great wall!
1. Figure out how many people you need in a wall. Free Kicks that are close in (18-23 yards) have more people in the wall than free kicks that are further out (24-30 yards out). Generally, you never want to go more than five people in a wall.
2. Run to the near post and start communicating with the wall! This may be the most important step. You don’t have very much time to get your wall set up, so you want to move as quickly as possible. Don’t be afraid to scream to your wall how many people and where to start. For example, if it’s a four-man wall, run to your near post and scream, “Four in a wall! Four in a wall!” until the wall is built. Next scream which direction you want them to move. Usually they are facing away from you, in which case you just scream “Right!” or “Left!” However, in the case where one or all of your wall members turn toward you, make sure you’re telling them to go to their right or left, as to not confuse the wall.
3. Get into a proper position on the far post. The goal of the wall is to block the near post, so the shooter has to literally bend the ball around the wall in order to get it into the near side. So your duty is to take care of any shots that come through to the far side. You want to position yourself in a way that if you dive one way, you block anything that can squeeze through the post; and if you dive the other way, you can block anything that can squeeze in through the wall.
4. Be prepared for anything. Sometimes a wall member moves to early, or the ball goes up and over the wall. Don’t always assume that the ball won’t get through the wall. If something happens to where the wall doesn’t work, be on your toes to make quick moves.
5. Make sure to tell your team what to do after the ball is played. Let them know that “You’ve got it!” or “It was blocked, move up, move up!” You’re the leader on the team, and you can see everything. So it’s your job to give your team direction after a free kick. Walls can be extremely useful. Building one is the hardest part, and it takes practice! So maybe at your next practice, you can work on building a couple to get you ready for game time!