How to get ‘BIG’ and cover more of your goal!
September 3, 2009
Sometimes it’s hard to venture out from what you know best. It’s may seem like it’s always best to play safe and sound. But do you ever think how much more exciting it can be to take on a challenge when it is staring right back at you?Goalkeeping can sometimes be a frustrating venture. When do you come off your line and when do you play it safe? I’ve been observing and rectifying this with my young academy goalkeepers of late, and here are some handy tips to make sure you think big and cover more of your goal.
1. Don’t be a line hog. I’m seeing this over and over with many of the young goalkeepers I train of late…hesitation. Thinking with the mind frame of the attacking goalkeeper, we should be leveraging momentum at all times. What I mean here is that if the player has moved into a shooting position in our 18 yards we attack the ball at all costs.
Moving off your line entails that you have effectively cut off, or at best, limited the attackers vision of the goal area. Therefore, movement off your line helps you cover more of your goal area and allows you to cut the choices an attacking player has of attacking your goal.
2. Timing is everything. Come off your line too quickly and you risk being stranded in your 18 yard box. Move too slowly off your line and you provide the atttacking player with a smorgasbord of attacking options on your goal area…you have effectvely left your goal area wide open.
The key to effective timing when attacking the ball in your 18 yard area is in matching the pace of the ball and the attacking player. So, if the player has broken through your line of defense quickly, then you reach the attacking player at his/her pace.
On the other hand, If the attacker has broken through at a slower pace we make a gradual movement off the line toward the player to make ourselves bigger in goal and cut the angle.
Usually, under these circumstances, the gradual movement allows us to slowly close the gap with shooting options the player has on our goal, and allows the goalkeeper to attack the ball at the players feet (especially if the player also has your defensive players on his/her back).
3. The 1 second rule. In many cases an attacking player will have a short window of time whilst taking a shot on goal that can be vitally advantageous for a goalkeeper in a one on one situation. Whenever an attacking player takes a shot on goal, you will notice that their leg (and hip) is in flexion, before hyper extension, whilst their head is lowered to take aim on the ball before the shot is conducted.
Taking rule 2 into perspective, the above analysis would prove advantageous for the attacking goalkeeper whom has timed their momentum correctly to attack the ball at the players feet. Hard to pull off, but extremely effective in curbing attack. I say it is hard because it requires:
- Full alert attention
- Pefect timing
- Utmost agility and strength to reach the ball in a timely fashion.
An excelllent drill to help provide the groundwork for effective goal coverage (making yourself big in goals) would entail something like the following drillI conduct.
The above drills are examples of the forthcoming goalkeeper training guide from Keeper Skool, to be released by the end of 2009. For exclusive interviews, goalkeeper fitness articles with leading experts, videos and written training drill programs sign up to Keeper Skool Certified by clicking here.