Learn to Be a Better Goalkeeper With These Tips

Owning the best equipment won’t make you a better goalkeeper. Although Reusch gloves protect your hands, they don’t do anything for your technique. As a goal keeper, you’re the last resort between the ball and the net. Your body, your hands and your mind are the tools you have at your disposal. Are you prepared to face down their lead striker? This guide will give you some ideas on how to improve your game.

Positioning

Positioning is everything. You’ll need to react to an extremely fast-paced game, so you’ll need to learn how to analyze the situation before the ball ever leaves the striker’s foot. Learn to view the field like it’s divided into different spaces. If you perceive the field in this way, it will be easier to spot the cross setups, and keep an eye on what the wings are doing. You’ll also learn where the widest angles are for a shot, in relation to your body and the net.

Once you’re able to identify positioning, and correctly place yourself in the heat of a match, half of the hardest work is already done.

You’ll want to learn basic positioning too, so you can properly react to a shot. In the shot stopper position, your goalkeeper gloves should be in front of your chest as you stand at the ready. You’ll have all the mobility you need to dive, or scoop up a rolling ball. You should practice agility, especially side-to-side footwork.

When there is movement at the wings, gloves should be in front as you turn your side to the goal. Be prepared to punch the cross ball away, or to leap high enough to catch it. Practice strength training in the legs to improve your jumping skills. You may also need to sprint forward depending on where the ball lands.

When the ball is not in range for a shot, the goalkeeper should be prepared for sprints, heading and punching the ball away. At the wider angles, the keeper will need to focus on collapse saves and using the body more.

Final Thoughts

You should run some drills with your team. All you need is simple soccer equipment, like a ball and two cones for the goal. Practice long balls and wide angles especially, and talk with your teammates about effective defensive techniques. Be aware of your surroundings. If someone is blocking you on the field, say so. Awareness is key for any good goalkeeper.
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