Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Setting up a Wall

A wall is one of the best defenses for opposing set pieces near the box. Walls can help out a goalkeeper more than anything else. They allow part of the goal to be blocked so that the shooter has a smaller area to shoot for, which the keeper should cover himself. But all this is useless if a keeper cannot set up wall correctly. It is not the players' responsibility to set up a wall. The keeper needs to determine how many people are in the wall and where the wall should be placed.
  • Walls should cover up half of the goal
  • The keeper should position the players so the last player in the wall covers up the shooter from the keepers angle
  • Walls should have the bare minimal of players it takes to cover half of the goal
  • The keeper needs to make sure one player faces him (back to the ball) so that the keeper can direct the wall with his hands
  • The keeper needs to take the half not covered by the wall and be ready

Keepers need to be able to set up their wall quickly and effectively. That means the must play well enough so that their teammates trust them and listen to them. Just because the wall covers on half of the wall does not mean the ball cannot go to that half. Keepers must be ready to tend the entire goal, but focus should be on the half the wall does not cover as the chances the shot will go to that side are high because the shooter can aim for that side.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stopping Low Balls

One of the things that I hate most when it happens to teams is when a goal is scored because a keeper fails to get down on the ground and cover the ball.

When low balls come in you must make sure you get down on one knee (if you do not have to dive). You must be as wide as you can in case of an odd bounce without allowing a space big enough for a ball to slip through your legs. Keep your hands so that the ball will hit the hands without a chance of rolling under and bouncing over by keep palms out, fingers spread, and keeping them so the fingertips are 2-4 inches off of the ground.

Your body is your friends. Get your body behind the ball. Don't rely on your hands, they can be weak and flail. Always try to get your body behind your hands so if it gets past your hands you have a second defense with your body there to stop it.

Remember to always make sure you do not leave a space big enough for a ball to pass through. Keep your body behind your hands and the ball. If you can, fall over the ball and cup it in your hands, under your body, between your body and the ground. This keeps the ball from rolling through you or deflecting back and giving the other team a shot with you out of position.

Remember these and you are a step away from your next great ground save and your next great game.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Coming out of the Goal

One thing that I have to talk about here is coming out of the goal for keepers. I see so many goals that should have been stopped had the keeper came out. I want to tell here and give you some tips on coming out of the goal.
  • Watch the players dribble, see how far out he kicks it on each dribble
  • Time you're run out so that you have the most time to get there before the player with control can touch it
  • Don't just sprint out there and dive on the ground at it
  • When you get close to the ball break down with short quick steps
  • Have hands down and half-a-ball's length away from sides
  • Slide so that you're going feet first and make sure your hands are inside and your feet are going to the outside of the goal (as if there were a line coming across the field from goalpost to opposite side)
  • Have palms facing player in case the player tries to chip you or shoot
  • Don't hesitate

One thing I see in a lot of keepers is that they don't look confident coming out. They hesitate. If you are going to come out you have to make a decision as quick as possible and don't hesitate. I see too many keepers start to come out and then step back putting them out of position to stop a shot. I also see too many keepers wait to long as if they want to come out but step back and finally do come out. It'll be too late. You have to decided and don't hesitate. Stay confident. If you are not confident the slide you will most likely hesitate for a second or less and with keeping being a split second reaction game, waiting that split second could cost your team a goal.

Remember to study the player on his approach. You do not want to wait to long to come out so if you have the time to study the players before he gets to the 18 then you are in good shape. DO NOT HESITATE. The only points I really want to stress are confidence, which will build with each perfect slide, and hesitation. You cannot build confidence if you hesitate and let them score a goal. You will probably lose confidence. So one last time: DO NOT HESITATE. Now go out there and make the save of the day.

Welcome to KeeperSave

This is my blog that I will have for all the soccer goalkeeper's out there. I will have weekly drills and tips and I will also post almost daily about top keepers, keeper camps, and anything keeper. I will be sharing stories about my keeping as well. This is the place for all goalkeepers to be. I will have long posts later.