GOALKEEPERS: DEFENDING THE GOALS

In soccer, the goal keeper is a designated player with the job of directly preventing the opposing team from scoring by defending the goal. If you’re looking to recruit a goal keeper for your team, remember the bigger the better! Bigger goal keepers can cover more ground in front of the net. It is also important that they are quick and nimble.

Traditional keepers stay close to the goal and don’t wander outside of the penalty area with or without the ball and wind up as part of the attack. Making saves isn’t just knocking the ball out of harms way. If a keeper can hold onto the ball the opposition has no way to score.

When the opposition is attacking, the keeper must be prepared to grab the ball out of the air. The keeper should be standing with their hands by their side and palms facing the ball and feet should be no wider than their shoulders.

Some common catchers goalkeepers will use are:

  • The diamond, or W catch: The goalkeeper catches the ball when the shot is wide or over the head of their body. It is vital to get as much of the body behind the ball as possible so that the ball can hit the body and the keeper can fall on it.
  • The chest catch: When the shot is right at the keeper, as the ball arrives the keeper should surround it with their arms, elbows must be close together to trap it against the chest.
  • The scoop catch: For a low shot or one that is rolling on the ground, the keeper should place their hands on the ground with their palms facing up.
  • The full extension dive: This is used when a shot is heading toward one of the corners of the net, the keeper has to extend himself to the fullest making their stride as long as possible with arms extended and away from the face to see the ball as clearly as possible.
  • The cross: Going up for crosses is all about timing and confidence. The purpose here is to stop the opposition from scoring a head shot, usually from a corner kick. To get the best possible jump, the goalkeeper should jump off one leg and lift the knee that is facing the play to add to their leap. The keeper should attempt a diamond catch while moving toward the ball.

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