The Foundations Of Goalkeeping
Whether you realize it or not, proper footwork is an essential foundation for goalkeepers in order to put them in the best position to succeed. With proper footwork and positioning, goalkeepers can get themselves properly set to make the easier save rather than having to work harder than necessary in games or training. However, there is no such thing as an easy save and keepers must remained focused at all times. But, if you take these CoachUp certified tips with you the next time you're in net, things will only get better.
Simply put, stay on your toes and constantly adjust your feet for proper positioning. Remember, good goalkeepers are always in constant motion. The biggest mistake goalkeepers can make, new and experienced, is when they have their weight back on their heels. This impacts their performance moving to the ball, but also leads to poor diving form and timing on jumps.
Attack The Ball
Waiting on the ball to come to the keeper only allows the attacking players more opportunity to pressure the keeper. By attacking the ball, you get there quicker and it creates the proper angle to parry the ball wide if the keeper is unable to catch the shot. Make sure you are not diving backwards -- this need be a key training focus for all ages.
Always Face The Field
Goalkeepers should never turn their upper body to save balls that are in front of them -- and it's imperative to move your feet and get behind the ball. Use shuffle steps, but make sure you are balanced and on the balls of your feet ready to react at any given moment. Avoid crossing your feet up which will create other problems with balance and positioning.
(Related: Read about diving forward as a goalie here.)
Needless to say, footwork is the key foundation to being a successful goalkeeper at any level. Sometimes the difference between a great save and a costly goal is just half a step, so practice the small stuff! However, if you're struggling to consistently make saves or put yourself in a position to succeed, consider booking one of CoachUp's private trainers to help out. Their extensive keeper knowledge will have you better prepared and instinctually sound in no time -- so what are you waiting for?