Keeper drills: hands and solo work

Discussion in 'Coach' started by saabrian, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. saabrian

    saabrian Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Club:
    Leicester City FC
    Country:
    United States
    I'm working with one of my program's keepers (15 yo). I have some drills on various aspects of goalkeeping but one thing we both want him to particularly work on is his hands. He's good at blocking shots but he often takes two touches to catch balls that other keepers would catch cleanly. Basically, he uses his palms to block the ball and take the force out of the shot and then either catches the ball in the air or after it bounces. Most of the time this ends ok, but obviously if he's in a crowd or if there's a striker or wet ground, it can be problematic. This is a habit he recognizes and that we both want him to break. Do you guys have any suggestions for drills we could do that would specifically on softening his hands?

    Also, he's going on vacation next week so I won't be working with him for a while and he wants drills that he can do by himself. Any ideas for stuff he could do (doesn't have to be related to the above) by himself, aside from sitting in front of a wall and tossing/catching?


  2. Richie

    Richie Red Card

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, United
  3. Richie

    Richie Red Card

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, United
    Contour catch

    "The contour of the ball is round. It is very difficult to catch a round object with two flat surfaces. Therefore, when fielding a shot the goalkeeper must prepare his or her hands in a shape modeling the CONTOUR of the ball thus we will call this the "Contour Catch". The hands must provide a pocket for the ball to fit into comfortably. Many keepers do not understand why they drop so many balls. There is a myth that just by putting two hands up, the ball will stay where it belongs. Not so. There are micro technical considerations that must be addressed. Hard hands/soft handsLets focus on the fingers or more specifically the thumbs. These two digits are the key to solid catching. Poor placement will result in allowing the ball go through the hands and off of the face (or worse, the GOAL!) Ideally, they should be about an inch to an inch and a half apart. Next, the fingers should be spread wide and flexed. The initial contact should be with the tips of the fingers and not the palms. The quieter sounding catches usually indicate good finger tip contact. It is a great complement for a keeper to be told he/she have "soft" hands. Conversely, when a keeper attempts to catch the shot and the resulting sound is as if someone had been slapped, that would be considered "hard hands" and needs immediate attention! In this instance, the hands may be too close together and the fingers are not prepared in the shape of the ball. The ArmsThe arms should be extendend outwards, roughly but not quite parallel to each other, in order to meet the ball. If the arms are extended straight out, a keeper ends up resembling Frankenstien and will catch very little because it is hard to get the palms facing the ball. If the arms are bent close to the body, the elbows are pulled apart which in turn turns the thumbs down making it also difficult to catch consistently.I make it a habit that at least 3 times per week, my keepers train with the weighted Kwik Goal Medicine ball. It has a wonderful influence on their consistency. If a particular keeper has poor hand technique, a med ball bouncing off their face a few times during the session will surely encourage better concentration and attention to detail. Note: I will only use the med ball with those keepers who are 14-15 years and above"


    There is an old basketball drill that a player can do themselves.

    Get a ball and keep passing the ball behind your back and across your body over and over.

    Then do the same thing between your legs in a figure eight.
  4. GKbenji

    GKbenji Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Collins CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Country:
    United States
    Check out the practice training sessions on my web site, JB Goalkeeping. There is an entire session just on cushioning the ball.

    Richie's comment about curving the hands is a good one. The hands should go around the ball, fingers slightly over the top of the ball, and the fingers should be used to contact and cushion the ball as well, not just the palms.


  5. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Location:
    Connecticut
    although boring and repetitive, this drill doesnt require a wall or much space..

    simply, stand (feet planted shoulder width) and throw the ball off the ground catching it with proper form. throw the ball hard so it bounces up to about chest level where you catch it. do this from all angles as you rotate at the waist.. (feet remain planted..)

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