When I coach my keepers at Just4Keepers of North Texas, I put a great deal of emphasis on the detail of the technique. Everything from watching the ball into the hands to make the catch, the importance of the first step in diving, communicating early to then only focus on the actual moment, etc, etc. My experience tells me that getting the detail right will increase the success of the keeper. For example, if a keeper catches the ball effectively they will hold onto more balls resulting in fewer goals. If they use proper footwork leading up to a dive, they will extend further and get to more balls than if they don’t use proper footwork. If they dive properly, not only will they get to more balls, allowing better handling decisions to be made, they will also decrease the potential of getting hurt.
However, it’s important to remember that not all saves will be ‘Perfect’, ‘Proper’ or ‘Textbook’.
All My Keepers know the answer to my question “What is your Job as a Keeper?” The answer is always “To Stop the Whole of the Ball Crossing the Whole of the Line!” Pretty simple eh? All saves count, whether an amazing top hand save destined for the top corner, or a ball that is pushed round the post by getting a knee in the way! A SAVE IS A SAVE IS A SAVE!!!
As keepers we’ve all made the ‘Unorthodox’ save, we’ve all made the spectacular save, but the important thing is the ball has not crossed the line!!
Too many times keepers don’t work on technique because they aren’t coached the details of the technique, the session slack tempo or purpose, or they think they know better! By working on, and focusing on details and the step by step approach of making saves, it will increase their chance for success, but they must remember a save is a save is a save. Keep the ball out of the goal and then assess to see if you could have dealt with the shot in a better way.
Whether it’s a save with your Feet, your Face save or your Elbow, do whatever it takes to