If you watch any of the greatest goalkeepers in the world today or from yesteryear they all have one thing in common, tremendous footwork. It doesn’t matter if you watch that save from Gordon Banks when England played Brazil in 1970 (and if you have no idea what I am talking about go to Youtube.com and watch it) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngE9RCAdWaE this was at a time when training methods and philosophy was incredibly different to that which we teach today. Or you look at the modern versions of saves from Hugo Lloris as recently as this weekend in the premier league against Liverpool, or I can recall a save from David De Gea for Manchester United Vs Everton from a few seasons ago that really sticks in my mind. You can take a look at any number of saves and clip son Youtube and they will all start with being in the position to make the save.
But what do we mean by tremendous footwork a?
Well simply put, here at J4K Idaho we say that it is the ability to move quickly towards the ball in a forward, backwards or side to side motion. The great makes the difficult saves look easy and the impossible saves at all because they are in the place to make the save. Their feet have moved them to a position where they can intercept the ball before it crosses the goal line between the white posts.
How do you achieve this if you are a young goalkeeper? In words through constant repetition of movements that allow your feet to remain “in touch” with each other constantly in contact with the ground, with your body weight in a forward leaning incline and with knee flex and center of gravity low.
Without tremendous foot movement it is going to be impossible for any young goalkeeper to reach their full potential and as a consequence this is something that they must practice on their own. When I work with goalkeepers at J4K Idaho I will give them a series of small quick drills that they can do at home inside or out to help them to improve their foot speed, agility, balance and weight distribution so that when we get together we can work on the more complex elements of goalkeeping and giving them the best possible opportunities for success.
Mark Phillips is a J4K Goalkeeping Coach in Boise, Idaho
Want to learn more please reach out to Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org