This week at J4K of NoVA training we focused our training efforts on the obscured view save. Many times, a goalkeeper is required to react to a ball they can’t see clearly because of the number of players in their line of sight. More often than not this is the case…so slight adjustments in body position teamed with anticipation, reaction and quick decision making are needed to be successful with these saves. A goalkeeper can improve their chances of a save by simply by repositioning their eyes, head and shoulders to gain a better view.
As younger keepers are learning how to deal with players in front of the goal in their line of sight, they tend to over-position themselves by moving several steps either to the near or far post to get a better view. In doing so, their angle to the ball is incorrect which leaves more open space to one side or the other of the goal. If you can maintain a good angle but just slightly shift your head and shoulders, and taking no more than a half-step while maintaining a good starting position with weight over your toes you will be in a better spot. When watching matches and training I see younger keepers bend way down and try to look through the legs of those in front which will hurt the starting position and by going down that low they are unable to react to a head-high ball. Just take a peek over the shoulder of the player in front of you and keep good body position. Attempt to save every ball – don’t assume that the shot will be blocked by any player in front of it. Cover the shot and if it gets blocked on the way that’s a bonus for you, but you have to put yourself in the correct position to make the save if and when it gets through.
Remember, even if your view is obscured, you need to believe every shot is your ball. Don’t be surprised by a shot you expected to be blocked. Gain the best view you can with slight adjustments in head, shoulder, and foot positions.