Here in Idaho the weather is certainly winter like now with freezing temperatures and even snow now starting to fall. Practicing outside is becoming a little problematic from a safety point of view and at this time of year only the very dedicated will go out and practice in this weather.

So what do you do?

As we all know renting indoor space is expensive and if it doesn’t have a turf field a robust practice is out of the question on a hard court or wood floor. I encourage my students to continue to work at home even in their bedroom without a ball rehearsing the movements that we are learning either at full speed or slowed down depending upon what it is we are working on.

Here are 3 key movements you can practice without the ball.

  1. Figure 8 foot movement

Using anything you have in your home, 2 towels will do place them approximately 16 inches apart and move as quickly as you can around them in  a clockwise and anti clockwise direction making a figure 8 with your movement.  Similar to the diagram below.

2. The defensive K position

This movement is the movement that you will use to collect the ball effectively from the floor and is adapted to block shots at close range, you will see from the image below of Tim Howard making a save that he has dragged the foot with no weight on it to being the knee of that leg closer to him to prevent the ball being played through his legs and his arms are spread wide. Go 10 times one way and 10 times the other before you change to the next movement.

In order to do this effectively you start in the standard goalkeeper position and drop one knee towards the opposite ankle of the standing leg, in order to be able to close the gap between the legs and prevent the ball from squeezing through. You can practice this movement slowly to start with and then develop to be a “reaction” movement.  You can practice spreading the arms wide to deflect the ball away from the goal or you can bring the arms forward in a simulated collection of the ball that is rolling along the ground towards you. Repeat 10 times moving each knee to the opposite heel / ankle and transitioning from one side to the other as quickly as possible while maintaining the correct movement.

3. Getting of the ground as quickly as possible.

With this exercise we are simulating getting off the ground as quickly as possible and so that we simulate this as close to a game situation that we can you will be on your side having just made a save and have to “spring” up and get in position to make the next one.

So your starting position will look a lot like this

You can start in this position with or without the ball if you are going to use the ball drop it immediately as you start to transition to start standing up. The first movement to help you get off the ground is to kick out with the high leg and “Bounce” the hip and shoulder into the ground to create a separation to the ground. Next plant the top leg that you kicked out with on the ground and with the bottom hand push yourself straight up off the ground. as quickly as you can get into the alert ready position, and scoop the ball back up.  Do this 10 times to each side.

There really is no reason why you are not able to continue to improve your goalkeeper skills and agility while the snow is on the ground and you are house bound, these three simple exercises will improve your core strength and leg strength while helping you to develop quickness as a goalkeeper.

Get the very best goalkeeper training in your area. Seek out a Just 4 Keepers coach where you live and start fast tracking your development.

written by Mark Phillips

State Director

Idaho Just 4 Keepers