Yes – This is a dramatic headline, but with four goalkeepers from this goalkeeping community getting injured this past weekend, I feel compelled to provide information that will help reduce risks.
No way am I endorsing your players / children or yourself to go out and deliberately hurt the opposition – The phrase is about your mental attitude to getting the ball as I have found from experience that players without the correct technique, attitude or confidence to get to the ball first, it results in injuries to the goalkeeper.
I am passionate about this as the first GK I trained to play pro. He played 13 minutes for Arsenal’s youth team before being stretchered off because after he went for a ball half hearted and ended up breaking his jaw! He did not play for them again.
Here are the three elements again:
- Correct technique.
- Positive attitude – A belief that you will get to the ball first.
- Confidence that if you do get a knock, that you will be fine.
Bouncing ball – lead with your shoulder. Keep facing forward and don’t be tempted to turn your body or spin to avoid getting hit. It is essential that you follow through with your momentum. See the first save in the video below.
High balls – Ensure knee is up ( And correct knee at that ) . The knee up serves three purposes. 1) Extra lift 2) Protection from oncoming players 3) Provide space for you to catch the ball cleanly.
You should always try to be coming forward to collect a high balls.
There has been a trend of late to have the goalkeeper land with both feet – I feel this reduces the amount of time the goalkeeper can keep their knee up in a protective manner.
See photo ( right ) of good technique when collecting a high ball.
Low balls – Dive at feet, but ensure you are low with head behind arms….. with arms / hands making first contact with ball.
To get low you have to ensure you are not too close to the ball and that you can bend your nearest leg to get a good low stance.
Examples of poor practice:
Feet first! ( leaves body open for impact )
Not having head behind arms.
Landing on elbow leaves body higher and more exposed.
Not having top knee come up to chest.