First of all let me differentiate between short range save and point blank saves.
Short range shots are often first time hits that are between the 6yd line and penalty spot. Often these types of shot are hit as outfield players pull the ball back from the goal line or from a crossed ball along the floor.
Point blank saves require the goalkeeper to be brave in order to pressure the defender – The objective is to get the ball before the striker and if you are not first, spread yourself enough to make a sufficient block.
For this article I will be concerned with the short range shot stopping.
• In order to make the best save possible – Being in the “Set” position is important.
• Bodyweight forward – almost aggressive. It is a natural reaction to have your body weight go backwards when something is coming towards you at a fast pace. Attack the ball with hands or be attacked!
• When having to move across the goal ( Due to the ball being played across from the goal line and the goalkeeper having to cover the unprotected side of the goal) . The secret is to be controlled and reading the play. As the striker hits the ball you should be as close to “Set” as possible. With shoulders facing the ball and bodyweight central. Depending on how far you have to get across the goal, running as opposed to gliding will be a quicker option – Running across results in shoulders facing the wrong way. You must adjust your body shape before making the save.
• With hard shots coming at short range it is natural for the save not to be technically perfect. This results in the need to make the second save. Being able to recover to be first to the ball is important as your defenders may not always be there to help out.
Strikers naturally get high success from these shots so the goalkeepers should not get too despondent as the ball gets in. As a general rule however, if the ball is hitting the back part of the net as opposed to going in the sides they should be considering why that is. On the flip side, making such a save can act as a great boost to your confidence, your teams moral and be demoralizing to the opposition.