The bear & the bull – Goalkeeping Hand shapes.
W’s & Cups, Contour & Basket. Both the English and US descriptions for different hand shapes that the goalkeeper should use to save balls aimed at head or below. I was looking for a more visual description to explain the different methods to my younger students and was inspired by the stock market!
“How does a bear kill you?” – I asked my students. They all put their arms up and clawed down. – With palms facing forward, this is the method used to collect balls aimed at chest and head.
“How does a bull kill you?” – Using hands and arms as horns, the GK’s showed me the motion used to collect a ball when shot a little bit lower.
This is great for me to quickly describe to a goalkeeper that their hand shapes are wrong and the two most common times are.
1 – when the ball comes along the floor. I often see GK’s fall to their knees and try to do a “bear” save
2 – when the ball is to the side, goalkeepers try to do a “bull” save, but this leads to errors as the bull save brings the ball up while the goalkeeper’s dive takes their body down.