The modern game is played at an extremly fast pace. in order for a goalkeeper to have success he must do as much as he can before the ball ever leaves the opponents foot. At the highest levels of the game, every fraction of a second counts.
This means the goalkeeper must be positioned correctly. That not only means standing in the right place on the field, the goalkeeper must also be in the correct stance or `Ready Position`.
There are four distinct scenarios that the goalkeeper may be faced with during the course of a game. Each scenario requires a different `Ready Position`in order to achieve maximum efficiency.
À solid foundation for success will be achieved once the goalkeeper is able to identify these scenarios and apply the correct `Ready Position`accordingly.
Basic Positioning Principles
First, to position themselves accurately, the goalkeeper must know where the goal is! It sounds obvious, but during the scramble of a game a keeper can lose track. When the play starts moving towards the goal, Coaching Point the first thing the keeper must do is check the posts to make sure they are starting off with good position. Then, whenever they can divert their attention for a split second, they should check the posts again to make sure they’ve maintained that good position in the face of a moving ball.
Second, the goalkeeper must always try to position themselves on an imaginary line that runs from the center of the goal to the ball. This puts them in position to get to either post equally well. The center line determines the side-to-side positioning.
Third, the goalkeeper must position themselves far enough off the goal line to cover the angle created by the ball and both posts. They should be able to cover either post with a couple of quick steps (footwork!) and a dive if necessary. The angle and the keeper’s ability determine the forward/backward positioning. Mistake Many young or timid goalkeepers tend to stay very close to the goal line – sometimes right on it. They must be taught to come off the line if they are to cover any shots near the posts.
How far out a keeper must come depends on their size and ability – smaller goalkeepers or keepers with a poor range will need to come farther out to be able to cover the entire angle.
Quick Summary – Positioning:
Know the location of the goalposts
Stay on line between the center of the goal and the ball
Move far enough off the line to cover the angle to each post
Be aware of balls over the head when way off the line
At sharp angles, always play outside the near post
Mistakes to Watch For:
Not checking the goalposts frequently
Staying planted on the goal line
Standing inside the near post on sharp-angled shots
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