Goalkeeper Handling Basics

Article by Shaun Green @greeney1987

Goalkeeper Handling Basics explained

3 key catching techniques

  • Set Position
  • W- catch
  • Cup or basket catch
  • Scoop

When teaching Goalkeepers the basics of Goalkeeping I really do believe that you should start and focus purely on the set position. The set position is used so much in Goalkeeping it is important to get this right for the beginning before looking to progress into other areas of Goalkeeping.

Set Position in a nutshell

  • Feet about shoulder width apart. Weight on the balls of the feet. (Heels also on the floor)
  • Knees slightly bent.
  • Elbows inline with the stomach, elbows flexed, hands and arms in front. Hands ball width apart and W Shaped. Soft hands when catching.
  • Head and shoulders forward.
  • Eyes fixed on the ball.
  • Body relaxed as you have got to be able to move.
Goalkeeper Set Position

Goalkeeper Set Position

Goalkeeper Set Position side view

Goalkeeper Set Position side view

The set position for Goalkeepers will change as Goalkeepers get older and gain more experience though training and games. I personally feel that if the set position is working for the Goalkeeper then why change. I only look to adapt for the Goalkeepers if the set position is not working for them.

Some examples of comfortable set positions for professional Goalkeepers might be , Wide or low hands as well as feet wider or narrow. This is all down to the Goalkeepers preference. Be adaptable with your Goalkeeper and see what works for them. With older Goalkeepers have a discussion and ask why they do this or that if you are unsure. They could have a valid reason and this may get you to think outside of the Box.

 

 

 

W Catch

The W Catch is used by Goalkeepers to generally deal with saves from the shoulders of the body and upwards. This could be for a high ball or this could be for taking a cross. This is also the save used for dealing with high or low diving saves which your are able to catch.

The W catch explained

See the image attached for how the W save should look from a coach or servers point of view and from the Goalkeepers point of view.

From the Goalkeepers point of view if we use a training ground situation where the Goalkeeper take a volley at head high.

The Goalkeeper process would be the following;

  • Get set
  • Make decision (ie choice of save and do i need to move or not?)
  • Move if required (Body into line)
  • Set again if needed
  • Perform save
  • Secure the ball

When the Goalkeeper is making the save the hands should move from the set position as a pair, palms of the hands to face the ball, hands shaped in the W position which is shown in the images. Have soft hands so the ball is not parried back out to the striker. When the ball makes impact with the hands flex the elbows to take the power out of the striker.

IMG_0339

Goalkeeper W Save side View

Goalkeeper W Save side View

W Save Goalkeeper View

W Save Goalkeeper View

Cup Save explained

The Cup save is usually made in and around the middle of the body. Anywhere between the shoulders and knees of the Goalkeeper.

To perform the save the Goalkeeper must move into line of the ball, Set then move hands and arms as a pair under the ball then quickly around the ball and secure into the chest to secure. Remember to keep the shoulders over the ball so it cannot pop out over the top. Elbows must be together so the ball cannot down to the floor.

See images to explain the process.

Goalkeeper Set Position

Goalkeeper Set Position

Goalkeeper Cup save arms without ball side view

Goalkeeper Cup save arms without ball side view

Goalkeeper Cup save front view

Goalkeeper Cup save front view

Goalkeeper Cup Save with Ball side view

Goalkeeper Cup Save with Ball side view

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scoop Save explained

The scoop save is used to deal with low shots driven into the Goalkeepers. The saves are usually made between knee height and the ground.

To perform the save the Goalkeeper should have moved into line and now be set. Once set the Goalkeeper can use two methods to made the save. If the Goalkeeper has total trust in there hands and arms they can use the wide leg scoop. To do this they widen there feet to take a wider stance. They will move there hands and arms as a pair towards the ball. They will place there hands under the ball as it is moving and secure into the chest by pushing forward and landing on there elbows.

To perform the scoop with more protection the Goalkeeper can use the K leg scoop. Goalkeepers will start in the set position, move into line the set again. As the ball is moving towards them they need to shape up to make the save. For example if you are set in Goal and the ball is moving to your left you should take a small step diagonally forward, while bring your hands and arms together as a pair moving towards the ball. While the is happening you need to make sure that your right leg has come across and is bent so your knee is in the middle of the body and just off of the floor. This should look like legs are shaped like the letter K. So hands and arms together move towards and under the ball and then around the ball and secure into the chest. When this is happening to complete the save Goalkeepers push there body forward and to the floor to secure the ball and stop the ball from spelling out.

Goalkeeper Set Position

Goalkeeper Set Position

Goalkeeper Step moving to the ball

Goalkeeper Step moving to the ball

Completing the Scoop 1

Completing the Scoop 1

Completing the Scoop 2

Completing the Scoop 2

Completing the Scoop 3

Completing the Scoop 3