This session was designed to cover the topics addressed in recent posts – optimal hand shape, quicker hand and arm movement, speed of feet and catching.

The following describes the sequence of drills covering each of the topics, an the coach’s involvement.

Optimal hand-shape

Start with an exercise designed to improve focus on good hand-shape; triangle “W” or cup, while moving arms quickly into position. This technique, adjusting hand-shape quickly, was covered in this post.

Start with keeper facing away from coach, arms held high, making a triangle with the fingers.

Have them flip around to face the coach on a shout.

A Ball thrown high/low force the keeper to adjust hand-shape and positions of arms, to make the catch.

After several attempts, have the ball kicked from 15yds – upon a shout, keeper flips around and the shot is made.

An additional adaptation required  another player to stand next to the keeper to put them off, while ball is first thrown, then kicked from 15 yds.

Scoop catch

Practice the scoop catch – ball dropped in front of the keeper forcing them to come forward and collect ball.

Encourage them to scoop catch – dipping to knees and gather the ball into arms, elbows under the body and ball to support, and knees bent for comfort and balance.


Simulate crosses – from left and right.

Initially with ball thrown across, the keeper makes the catch, low or high.

Variation has another player acting as agitator. 

Practice high ball – focus on keeper reading flight of ball and making a step backwards to improve chance of catching the ball

Practice Low-tummy height ball – keeper stoops down to catch or applies the scoop-catch as above.

Variation – try above with ball kicked instead. 

Angled shots

Finally take shots from an angle – with movement – to improve agility and speed of feet and hand movements.  

Have keeper skip backwards from near post to back post facing ball throughout, then run back to position for shot, and “set” – take shot from about 10 yds at angle to goal – varied height and power.

Same drill from other side.