This is a variation of the basic hoop footwork exercise, where the keeper skips between 8 hoops laid in pairs on the floor, hoops number 5&6 set further apart, followed by a passed ball which they either pass back, or trap, and finishing with another ball thrown over their left shoulder to try to catch or punch.
Once through the hoops, the keeper has to do a 360 degree twirl or spin, to face the coach who then passes a ball along the ground. The keeper passes it back to the coach.
Having returned the pass, the keeper does another 360 degree twirl, but in the OPPOSITE direction to the first twirl. Then the keeper moves across towards the target/goal and catches a high throw or shot.
This exercise is excellent for developing footwork precision. If your feet aren’t planted carefully inside the hoops you’ll soon find yourself “hoolahooping”. This encourages the brain to switch from stepping to ball control. A typical movement when playing sweeper-keeper.
Ideally make a catch, but some throws are too difficult and require a punch out of harms way. Having a small 6 aside goal behind focuses the keeper’s mind, but it’s not essential.
The 360 degree twirls act to disorientate the keeper, inducing slight dizziness. This will act to make the brain work faster when trying to locate the final throw/shot.
After 5-6 goes each, the keepers are all warm and sharp. Now it’s useful to move onto aligning the eyes. Try the other side – over right shoulder.
A variation is where the coach shoot or kicks the ball rather than throws high. This makes the challenge harder.
Tips for coaches – Confidence Cohesion Technique
Any coach can utilize these drills with their keeper. The objectives are the same – enhance footwork, follow the ball better with the eyes, and judge the flight of the ball.
A coach can use any one of the drills independently, and involve multiple players, especially attackers, to sharpen their skills too.
Try to encourage the keeper to use these skills – their footwork, their eyes and reflexes, and be brave to make the judgement calls and decisions that will come up regularly in games.