In this drill we work on speedy recovery from the ground, facing away on your knees. Once up and having touched the 6 yard line, work as a team to cover the goal, before coach shoots the ball.
Every keeper loves diving – but the downside is the recovery. On your feet you are more able to make the save, adapt position, feet, body shape, etc. On the ground, you’re typically in a tangle, possibly facing the wrong way, and unable to move swiftly to capture a loose ball.
This drill is designed for a “team” of 3-4 keepers. It can be adapted for an individual keeper as we do here.
Details of the drill
Have the keepers line up on the goal-line, kneeling and facing away from the coach, who is on the edge of the box, ready to shoot the ball.
The coach shouts “TURN” and the keepers stand up and turn to face the coach.
Then they all move towards the 6 yard line as fast as they can and touch the line.
Once they’ve touch the line, each has to decide which part of the goal they will “protect” ready for the shot.
It’s best if they discuss before the drill starts, but they can use their instinct. With four keepers it’s always best for the tallest to retreat to the goaline, while one comes out towards the coach to narrow the angle (making themselves “big”) while one covers a corner, about halfway from the coach and the goal. In the image below, the keeper’s initial positions are in shadow with red arrows showing where they subsequently went.
If they work as a team, they should stop the shot easily. Once they have touched the line the coach can shoot.
In the below image the coach has lobbed a high ball into the top right corner of the gaol, but one keeper is in position to catch the shot.
Obviously we don’t have four keepers (unfortunately) in a game situation.
But this drill simulates the “instinctive” teamwork that takes place in a crowded box, with defenders. Each will take up a certain position as the ball bobbles around. The keeper, having punched or dived, could be on their knees facing the wrong way.
They need to get up quickly and attack the ball, or find the optimal position to save a shot towards goal.
This drill will allow keepers to learn to deal with others around the box, while thinking and acting quickly.
Tips for coaches – Confidence Cohesion Technique
Any coach can utilize these drills with their keeper. The objectives are the same – recover from the ground quickly and find 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.