In these drills, we simulate a cross from wide, and the keeper making a decision to come for the ball (and calling “Mine” or Keeper”) or choosing to leave it to his defenders (and calling “Away!!”) and resetting on the goaline.
Coming to catch a high ball
The first few crosses will be well within the zone of comfort for the keeper – where they should be able to come and catch the ball.
Once they have decided to come for the ball, they should call “Mine” or “keeper” to let their defenders know they are coming for the ball (and may clatter them!”)
Deciding to leave the cross to defenders
Once the keeper has become comfortable (and vocal) with catching crosses, coach will hit some well outside their range, close to the penalty spot and high and hard, forcing the keeper to decide to leave it, call “away!” and re-set back to their goaline
By re-setting on the goalline the keeper gives themselves valuable room and time to deal with a header or shot from close range.
When the ball is fired in from close, every bit of time counts, so the extra distance buys the keeper a little more time to pull off a reflex save.
In this example, Chelsea keeper Mendy performs this perfectly, giving himself time and space in case a header comes in rapidly, but then moves forward again to better handle the shot from the edge of the box.
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.