Jeff discusses the three key components for a goal keeper follow in order to catch and hold onto any  and all shots. 

Coaching Points:

Three components to catching any shot.

  1. Being able to see and predict where the ball is going
  2. Getting to where the ball is with proper footwork is vital
  3. Holding onto any shot requires strong fingers instead of letting it hit the palm

How to catch a soccer ball.

Low Shots:
Any ball that is shot lower than the keeper's stomach or waist should be caught with a scooping motion. After moving to get into position, the keeper's hands should be brought together with palms facing out and up, pinky fingers close together.  Allow the ball to roll up the arms. Finish with the ball cradled securely between the forearms and chest with hands on top. 

High Shots:
Any shot that is at the keeper's chest or higher should be caught using the "W" hand formation. This is when the keeper's thumbs are put together, palms facing the ball, fingers slightly bent and spread. The keeper's thumbs and pointer fingers will make the shape of a W.

Holding the hard shot: 
The key to holding the ball that feels like it has been shot out of a canon is to focus on using your fingers to do the catching. If you allow the ball to smack into the palm of your hands, it will want to bounce away from the hard surface it just hit. 

For hard shots think strong, but soft fingers. 


Exercise to try: 

A simple game between two goal keepers that helps improve holding on to hard shots. Keepers throw a ball back and forth attempting to cleanly catch every ball thrown to them, while throwing the ball hard enough to make their opponent bobble their catch. 

[view the entire drill ]