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Basic goalkeeping skills

Goalkeepers have a thankless job. The margin of error is extremely low, and the goalkeeper is expected to make all the saves in the game and deflect any other shots. The keeper needs to make split-second decisions that can be the difference between victory and defeat. Every goalkeeper, from the junior levels to the pros, needs to have the basics down perfectly. Here are those basics:

Catching the ball

There are two methods a goalkeeper catches the ball. For shots that are below the shoulder, you catch the ball from underneath and press it against the chest. For shots above the shoulder, the technique is known as the W. This is because the keep uses both hands and sets his fingers in a way that form a W.

The scoop

Then there is the rolling ball. This is a mishit from an opponent, or a team-mate sending you the ball for safety. The safest method is to get down on one knee and scoop the ball with both hands. You can prevent the ball from going between your legs by planting the knee next to your supporting leg. As before, bring the ball up to your chest and lean forward for protection.

Grounding the ball

When a ball is going away from you, and you need to jump/dive, do so with the leg away from the wall raised. Handle the ball with your arm parallel to the ground while forming the W. The other hand should guide the ball down.

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