December 20 , 2006

Good keepers make most saves look easy and they do this with good footwork. With quick feet, keepers can get themselves where they have to be to make an easy catch instead of having to dive. The foundation that good goalkeeping is built on is good footwork.

Footwork is so important because if you cannot get to the ball you cannot stop it. The reason I stress the importance of footwork in goalkeeping is quite evident when you watch a keeper use thier feet and take an extra step to get closer to the ball and make a hard save look easy. To get to the ball as quickly as possible is a keeper's responsibility.

With quick feet you will extend your range in the box as well as making the hard save look easier. I understand that a lot of young keepers want to make a save look spectacular and fly through the air, but believe me, it is a lot easier and less painful when you use your feet to get behind the ball and make the catch. Keeping in mind that there are instances when there is not enough time to get behind the ball and you will have to make that spectacular save and bask in the spotlight.

As a keeper who wants to excel at the highest level possible you should continually look for and work on ways to increase your foot speed. I strongly believe that the feet are what get the hands to the ball.

Some footwork principles to keep in mind would include; Feet should be constantly moving (except when set for a shot) and you should be on the balls of your feet; keep the hips and shoulders square to the ball; Keeper should always move forward to the ball; recover quickly - if you go to ground you have to recover to your feet as quickly as possible.

So in review of basic principles, don't put your weight on your heels, don't turn sideways when receiveing balls not in front of you; use your feet to get behind the ball everytime it is possible by using the shuffle step or crossover step; get to the ball faster by moving forward; recover to feet as quickly as possible everytime, make it a habit, and try to recover using the hands as little as possible so that they are available to make the next save.


That's it for now, keep the comments and questions coming. Until next week's chat.


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Last Updated December20, 2006