November 11, 2006


As of November 9th, I have been out to watch a total of eight indoor matches and although they have been from U13 to U16 I think that only a couple of the keepers had a grasp on what their job was once they had the ball in their hands. The reaction is from one extreme to the other; either they get rid of the ball as quickly as possible as if it were a hot potato, or they hold on to it so long that everyone on the pitch has the opportunity to reset and ready for any offence that the keeper hopes to mount. When training keepers they should be taught that they have to be more than just a shot stopper - more than a keeper for that matter. The keeper must be involved in the attack and be able to distribute the ball quickly and accurately as a counter attack weapon.

With this in mind, I thought that I would speak a bit about the overhand or javelin throw this week. I have watched too many keepers try to perform this throw with little success because the technique lets them down. By the very name itself, it is an overhand throw, not a side arm throw that loops so high most players will have a hard time controlling it even if they had the time to do so. This throw will allow you to distribute the ball over longer distances and more accurately than kicking.

The basic mechanics for this throw would have the keeper in a side on position with the weight on the back foot. The throwing hand curled around and positioned under the ball with the ball at waist level and the arm kept straight. The upper body should be arched back. The non throwing arm should point toward your target and will come down as the throwing arm comes through in an arc over the top of the shoulder. As you step toward the target the weight is transferred forward as the ball is released. The throwing motion travels along an upward arc and finishes with a whip motion of the arm above the head. Power the arm downward (follow through) in line with the target. The earlier the ball is released in the arc the higher the trajectory will be.

When trying to perfect the mechanics of this throw you should get the technique down before you go for power. Without the proper technique you will only be fighting yourself when throwing the ball.


The other factor to consider when throwing the ball is that you want to help your teammate control it. The throw will be much easier to control if it is at your teammates feet or legs as opposed to their head or chest. In order to help your teammate control the ball try to hit the floor with the ball about five yards or so in front of them and that will bring the ball to them at a reasonable height for them to clean up and get away from any pressure. With practice you will be able to help your teammates tremendously just by the way you throw the ball to them. The way the ball is thrown will tell them which way to turn; to turn and go; to hold it up, etc.

That's it for now, I will look forward o your comments and will get to work on next week's chat.


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Last Updated November 9, 2006