Goalkeepers can be called upon at any moment during a match. For this reason, it’s vital for them to be aware and agile; ready to make a diving save or kick down the pitch for a clearance.
A goalkeeper’s agility could be the difference between a game-winning save and watching the ball roll into the back of the net. One way to improve your agility is with this simple hand-eye coordination drill. Other benefits of this exercise include practicing good hand and body movement.
Before you begin, you’ll need some equipment and a partner or coach. Always remember to bring your goalkeeper gloves, pants and soccer cleats.
Other items you’ll need include:
To run through this drill, begin by standing in front of your net. Avoid standing directly on the touchline. Instead, move a few feet out, but remain inside the goal box. Meanwhile, your partner should stand inside the penalty area at a length that’s comfortable for both of you.
Next, your partner will use a tennis racquet to lightly tap tennis balls in your direction. They should avoid hitting the balls toward the lower corners of the net. Instead, have your partner aim shots toward the upper corners or to your left or right to challenge your positioning.
As each tennis ball is hit your way, aim to make a save or catch them with your hands. You should remain on the balls of your feet, with your weight shifted forward and not back. Keep your hands in front of you, ready to make a save.
Remember not to rush each tennis ball. This will allow you to work on having the proper form and save mechanics.
ADDING A TRAINING BOX
Add another step to this coordination-based drill by including a box jump. To get started, position a plyo box next to the net. You can place the box on either side, depending on your preference.
With the plyo box, perform this goalkeeper exercise by:
- Jumping up on the box with both feet landing at the same time.
- Pausing for a moment before jumping straight down.
- Side-shuffling toward the other end of the net, where your partner/coach should aim the tennis ball.
- Making a save, stretching your arms out.
This exercise can help improve lateral movement, prevent sitting on your heels and increase strength and agility.
Sharpen your goalkeeper skills and be ready to make a big save with this agility training drill. To make the perfect save, you need the perfect gear. Pro Tips is here with more on how to choose your next pair of goalkeeper gloves.