Getting a keeper to dive

Discussion in 'Coach' started by Keep, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. Keep

    Keep New Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I'm a volunteer goalkeeper coach for the high school team my wife assistant coaches. It's a new program, so tons of freshman, including my #1 keeper. In fact, she'd never touched a soccer ball in her life before July. Luckily she's got a terrific attitude, is a fast learner, and loves being a keeper. She's growing fast, but one area where she still has lots of problems is in her dive. She has no qualms about getting beat up, but for some reason she can't dive without trying to catch herself. Consequently she misses quite a few saves that she could probably make by totally comitting to a dive.

    I've tried working her up to it, and she'll dive perfectly from her knees and even from a squat, but when we get her up to her feet, she can't do it. How can I break through that barrier and get her diving correctly??

  2. Bleacherbutt

    Bleacherbutt New Member

    May 1, 2001
    Rochester, NY
    Do you have gymnasts training center near you? They have foam pits where she could learn to extend and dive. Then you might want to move her up to using a trampoline. From there try it with mats. Then try it on the floor exercise space. After that take it outdoors. Always using a ball or object for her to control as you build up.

    The other thing would work with her on is visualizing her dive. Work it into her subconcious too.
  3. blackdog

    blackdog New Member

    Jun 26, 2003
    At a goalkeeper clinic put on by the coach of Trenton State College he executed many drills with the goal keepers. One of which was having the keeper stand in the middle of the goal with a player on each side down on all fours. The ball would then be kicked or thrown at corners of goal and the keeper would need to leap over the kneeling player and stretch for the ball. This was practiced on a tumble mat. The other drill was to have the keeper tag each goal post as fast as the could. As soon as one post was tagged and the keeper turned the ball was kicked to the opposite post the keeper would have to move fast or dive to keep the ball out. Either way they to extend quickly. Hope this helps.
  4. Saukrates

    Saukrates Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    have her play some pick up games, have your two goalies play like a sort of kick tennis with goals,most preferably with a semi inflated ball,this will most likely get the competitive spirit out of her,if you guys train like four times a week then her diving and hitting the ground should only be limited to the last two days, but usually should be done two days before a match.
  5. GKbenji

    GKbenji Member+

    Jan 24, 2003
    Fort Collins CO
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This can be a tough problem to overcome. Here are a few ideas that might help:

    1. As others have suggested, some kind of crash pads to land on will help for starters. Gradually decrease the thickness and cushioning as the keeper improves. If you don't have access to mats or pads, try finding a sandpit or sandbox. The sand might be a bit softer and less "scary" than grass.

    2. Have the keeper wear full long-sleeve shirt and long pants at every practice. The extra protection gives a sense of security, and it helps not to have to worry about getting scrapes on every dive.

    3. Use an object to dive over. This will help reinforce correct technique, since the feet will have to clear the object without touching it. Of course, use something soft or that won't injure the keeper. I like to use a 5-foot length of 1-inch PVC pipe that is held by another person, who can let go if the keeper touches it (kinda like a high-jump bar).

    Then, start with the obstacle very low -- as low as 6-8 inches off the ground. Raise the height very gradually as the keeper progresses.

    4. Coach that the focus must be on the ball! If the keeper makes a good catch, they can use the ball to cushion themselves (ball should always go to ground first). The landing will then be much easier. I always tell my keepers: "Focus on the ball and make a good catch first. Don't worry about the landing -- you will land... I guarantee it!" :)

    Don't expect it to come all at once. If she has good form from a sitting or squatting stance, it's a good start. Take the rest of it slowly.

    If you want any more info about diving or any other goalkeeping topics, see my Goalkeeper Coaching Web Site.

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