I\’ve already written about how playing the goalie outside the penalty box will dramatically reduce the number scoring opportunities your opponents will have during a game. Fewer opportunities will reduce the number of goals that are scored. These additional tricks will help out as well.
- On free kicks, a goalie should position herself on the goal line or better yet, one foot inside the goal line. In youth games, goals are often scored on free kicks by kicking the ball over the goalie\’s head. By standing on or inside the goal, chances of this occurring are reduced. In addition, it is much easier for a goalkeeper to run forward to meet a ball than running backwards.
- Shooters have a tendency to kick the ball right in the middle of the goal. Therefore, if the goalie is positioned correctly, chances are that a number of the shots will be easily saved. There are several methods to teach good positions that will be covered in future postings. The simplest method is to have your goalkeeper constantly check her position by looking over her shoulders to make sure she is centered between the two goal posts.
- The next trick may be difficult to grasp and teach but once it is learned, it will become second nature. First of all, a goalie needs to learn to anticipate a shot on goal. Once the kicker\’s head goes down to look at the ball, the shot is not far behind. Then just before the ball is struck, the goalie should take one hop-step forward and hit the ground with both feet at the same time the kicker strikes the ball. Besides achieving forward momentum, the goalie is now in a better body position to move to her right or left to save the kick. Oftentimes, a goalie is caught flat footed when a shot is taken, making it very difficult to move in either direction. In baseball, you often see infielders and outfielders do the same thing. In addition, the hop step will cut down the angle of the goal. Hockey goalies do a great job of being prepared for a shot and cutting down angles.
Once again, playing against a good goalie can make for a long and frustrating day. There a several ways to counter these types of goalie tricks.
- If the goalie is short and the goals are tall, even if the goalie is standing on the line or in the goal, it is still worth shooting the ball high. Be aware that by playing on the line, the goalie has probably created more space between her and the defenders. In this case, a good strategy may be to drop over the wall but in front of the goalkeeper to an on-rushing attacker.
- If the goalie has excellent positioning and is cutting the down the angles beautifully, the best thing to do is make one extra pass to a wide-open teammate. This extra pass will require a lot of discipline on the kicker\’s part but will almost certainly result in a goal.