One of the fatal mistakes of any young keeper as they develop is the mastery of critical technique around catching a ball. For some young keepers they just have it natural, for others, it is certainly easily learned with practice. For all of us, we must remember the technique in not only how we catch a ball but more importantly with what part of our hands we attempt to control a shot.
When catching a ball we always seek to catch first, or lead, with our fingertips. The mere sound of a keeper catching a ball with their fingertips is a stark contrast to a keeper who leads with their palms. When working on simple catching drills all you need to do is keep your ears open when catching a ball. The loud slapping noise you hear means that you are catching the ball primarily with the palms. As you age up or hit higher developmental levels this technique will likely begin to fail you as the speed of play increases.
Yet, if you are catching with the fingertips you should seek to get to a place of near silence in the catching technique. A keeper using their fingertips to catch a ball is about as sweet of a sound as there is on the pitch. Catching with the fingertips is all about complete control and with practice should be something worth developing.
Tyler Vaughn – Renegade GK