Technique, technique, technique, we can’t say it enough! One of the best ways to ensure your survival and longevity in this position is in how you protect yourself as a keeper. Now there are many factors that go into protecting your body all the way down to nutrition. Here we’re talking technique while making saves. In other posts we will breakdown some of these scenarios, but to address a critical one for keepers of all ages is the high ball.
We’ve all seen it on TV or even out on the fields, a keeper rises up for a cross and gets clattered into by an unaware striker or even worse unaware teammate. There are two ways this usually ends for the one wearing gloves, pain or pride. When going up for a high ball it is critical that you protect yourself with your knee. As we train keepers of all ages we encourage them first to get used to getting at least one knee up to protect themselves. As keeper’s progress though we can actually break it down even further. For our more advanced keepers we want you to raise the knee closest to an incoming impact.
Let us be clear, we do acknowledge and recognize that this isn’t always going to make the situation more fun when surrounded by 6 players fighting to put their head, chest, body on a crossed ball in the last minute of a game. BUT, we will say that if you can manage to get a knee up you at least stand a much better chance of walking away with more pride, less pain, and the ball in your arms!