We have too many goalkeepers who are still diving backwards. Here are some tips to eliminate this problem:
- Get set with the shoulders slightly forward and the hands up and in front of the body. This will get the body's weight prepared to move forward.
- Before diving, take a small 'power step' that is slightly forward (so the heel of the stepping foot is in line with the toe of the non-stepping foot..a roughly 45 degree step). This will start the body moving forward.
a. Avoid a 'power step' that is too far forward. Stepping too far forward can result in the body needing to twist backwards to make saves.
- On the 'power step,' be sure that the hands stay slightly ahead of the foot. This will allow the hands to 'attack' the ball.
- As the hands 'attack,' avoid turning the shoulders. Turning the shoulder will lead to a twisting motion that propels the body backwards.
- As the save is made, try to avoid swinging the legs in front of the body. This may happen as a natural movement, and a slight swing of the legs after save is not a major problem, but an early swing that leads the rest of the body backwards is a big problem.
- Finally, if the muscles in the lower back can tense up just as the save is made, resulting in a slight arch in the mid-back, any tendency to swing the legs will be eliminated.
Overall, let's use these tips to completely eliminate 'backwards' diving within our club. Any time the hands and upper body twist backwards, they are not doing what they are supposed to do: keep the ball out of the net!