INSPIRED, CONFIDENT & EFFECTIVE COACHING

Catch of the day

A goalkeeper that can confidently catch high crosses will provide welcome relief for any defence. Not only is the goalkeeper likely to stop goals being scored, he will boost confidence in the rest of his team.

What this session is about

  1. Catching technique.
  2. Handling balls which come into the area at height.
  3. Dealing with crosses.
  4. Making the correct decisions.

What to think about

  • Take up a good starting position. Be “light” on the toes. Get in line.
  • Spread the fingers to form a “W” or diamond shape behind ball with thumbs and forefingers. Watch the ball go into the hands.
  • Jump high off one leg, raise the other knee for protection. Catch the ball at its highest point.
  • Focus on the ball, not other players.
  • Communication with team mates is crucial to understanding who is doing what during crosses.

Set-up

Use one ball between two players for the session. Use a penalty area with a goal for the development. Use a 30 yards wide by 20 yards long pitch with outside channels for the game.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes

What you get your players to do

Split the squad into pairs, who stand opposite each other about five yards apart and gently throw the ball to each other above head height so the receiver has to jump to catch it.

To progress, a server tosses the ball straight up and slightly to one side or the other so the catcher has to take a short run-up to catch the ball cleanly.

In pairs, players throw the ball to each other, but aim high so the catcher has to leap to take it cleanly.

In pairs, players throw the ball to each other, but aim high so the catcher has to leap to take it cleanly.


Development

Use three players, comprising a goalkeeper plus two servers both on one side of the penalty box. Servers take it in turns to cross the ball into the penalty box. Alternate sides so crosses come in from both the left and right sides.

The aim is for the goalkeeper to choose which balls he should go for and which to leave – this will improve his catching/punching/decision making.

To progress add one defender and two attackers so the goalkeeper is forced to make more attempts at catching. Let everyone have a go in goal and you will find your best reserve goalkeeper this way.

Servers cross the ball to the penalty area, where goalkeepers choose to catch, punch or leave it. Defenders try to clear it. Attackers try to score.

Servers cross the ball to the penalty area, where goalkeepers choose to catch, punch or leave it. Defenders try to clear it. Attackers try to score.


Game situation

Play a small-sided game. Use two goalkeepers and two wide players operating outside the touchline who play for the team with the ball and are conditioned to provide high crosses from a variety of angles whenever possible.

Wide players have three touches (control, set, cross) while goalkeepers have to decide what to do – e.g. catch, punch, allow defenders to head – for each cross.

A wide player on each side plays for the team in possession and tries to cross the ball in to be attacked with a header.

A wide player on each side plays for the team in possession and tries to cross the ball in to be attacked with a header.


What to call out

  • “Make sure you serve the ball accurately.”
  • “Call ‘keeper’s’ or ‘away’ so defenders know what to do.”
  • “Attack the leap.”
  • “Remember in matches – ‘when in doubt, punch it out’”
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