INSPIRED, CONFIDENT & EFFECTIVE COACHING

Catching crosses

A keeper who is confident at coming off his line and claiming crosses is a big asset for his team because he can take a lot of pressure off the defence and start counter attacks.

What this session is about

  • Catching the ball.
  • Dealing with crosses.

What to think about

  • All players need to learn goalkeeping skills in case they have to go in goal. The ’keeper needs to:
  • Get in line and square on to the direction of the cross.
  • Jump off one leg. Raise the other knee for protection and extend arms upwards. Catch the ball at its highest point.
  • Spread the fingers. Form a W shape behind ball using the thumbs and forefingers. Watch the ball into the hands.
  • Secure the ball to chest.
  • Look to start a counter attack.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Each player has a ball and jogs around slowly. They throw the ball up high in the air and jump to catch it several times. They need to try right leg and left leg take-offs.

Once the players are comfortable with jump catching, they can pair up with one ball between them. Repeat the drill above, but the goalkeeper (the player without the ball) jumps to try and catch the ball, which is thrown into the air by the other player.

Each goalkeeper makes five catches before players switch roles.

Players in pairs throw the ball to each other and practice jump catching.

Players in pairs throw the ball to each other and practice jump catching.


Development

Use four players – two servers, one on each wing, and two goalkeepers per area. The exercise starts with one goalkeeper rolling the ball down his right wing to a server who dribbles forwards and crosses for the other ’keeper to catch.

The second goalkeeper rolls the ball to the server on his right to repeat the drill at the opposite end.

Tell servers to vary the angle of their crosses. After each cross they return to their starting position. After a couple of minutes, the players can reverse the direction of the practice to test each goalkeeper on both sides. (As the quality of the service is vital, servers should only use their weaker foot to cross if comfortable doing so).

To progress, add two attackers, one at each end, to challenge each goalkeeper for the ball.

Servers receive the ball from one goalkeeper, run down the line and cross high for the other ’keeper to catch/punch away.

Servers receive the ball from one goalkeeper, run down the line and cross high for the other ’keeper to catch/punch away.


Game situation

Play a small-sided game with two wide players who operate outside the touchline and play for the team in possession of the ball.

They are conditioned to provide high crosses from a variety of angles whenever possible. Wide players are allowed three touches of the ball – control, dribble and cross or pass.

Let everyone play in goal at some point. The team which scores most goals wins.

Wide players cross the ball from various angles in a small-side game.

Wide players cross the ball from various angles in a small-side game.


What to call out

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