INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Dealing with high balls

This session works on improving a ‘keeper’s ability to deal with a high ball over their head. This can happen when caught off their line or if a cross catches on the wind. It will also test general footwork and handling.

What this session is about

  1. Recovering when caught out of position.
  2. Judging the flight of a high ball.

What to think about

  • Fast feet – short steps will enable the ‘keeper to cover ground as fast as possible to get to make save without losing balance.
  • When to catch / when to deflect ball away – sometimes it is better to deflect the ball over the crossbar rather than catching it, particularly as the ‘keepers momentum could take them and the ball into the back of the net!

Set-up

  • Penalty area. One cone 10-12 yards from goal.
  • Server stands approximately 18 yards from goal.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10-15 minutes10 minutes15 minutes10 minutes10-15 minutes

What you get your players to do

‘Keeper must be “on toes” at starting position and throughout drill.

On the server’s call the ‘keeper runs off their line to the cone in front of goal.

When the ‘keeper reaches the cone the server throws the ball over the ‘keepers head, trying to get it to drop underneath the crossbar.

The ‘keeper runs backwards from the cone and tries to catch the ball or deflect it over the crossbar.

Serve a ball when the ‘keeper reaches the cone.

Serve a ball when the ‘keeper reaches the cone.


Development

As before, the ‘keeper starts on the server’s call.
This time, when they reach the cone the ‘keeper must save a shot from the server before recovering to save a ball served overhead.

Now the ‘keeper must recover from making an initial save to reach the high ball.

Now the ‘keeper must recover from making an initial save to reach the high ball.


Game situation

Play a small-sided game and encourage the ‘keepers to find a position that enables them to sweep behind the defence whilst also being able to save any shots over their head.

‘Keepers should be aware of their positioning in a match to ensure that they do not get caught out by a high ball.

‘Keepers should be aware of their positioning in a match to ensure that they do not get caught out by a high ball.


What to call out

  • “On toes” – this is vitally important during this drill. If the ‘keeper rocks back onto heels when running back, it is highly likely that balance will be lost and they will fall over.
  • “Fast feet”
  • “Keep your eyes on the ball”
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