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Stay on Your Feet As Long As Possible

Stay on Your Feet As Long As Possible

Keepers that do too much diving or dive when it’s not necessary often suffer from poor footwork. Other times it’s pure laziness.  Some of the dangers of diving when not necessary. Increased risk of injury. Greater risk of not being able to hold a ball. Not being able to make a second save if the ball is not held.  When I’m training my keepers I ask them to keep their feet moving to the ball after a shot is taken and to stay on their feet as long as possible.

One way to train this concept into the keepers head is to play fairly simple balls to the left and right of the keeper and ask them to stay on their feet and “run through the ball.” In other words, don’t dive for a ball to the side, but instead, stay up right and after the catch is made, continue on the run through the ball and slow down only when comfortable.

Too many times a younger keeper will try and stop immediately after catching a ball to the side and will loose balance causing them to fall to the ground. Other times they will not hardly move the feet at all which causes them to have to dive unnecessarily. Next time you’re working with your keeper ask them to focus on moving the feet and to stay on their feet as long as possible and you’ll begin to see them having greater range in the goal and to make more saves without having to dive all the time.

Good luck in your goalkeeper training and you can receive more GK training ideas from our ‘FUNdamental Goalkeeper’ book or by sending us your questions in care of “Don’s Dandies!”

Don Williams

Don Williams is a veteran college coach whose coaching career spans 30 years. He coached at virtually every level in the United States, including a pro stint in the USL, the NCAA, NAIA, and at the Junior College level. Most recently, he coached the men and women at Feather River Junior College in California, where he was able to transfer 92 players for $4,375,000 in scholarships having his players recruited by many distinguished schools such as Penn State, UMass, Florida State, UCLA, Lipscomb, New Mexico State, North Carolina, University of Washington and many more. Before coaching at Feather River, Don spent 12 years coaching at California State University at East Bay. Don has also been the men’s head coach at Ohlone College and the goalkeeper coach for the Bay Area Seals of the USL. There he coached such notables as Jon Conway, who went on to play for the NY Red Bulls, Chicago Fire, and Toronto FC of the MLS. Don also served as the inaugural Director of Coaching for the Northern Nevada State Olympic Development program, where he helped 67 players get invited to the US Regional Event. Don is Head of Operations with Sports Recruiting USA for The Americas, the most successful and connected college placement agency in the world. He has earned his "A" License from the United States Soccer Federation.