Cutting the Angle

You can cut down on the number of risky saves by paying attention to where you and the shooter are in relation to the goal. If the shooter is coming in from the side, you should move over a little to that side. See what that does to his possible shots on page 61.

If it's a one-on-one breakaway situation, face it: You're in big trouble. But there are a couple of things you can do that are a little more effective than crossing your fingers for luck. The first thing you should do is move slowly toward the dribbling player. Look what happens to the available goal area when you move forward.

But slowly is the key word here. You don't want to rush out and have the dribbler fake around you to an open goal. And you don't want him to make an easy chip over your head either. But if you move out slowly, he may feel forced to take a shot at a considerably smaller goal area, or he may make a mistake. However, don't be cautious when he's made a mistake. If you notice that he's dribbled slightly too far out in front of himself and you think you can get the ball, go for it!

Cutting the angle for a player coming in from the side.

If you stay in the center

If you cut the angle by moving toward the shooter's side

Cutting the angle by moving forward

Staying back

Moving forward

Get in the Net

To practice catching different shots, set up a goal in your yard or against a wall in a playground. Then you and a friend take turns firing balls at each other. Set up a line that the shooter can't cross, so she doesn't get too close. Each of you should take twenty shots on the other. See who makes the most saves. Vary the shots or just practice low balls or high balls.

Tip

All goalkeepers should spend time playing in the field as well as in the goal so they'll have a better idea of what their field players can do. It also keeps their foot skills sharp.

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