1v1 techniques

If you have some time, I strongly recommend taking a look at the video below.  St. Louis GK Academy has produced this very nice video on how to deal with 1v1 situations.  They go step by step through issues such as body shape, positioning, angles, etc.  After the video, I share some thoughts regarding my personal preferences for such situations.

Some thoughts:

  • The discussion of body shape is textbook, but sometimes textbooks can be impractical.  The standard low-to-the-ground shape that he advocates when the space is small is perfect, but it can be very difficult to move quickly from that shape, and most folks find it challenging to maintain good balance from that position.  If you can do it, that is great – it is a body shape that you should be working towards, but just remember that the goal is to make the stop, and a keeper who is in a more comfortable, balanced shape is likely to be quicker in a reaction save situation.
  • His description of kicking out or getting the front leg out of the way is a bit odd.  In practice, the front and back leg go almost at the same time (as you will see when he actually performs the move), yet he describes the front leg going in front of his back leg in a kicking motion.  That is not accurate.  You still need to use your legs to drive your upper body to the ball.  You are not just falling down – you are driving to the ball to make the save.
  • Overall, the activities are very good – it is a nice progression through the skills needed to cope with 1v1 situations.  I think you will find, however that the keepers doing the demonstrations are not exactly textbook in their motions.  It is very difficult to move forward with the fingertips so low to the ground, and it is not easy to quickly move backward or laterally from such a position.  Being a bit more relaxed and upright will serve many keepers better, and being able to drive forward to make the save as opposed to just falling laterally will also be more useful for most situations.

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