Ethan Durst – The life of a keeper

A lesson on keeper position copied from:

When to Dive

Younger and inexperienced goalkeepers often wonder when they should dive. The answer is, “almost never”. A good goalkeeper minimizes the need to dive by being in good position, aggressively sweeping up loose balls, and challenging shooters.  A dive should only be used as a last resort, and always after the shot has been taken. The keeper should  stay on their feet as long as possible – once they’ve dived, they’re committed and can’t change their mind if the shooter does something else.

A dive is the ultimate and desperate reaction to a shot, it should only be used in ultimate and desperate situations.

The goalkeeper should:

  • Pick a moment when they have a clear shot at the ball, and then
  • Come hard for the ball without hesitating or stopping.
  • Slow down just as they reach the ball carrier, leaving a couple of arms’ lengths of space as a cushion.

The second item here is key. Many a goal has been scored because the keeper was indecisive and got caught in “no-man’s land”, neither attacking the ball or being in good shot-stopping position. 

Once the keeper decides they’re gong for the ball, they must go through with it; they must at least make some contact with the ball. Once the keeper gets near the ball, they must slow down and leave some space to prevent being dribbled by the attacker.