The principal responsibility of the goalkeeper is to prevent the opposing team from scoring. An absolute must for any goalkeeper is to keep the body behind the ball. Equally important is the technique of catching the ball cleanly and keeping the eyes on the ball at all times. To move on to a higher level, goalkeepers must master the following skills:
Align your body behind the ball, and keep the legs together. As the ball comes toward you, spread your fingers out, palms up. Scoop the ball up with both hands and bring it into the chest.
Waist – High Shots
Position yourself behind the ball. Bend forward at the waist as you catch the ball and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Catch the ball at waist level and bring it into the lower-chest area.
Head – High Shots
One of the keys to making head-high shots is the correct placement of your fingers on the ball in what is called the “W” formation. Position your hands by your head with the palms facing outward, fingers spread apart and thumbs pointing toward one another (the index fingers and thumbs form the “W”) . Reach toward the ball, and upon impact, give slightly to cushion the force of the shot. As you catch the ball, turn the palms toward your body and cradle the ball into your chest.
Keep your eyes on the ball and your hands between yourself and the it. The technique used to capture the soccer ball requires a one-foot takeoff. Run forward and jump up toward the ball, pushing off the ground with one leg. This enables a strong launch from the ground. The opposing knee is brought up into the body (as you jump up) for additional protection against aggressive forwards. Catch the ball at its highest point with your arms outstretched and your fingers in the “W” formation on the ball. Cradle the ball into the chest.