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Coaching: Distribution – Volley (Kick from hands)

Part 2 – Kicking From Hands

For any young Goalkeeper the two most commonly used distribution techniques are Dead ball kicking (which I previously covered in and the Volley (‘Kicking from hands’).

Goal kicks are not necessarily as difficult as Dead ball kicking, as the ball is already elevated when you kick it. So it always stands a chance of being kicked over the oppositions head. However they too at first can cause a young Goalkeeper difficulties as they try to master not mis-kicking the ball. Which can happen as they try to take the steps before kicking the ball, or the throw is not at the right height, or the ball isn’t at the right distance from the body, etc.

So what is the right technique:

For a young goalkeeper starting out in Goalkeeping and are new to distribution or even those having trouble at a more advanced levels, like I discussed before, start at the basics. A basic technique will provide a more consistent drop of the ball, can start bringing confidence in kicking and can help focus the Goalkeeper on how to kick the final ball (part of the foot, where on the ball…).

Figure 1 : Basic Technique

The basic technique is as easy as 1-2-3:

  • Without taking any steps, holding the ball with 2 hands starting with both hands will allow for more consistency in the drop (Figure 1 – Step 1);
  • The foot not kicking the ball should be pointed towards a target;
  • Holding the ball out in front of the body, with upper body leaning forward, drop the ball just in front of the kicking foot (Figure 1 – Step 2); and
  • Kick the ball with the front part of the foot, kicking in the direction of the target and following through with the kicking foot through the ball (Figure 1 – Step 3), so that they land on the kicking foot.

Once confident with the basic technique, you could then move on to a more advanced level:

  • This time taking 2 to 4 steps before dropping the ball and kicking; and/or
  • Dropping the ball with one hand (try dropping with the hand on the same side of the body as the kicking foot or better the hand on the opposite side for balance – but only which ever feels comfortable for them); and/or
  • Finally for a match to get them to understand where to kick in the area – utilising their area, kicking the ball from the edge of the penalty box.

Imagery scripts can also work here too as they do for all exercises… You could set this as homework, that once trained on get them to produce an imagery script to see what they have learnt and then next time get them to work through their script. Just getting them thinking about kicking the ball can help them in this task as it is training the mind as to how to do it…

Some useful exercises – Similar to Dead ball kicking:

  • You could use the ‘Cross-Bar Challenge’, again to encourage height, distance and accuracy – Except this time they now have the cross-bar to aim at or to aim over… from varying (appropriate) distances (penalty spot, 18 yard box, half way line); and
  • For game scenario accuracy, kicking out of hands to a target area – Set out a box with marker cones on different parts of the field at appropriate long/short distances to the left/center/right of the field. Place a coach/keeper/player in that box to collect the ball with hands/feet. If using another keeper they could work together kicking the ball to each other in boxes/target areas whilst you as a coach look on/or assist.

Again to reiterate, don’t be scared of going back to basics with the Goalkeepers, that includes new starters and those more experienced keepers having a few difficulties. That you could go back to getting them to kick out of hands from a standing start (no steps) gently dropping the ball in front of the body with two or one hand… Helping them to take their time and gain confidence of where and how to kick the ball. When they have kicked the ball like this a few times and gaining confidence, then get them to do a short run up of 2 steps… then the 4. However if they do then have trouble at 4 or 2 steps take it back to no steps to gain their confidence.

Finally as stated in the post on Dead ball kicking,with all these distribution techniques it is all about practice, routine and a lot of patience… Remember sometimes mistakes can be made in kicking dead balls and out of hands because often the young student goalkeeper will rush these kicks. Get them to take their time, working through their routine. In addition, at a young age in matches referees and managers should also give your Goalkeeper the time they need to take their kicks, not rushing them. So patience will be needed by all ūüėČ

Brad Guzan the unsung hero?

At the start of the season, Aston Villa’s number 1 was Shay Given. Let’s face it with Shay’s track record in goal who could blame the Villa as he has had a phenomenal career, someone that many of us Goalkeepers and Goalkeeper Coaches admire.

However only 3 matches in Villa took the decision to start with Brad Guzan¬†in goal. Someone I felt after watching in a cup match at the Villa was no match for Shay… Fast forward 15 matches and he is still in goal and now proving me wrong. At the rate he is going he is likely to pick up my end of season award for busiest keeper as in the 2 of the last 3 matches alone he has had to cope with (from BBC stats) a ridiculous amount of shots on target (29 in total!!!). And keeping the scoreline low (only 2 goals conceded over these matches).

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In his last match at Liverpool he had to cope with 17 shots on target (!) and only conceded the 1 goal whilst watching Pepe Reina have only 6 shots on goal, but conceding 3. (Match report:

With 5 clean sheets this season and a huge work rate means that Brad is having a huge influence on the games at the Villa as few (including me) thought Villa would pick up all 3 points at Anfield…

I take my (Santa) hat off to you Brad for continuing to prove me wrong and prove you are a match for Shay. Long may your fine displays continue! I think you deserve a big Christmas drink! ūüėČ

Deadline Day – Premiership Goalkeeping Headaches

We knew he was a talent prior to the European Championships and then witnessed as to why he is one of the worlds best Goalkeepers keeping the score low for the French. Now former Olympique¬†Lyonnais Goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris¬†comes to the Premiership So we can watch in awe as he steps between the sticks for Tottenham Hotspur… Oh hang on a minute… Spurs already have a top class Goalkeeper¬†in Brad Friedel… He might be 41 but he is still top class. This surely would give any Manager a selection headache having two¬†great Goalkeepers… But what a fantastic headache for any manager to have… Although spending ¬£11.9m on Lloris would suggest that it won’t be long before Brad has to make way… Even though his heroics this weekend against Norwich, kept the score line down… how could he be sidelined?

And what of QPR… They sign England Goalkeeper Robert Green at the start of the season¬† to replace the outgoing Paddy Kenny (now at Leeds United). A Goalkeeper with a decent Goalkeeping¬†record in the Premiership.¬†Coming¬†to QPR¬†from West Ham, after an impressive 15 clean sheets for the Hammers¬†last term…¬†And although he has made the headlines for¬†England, sometimes for the wrong reasons,¬†he still remains¬†great back up for Joe Hart in¬†the England Squad… A useful acquisition then for QPR. However¬†deadline day¬† saw free spending QPR¬†sign another great Goalkeeper, Brazilian¬†Julio Cesar from Inter Milan. Will that also mean sidelining one talent for another.

Ok there is some method in the madness, of which some other clubs could learn from (those with complacent Goalkeepers), that having another talent on the bench could push the man between the sticks to perform better for fear of losing their place… It can work well, but if the¬†Goalkeeper between the sticks then performs well enough to stay in goal, eventually (if not there for the pay cheque) the Goalkeeper on the bench starts to grumble, which either results in the occasional cameo appearance to appease them or that they start to look for the exit… Like Shay Given did after being in Joe Hart’s shadow for so long…

Shame we can’t play more than one Goalkeeper in one team… After all, they do say that some Goalkeepers are frustrated strikers at heart. Perhaps swapping positions in a match ūüėČ

The sparkling new season kicks off – So which Goalkeeper will shine?

A new season with new opportunities for Goalkeepers to cement their place in their clubs folklore, to show them self as the new star on the block or just try desperately to deal with all that is thrown at them…

So who do we have to watch this season? Who will we be most excited about and who will excel?

In the English Premier League, we will get chance to see those Goalkeepers again who impressed last season, through their impressive stats, such as¬†Manchester City’s Joe Hart¬†(Awards: and Spotlight:¬†and Manchester United’s David De Gea (Awards: Will they impress again or for De Gea¬†will he be pushed this time¬†for his place in goal by the equally impressive Andres Lindegaard now that he is back from injury?¬†

Will Arsenal’s Worjciech¬†Szczesny¬†(Spotlight:¬†put his Euro 2012 red card behind him and build on his stats last season to be the¬†Goalkeeper that lives up to the potential Arsene Wenger believes he has to be one of the greatest Goalkeepers?

We have some new¬†Goalkeepers¬†to watch too, where¬†through promotion from the Championship we see two exciting propositions, with equally¬†impressive stats,¬†Reading’s Adam Federici (Awards: and Spotlight: and Southampton’s Kelvin Davis (Awards and¬†Spotlight: Can they continue their impressive form or is the Premiership too big a step up…?

West Ham also promoted lost England Goalkeeper Robert Green to QPR¬†who felt that he has the potential they need to keep it clean at the back and help¬†QPR¬†avoid their dalliance¬†with the¬†drop zone this term… A great Goalkeeper indeed with the¬†potential to¬†be their saviour, however will they be too reliant on him and perhaps¬†will he then¬†be as busy as Wolverhampton¬†Wanderer’s Wayne Henessey¬†was last season if the QPR defence is not there to help him?

West Ham instead bring in a new Goalkeeper but one¬†who is very¬†experienced¬† in the Premiership, Jussi Jaaskelainen¬†from relegated Bolton Wanderers to work once again with Sam Allardyce. Jussi’s stats were also impressive last term, before he was unfortunately out for the season through injury. However if he rediscovers this form, could he help Big Sam bring back a mean defence like that which they both experienced in the old¬†days at Bolton Wanderers, to keep West Ham in the Premiership? A defensive record similar to that which Martin O’Neill can boast in his time in the premiership, that may also see Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet (Spotlight: shine?

We have already discussed QPR¬†but what about second season syndrome for last terms other Premiership new boys, will the defensive records slip for Swansea’s penalty king¬†Michel Vorm or¬†Norwich’s England new boy John Ruddy?

Will it be these that I have mentioned or the other equally impressive¬†Goalkeepers of Stoke City’s Asmir¬†Begovic, Wigan Athletic’s Ali Al-Habsi¬†or Newcastle United’s Tim Krul that shine?

Perhaps¬†indeed it could be a more¬†experienced Premiership Goalkeeping¬†head that steals the lime light such as¬†Tottenham’s Brad Friedel, Aston Villa’s Shay Given, Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer, Chelsea’s Petr Cech, West Bromwich Albion’s Ben Foster (Spotlight:, Liverpool’s Pepe Reina, or Everton’s Tim Howard, that stand out this season?

It’s early doors in the Premiership with a number of goals scored against some of our hopefuls,¬†whilst¬†some others are already¬†impressing… ¬†However with another¬†37 games to go I wonder who will stand out from the¬†crowd¬†(and for the right reasons!). Who ever it is, for now I think¬†we should sit back and watch as we are most certainly all¬†in for a treat of some tremendous displays of Goalkeeping – I can’t wait ūüėČ

Euro 2012 – the stats say one thing but you said another

So we have heard who UEFA think were the best Goalkeepers in the tournament and we have seen Ireland’s Shay Given ( and Spain’s Iker¬†Casillas ( as the best from the Stats, with Iker¬†outshining them all by collecting 5 awards in the stats, but lets face it the award that really matters is the one voted on by you, my blog readers… and this time it wasn’t won¬†by Iker¬†Casillas.

You voted the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament as Germany’s Manuel Neuer

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A great choice by you all, unlucky twice in 2012 , missing out on penalties in the Champions League for Bayern Munich against Chelsea and then seeing an inspired Mario Balotelli¬†put two goals past him so that Italy progressed to the final. Not many Goalkeepers would have coped with Mario that day – he was quite super… But then again so was Manuel through out¬†the tournament. So congratulations Manuel Neuer!

The final results:

  Player Country Percentage of Votes
1st Manuel Neuer Germany 25%
2nd = Iker Casillas Spain 19%
2nd = Rui Patricio Portugal 19%
4th = Gianluigi Buffon Italy 13%
4th = Joe Hart England 13%
4th = Hugo Lloris France 13%

Euro 2012 Goalkeepers – What the stats showed:

In the previous posting it was seen that UEFA had chosen their 3 goalkeepers of the tournament. However what did the stats say… who are the goalkeepers that the stats showed to deserve recognition…

Euro 2012 Stats Part One: The busiest Goalkeeper of the tournament (Shots on goal per game)

Sometimes you have to feel for these Goalkeepers as they have a barrage of shots on goal, meaning that either their team is up against huge fire power or the defence isn’t doing their job or perhaps the team are not taking the action further up the field, meaning that the Goalkeeper has to deal with a lot more shots on goal, which makes the job of keeping a clean sheet that much harder (student Goalkeepers should take note, that it can be difficult to keep clean sheets in such situations – even for the vastly experienced Goalkeepers).

With Spain keeping the ball more than any other team and having one of the best defences, it is unlikely to see Iker Casillas in the top 5 of this stat…

Winner: Shay Given

So the first award, is for the busiest Euro 2012 Goalkeeper and there was none busier than Ireland’s Shay Given who had an incredible average of 10 shots on goal per game. He most definitely deserves this award as throughout the tournament Shay had to put up with tremendous back pain whilst still pulling off some great saves in the processes.

Runner up: Joe Hart

Shay Given was closely followed by England’s Joe Hart who not only from stats claimed to be the second busiest keeper (at an average 8.25 shots per game) but in the last match against Italy had more passes than any other England player… some feat…

The top 5 stats in full:

Player Country Games Played Shots on Goal Shots on per game
1st Shay Given Republic of Ireland 3 30 10.00
2nd Joe Hart England 4 33 8.25
3rd = Vyacheslav Malafeev Russia 3 21 7.00
3rd = Maarten Stekelenburg Holland 3 21 7.00
5th Andrij Pyatov Ukraine 3 19 6.33

Stats by

Euro 2012 Goalkeepers of the Tournament

So Euro 2012 is now over, with Spain crowned the kings of Europe again. What a tournament –¬†not just for the dazzling goals and outfield action¬†but for the Goalkeeping too!

We saw fantastic examples of Goalkeeping¬†and then again some not so good examples with Arsenal’s Worjciech¬†Szczesny seeing red or¬†seeing errors from Goalkeepers who we have recently seen to have had excellent seasons relatively error free. However to jump to the defence of a number of Goalkeepers here,¬†some of these¬†were errors¬†not because they were poor on judgement, that they had to deal with a very unpredictable ball… As Joe Hart experienced and as only one camera angle caught, the ball flew through the air almost ‘wobbling’ in flight. So Goalkeepers had extra factors to deal with in this tournament rather than the obvious ones…

So with the tournament over, UEFA posted their 23 man squad of the tournament, showing that they felt the 3 best goalkeepers had been:

  • Iker¬†Casillas;
  • Gianluigi Buffon; and
  • Manuer¬†Neuer.

3 quality Goalkeepers who I agree deserve recognition, however what did my followers think and who do the tournament stats say were the best? 

There is still time for you all to vote for your favourite, with polls closing this week. I shall then provide an insight into who else deserves our recognition from this great tournament…¬†

How are the Euro 2012 Goalkeepers performing? Who do you think is the pick of the bunch?

Have you been keeping an eye on those Euro 2012 Goalkeepers?

There have been cracking examples of great Goalkeeping… oh and some¬†not so good examples…¬†across this competition.¬† So have any of the Goalkeepers playing at these European Championships stood out for you as of a different class to all the others at the tournament?

I have now opened up the poll for you to start register your votes as to who you think has been the best.

Please may I ask¬†you to cast the vote based on¬†reviewing all of¬†the Goalkeepers¬†and try not to vote for them¬†because it is¬†your home nation… unless of course they honestly deserve it!

This poll shall close soon after the tournament at which point the results shall be announced.

I look forward to seeing who you choose and of course please feel free to comment as to your reasons why…

Euro 2012 Group C Goalkeepers

The Goalkeepers to Watch in this tournament (if they get their chance)… A quick guide to the Goalkeepers at Euro 2012



Stipe Pletikosa, FC Rostov, Age 33 – Squad Number 1 – 91 senior international appearances prior to this tournament

Ivan Kelava, GNK Dinamo Zagreb, Age 24 – Squad Number 12 – 0 international appearances

Danijel SubaŇ°ińá, Monaco, Age 27 – Squad Number 23 – 4 international appearances


Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus, Age 34 – Squad Number 1 – 114 international appearances

Salvatore Sirigu, Paris St Germain, Age 25 – Squad Number 12 – 3 international appearances

Morgan De Sanctis, Napoli, Age 35 – Squad Number 14 – 5 international appearances

Republic of Ireland

Shay Given, Aston Villa FC, Age 36 – Squad Number 1 – 122 international appearances

Kieran Westwood, Sunderland FC, Age 27 – Squad Number 16 – 10 international appearances

David Forde, Milwall FC, Age 32 – Squad Number 23 – 2 international appearances

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Iker Casillas, Real Madrid, Age 31 – Squad Number 1 – 131 international appearances

Victor Valdes, Barcelona, Age 30 – Squad Number 12 – 8 international appearances

Pepe Reina, Liverpool, Age 29 – Squad Number 23 – 25 international appearances

This group boast a lot of experience Goalkeepers with all the teams Number 1’s having over 90 caps each. Will experience count? Or will we see more un-characteristic mistakes from the more experienced?¬†So¬†will any of these be your pick of the tournament…

2011-2012 Premiership’s Best Goalkeeper Poll

So I have already shown my cards as to who I think is the stand out Goalkeeper of the Premiership this Season. But you may disagree with me… especially as there has been some fantastic Goalkeeping examples by a number of the Goalkeepers in the top level.

Now is your chance to vote for your best in my poll.

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