Proper way to react on high shots from 9m


As always, in work with young goalkeepers, keep in mind one really important thing: proper goalkeeper technique is one thing and goalkeeper style is different thing.


After teaching your goalkeepers proper basic technique, they will be able (together with you) to develop their own goalkeeper style.


Remember, there is not only one universal and the best way to save high shots from 9m, but there is proper way to perform that element of goalkeeper technique.


From the basic stance goalkeeper should react in the fastest and shortest way to the high shot. The way how goalkeepers will react to high shots depends also on their physical constitution and physical abilities. Meaning: smaller / lower goalkeepers will have to do side jump while reacting to high shot and tall goalkeepers will need to make only side step with reacting leg.

Since I am talking here about proper save reaction of high shots from 9m in work with young goalkeepers, we will take into consideration that we are working with smaller goalkeepers.




High save reaction broken into simple elements:high-save_knee-position


From the basic stance high save reaction on 9m shots starts with fast reaction with one or both arms towards the direction of the incoming ball.

At the same reacting leg makes external rotation while the knee is going upwards (if the reaction is to high shot in goalkeeper’s right side, then the reacting leg is the right leg, like in the photo).

The reason we teach goalkeepers to externally turn the reacting leg and lift up the knee is because one of the most common mistakes many young goalkeepers are making, while performing high save reaction, is wrong position of the reacting foot.







At the same time push off step goes from the supporting leg (if the reaction is to the high shot to goalkeeper’s right side, then the push off step will be from the left leg).


This is very important thing to teach your young goalkeepers, since one of the most common mistakes that young goalkeepers are doing is actually jump off from the wrong leg.





“Eternal debate” on this topic is: should the arm reaction be with one or with two arms?

This basically depends on the direction of the ball. By an “unwritten rule”: shots closer to the goalkeeper should be saved with both arms, shots further from the goalkeeper should be saved with one arm. Reaction with one arm is faster than reaction with both arms. But then again: two hands together are giving wider saving surface if saving uppermost corners of the goal.

You should keep these all things in mind when working with your goalkeepers, and certainly perform exercises for high shots saves done with one and with two arms.  🙂



Some of the most common mistakes

that young goalkeepers are making while doing high shots save reactions are:

  • Just before high save reaction to the incoming ball – putting arms first down, and then lifting them up (and that is usually too late)
  • Arm that is reacting to the high shot is positioned backwards – this is ”opening” that high corner
  • ”Swing” movement of the reacting arm – again, this is slowing down the reaction
  • The foot position of reacting leg – the foot is not externally rotated
  • The push off movement is not done from the supporting leg



After proper high save reaction is mastered, the next step in progression would be the middle step, which is sometimes needed just before the high save reaction. But that is new topic for some following text.   🙂



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