The wing stance of handball goalkeeper


The wing stance of handball goalkeeper is used as a preparatory position for the saves of shots from the wing position.


Before you start to work on wing saves with your goalkeeper, it’s important to understand that there are different ways to position and to react depending if the wing shot comes from small, normal or big angle.


In this article we will speak about wing stance as preparatory position of goalkeeper before saving the shots from small or normal wing angle. Because when we speak about big wing angle from which wing players can shoot – then goalkeeper would have normal basic stance, since the angle would be very big to use basic wing stance.

Having that in mind the next logical step, which many coaches neglect or just ignore, is to show to your goalkeeper the angles from the wing position. You can use any kind of rope or elastic string for this.


In this photo you can see the preview of the angles and where the ball can go from that position.


The wing stance of handball goalkeeper


This means that if the wing shot comes from small angle– the goalkeeper has to just position properly, observe and wait for the shot! There is NO NEED to make step forward when the shot comes from small angle!

Next important thing to explain is the wing stance, which is little bit different than the basic goalkeeper stance.


The main difference between the wing stance and basic stance is that we use hand closer to the post to cover the space above and in front of the head (as shown in the photo).


NOTE: if you have very young goalkeeper who is not tall enough yet, then you will avoid this position of hands, and you will use higher basic stance position of the hands.

The wing stance of handball goalkeeper


Another difference between the basic stance and wing stance is position of the foot further from the post-that foot should be little bit “open” towards the player.


Features of the wing stance of handball goalkeeper:

  • The legs are slightly separated (for example: not more than the size of handball ball).
  • The body weight is on the leg that is closer to the post.
  • The other leg is freed of weight so that it is easy to move it during the save reaction. Hip of this leg is in external rotation, so that the foot is slightly rotated towards outside.
  • Hand closer to the post is bent at the elbow and raised above/in front of the head, so that the forearm that is movable protects head and defends the upper corner of the goal above goalkeeper’s head.
  • The other hand (the one that is further from the post) is raised and bent in the elbow at around 90°. This hand controls the upper back corner. This hand also serves to defend together with leg middle high shots in back corner.
After making sure your goalkeeper is aware of these few basic things, you can proceed with teaching him/her how to react on shots from small, normal or big wing angle.

Remember: it will be much easier for young goalkeeper to understand the whole concept of “wing saves” if you split wing shots in 3 segments, depending from how big angle the shot is coming:

  • small
  • normal or
  • big.

Or at least that is something that has helped me a lot in my coaching work!


Also, to each of these segments you want to add 3 different levels of shots: 

  • high
  • middle and
  • low shots.


The wing stance of handball goalkeeper



And in the end you want to work with each level of shots depending on whether the shot comes to front or back corner of the goal.

The wing stance of handball goalkeeper


Having all these things in mind – you understand that the wing saves are very big chapter in teaching goalkeeper technique, and thus it should get special and longer time in training process.

One of the very important things (if we are speaking about the shot that comes from normal size of the wing angle), is that the goalkeeper should start saving reaction from the basic wing stance with going forward – making one step outtowards the player. This step should be made first with the leg that is closer to the post, and then joining the other leg and reacting to the shot, or following with small side steps the direction of the wing player’s jump. But remember – making a step forward towards the player IS NOT THE ONLY, EXCLUSIVE WAY to position or to react on wig shots!

There are many varieties and things that have to be considered and worked on when it comes to reacting on wing shots!!!

Here is just short description and example of the way how I teach goalkeepers to understand how react on wing shots coming from different angles:

6 thoughts on “The wing stance of handball goalkeeper”

  1. Being a keeper for +30 years I fully agree with your views. As a coach I have had some problems explaining to the young people what they should do – your posts have helped me in that. Many thanks!

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