Saves of 6-Mater Line Shots

Saves of 6-Meter Line Shots

Saving shots from the 6-meter line in handball is one of the most challenging aspects for goalkeepers due to the short reaction time and the power behind the shots.

Saving shots from the 6-meter line in handball is a very important skill for goalkeepers, requiring fast reflexes, precise positioning, great timing, explosive (and courageous) movements towards the shooter, and a keen understanding of the shooter’s intentions.
Positioning and timing are fundamental for saves of 6-meter line shots. Goalkeepers have to position in a way that maximizes coverage of the goal while allowing fast movements in response to the shot.

When it comes to following the line player’s direction of turning, anticipation is key. Goalkeepers should first observe the side to which the line player (pivot) is turning after getting a ball, and then goalkeepers should pay attention to the shooter’s hips and shoulders.

For shots from short distances, like the ones from the 6-meter line, reaction time is reduced due to the strength and speed of the shots. Goalkeepers should focus on making themselves as big as possible by keeping a wide basic stance, reducing the angles for the shooter by stepping forward, towards the shooter. Stepping forward should be done towards the side of the hand with the ball.
Goalkeeper’s stepping out too early will be punished with a “lob” or a “screw” shot (or any other kind of a trick shot for that matter). To read more about the first step forward, please check out this blog post: Step Forward in Saves of 6-Meter Line Shots.

Specifically, for pivot line shots, goalkeepers need to be skilled and focused at reading the pivot’s movements and positioning themselves to cover as much goal area as possible without committing too early.

For breakthrough shots, where attackers break through the defense for a close-range shot, goalkeepers must be quick to close down the angle, also by stepping forward towards the shooter to reduce the shooter’s options.

In all cases, successful goalkeeping against 6-meter line shots combines physical readiness, tactical knowledge of shooter’s position and movement, with psychological insight into the shooter’s likely actions, a challenge that makes handball particularly exciting for goalkeepers.



Here are a few important things for goalkeepers when attempting to save shots from the 6-meter line, especially against pivot players or during breakthrough shots:

Positioning For Saves of 6-Meter Line Shots

Proper positioning for 6-meter line shots is one of the most important conditions in order to be able to save these close range shots. Goalkeeper needs to anticipate the movement of the ball at all times, especially when the ball is passed by any of the players towards the line player – pivot. Good news is that a goalkeeper always has an advantage of seeing when the pivot will get the ball, thus making it a little bit easier to be fully ready for stepping towards the shooter.

The same goes for breakthrough shots – goalkeeper can anticipate and see almost always when the attacking player is coming in a breakthrough position for a shot.



A balanced and ready goalkeeper’s stance is crucial. Goalkeepers should stand with their weight slightly forward on the front part of their feet, knees slightly bent, and arms wide open and ready. This position allows for quick movements in any needed direction.


Angle Reduction – Stepping Forward

Goalkeepers need to effectively reduce the angle of the shot by positioning themselves in a way that covers as much of the goal as possible without compromising their ability to react. For shots from 6 meters, goalkeeper needs to step forward, towards the shooter, to shorten the angle. So before making any of the save reactions for the shots from 6-meter line, goalkeepers first need to step forward and position themselves  properly.



Good footwork is essential for quick lateral movements, and forward stepping for adjusting the body position to improve the chance of a save.


Reading the shooter

Positioning isn’t just about where the goalkeeper stands, it’s also about reading the shooter’s body language and positioning to anticipate the direction of the shot.




Quick reflexes are essential. Training should focus on enhancing reaction speed to block shots that have very little lead time.



A goalkeeper’s ability to anticipate the shooter’s intentions can compensate for the physical limits of reaction time. Understanding common shooting patterns, player tendencies, and visual cues can help anticipate the shot’s direction.


Decision Making

Quick and accurate decision-making is crucial. Goalkeepers must decide in a split second how to react to the shot and determine the best way to do so.


Mental Toughness


Maintaining focus and not getting distracted by the movements of other players besides the shooter is vital. Goalkeepers should keep their eyes on the ball from the moment it’s in the shooter’s hand.



Confidence in their abilities allows goalkeepers to remain calm and assertive, even when facing high-pressure shots from close range.



The ability to quickly recover from a missed save or goal is important. Goalkeepers should maintain their composure and prepare for the next shot.


Physical Conditioning

Agility and Flexibility

Being agile and flexible allows goalkeepers to make the wide range of movements and save reactions required to save shots from the 6-meter line.


Upper body strength is important for powerful and effective saves, while leg strength contributes to explosive movements.



In Conclusion

For handball goalkeepers, mastering these aspects through dedicated training, mental preparation, and physical conditioning can significantly improve their performance against shots from the 6-meter line, making them a challenging last line of defense for their team against the opponents.


Connected Topics

After reading this article, you should check out these two about two different techniques for saves of middle shots from 6-meter line:



Video – Shooting Drill For Double Save of 6 Meters Line Shots

In the video below, you can find an exercise for double save reaction of different height shots from 6m line. Prior to shooting, a goalkeeper makes a 180 jump turn, with the purpose of additional activation of vestibulo-ocular / balance system.

For additional challenge and progression of this combo drill, there are countless possible options prior or post shooting part of the drill.

Embrace your coaching genius, be creative and let me know in comments what kind of drills will you come up with after getting inspired with this idea!






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All content (such as text, data, graphics files, images, illustrations, videos, sound files), and all other materials contained in are copyrighted unless otherwise noted and are the property of Vanja Radic Coaching. If you want to cite or use any part of the content from my website, you need to get the permission first, so please contact me for that matter.