How to catch the ball

With goalkeeping, the margin for getting away with mistakes is very low. Safety and effectiveness should be your primary concern. The keeper is typically expected to make all routine saves in a match and attempt to deflect the rest.

Catching the ball

Shots below shoulder level are handled by cushioning the ball from underneath and pressing it against the chest.
The technique for catching shots above shoulder level is known as “The W”. The name comes from the position of the keeper’s hands. The index finger and thumb on both of his hands are locked at about 45 degrees. The hands are put together, forming the letter W. Ideally, the index fingers should be pointing slightly inward.

Goalkeeping techniques


The safest way to catch a rolling ball is to get down on one knee and scoop it up with your hands. To ensure that the ball doesn’t go between your legs, keep your knee close to your planted foot. From this position, you can scoop the ball and bring it to your chest. As you lock the ball against your chest, lean forward to protect it.

Grounding the ball

Raise the knee of your leg that is farther away from the ball and leap sideways from your other leg. When handling the ball, have your arm parallel to the ground with fingers and thumb forming the bottom part of the W. Your other hand should be used for guiding the ball down.


This is one of the more spectacular techniques in goalkeeping. Take off from your leg that is nearer to the ball. When you catch the ball, get your hands on top of it. The ball should touch the floor before the rest of your body. You don’t want to land the dive on your side.


Jump up with one of your knees raised high. This will give you protection against opponents who can potentially collide with you. Immediately after you grip the ball, bring it to your chest and lean over it.

Updated: June 3, 2016
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