Reaction Saves on Close Shots

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on reaction saves on close shots.

When we think about goalkeeping, and more specifically shot blocking, we think big goals and shots to the upper corners.


In this activity it’s close in shots with a keeper protecting a small goal.

Start with a goal that is 6 x 4 (0r even smaller, if you prefer) and a server just off to the side of the goal with balls. There is a second server 10 yards from goal.


The keeper has to start by the near post (since in theory the first server could shoot at the near post) and the server plays the ball out to the player 10 yards out.


The keeper shifts to cut off the angle and the second server shoots first time, trying to score.

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The keeper makes the save (from this distance it’s not unusual for the keeper to make the save but not hold onto the ball so the keeper must be prepared for a follow up shot from either server, if a rebound is given).

As soon as the play is over, the keeper must sprint back to the near post and do it again.

This activity is working on saving shots from close in, hit just to the side of the keeper and while it’s not as glamorous as the save from the shot to the upper corner, this is one of the most difficult saves to make so it’s extremely important for keepers to prepare for these types of saves.

Have a great day!


By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

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