7 Things Goalkeepers Need To Know When Dealing With High Balls And Crosses

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High balls and crosses can be difficult for any goalkeeper out there if they are not approaching them properly. To help, we made a list of things to do when you dealing with them.




1. Use your upper hand when saving very high shots

When the shot from the opposition player is flying very high, more or less under the crossbar, you should use the upper hand in order to make a save. So if the shot is flying towards the top corner on your left, you should use your right hand to prevent the ball from crossing the goal line. Moreover, to stretch yourself even more and allowing yourself of getting more chance to save the ball, you should rotate in the air, meaning that your upper hand will gain extra centimeters and you will then land on your stomach and not on your hip.


2. Don’t band fingers into fist when saving the shot

If the shot is powerful, it’s hard to catch. In that case, the best way is to push it away. But that task becomes harder, if the goalkeepers band fingers into fist before the ball touches their hands. One thing is, that with stretched fingers you gain extra centimeters in your hand which massively help you when saving a shot. And the other thing is that with band fingers you lose control of where you want to push the ball, especially when saving a high shot.


3. Punch the ball from the crowded area

The purpose of the cross from the player’s perspective is to find a target. That target can easily be two or three players marked by your own two or three players, so many crosses are put in to the crowded penalty box. A crowd can be very unpredictable obstacle for the goalkeeper. Therefore, the safest way to deal with the cross, aimed at more players, is to just simply punch the ball away. With one or with two hands it doesn’t matter, as long as the danger passes. In that case, using a fist is the only correct option.


4. Get distance on the ball when punching

As mentioned, punching is extremely useful in a crowd. But it can become goalkeeper’s enemy very quickly. When the ball leaves the goalkeeper’s fist, it has to travel a long distance before touching the ground. That’s the only way to protect your goal. Keep in mind that with punching it, the ball is still »in play«, so if the punch is to short, the opposition can easily get the ball and have more chance of scoring.


5. Don’t quit if you decide to collect the cross

The easiest way to calm down your defense in front of you is to collect the cross. The ball is safe when the goalkeeper has it. But every cross can only be collected, if goalkeepers decide to go for the ball. And once they do, there’s no turning back. That means that when goalkeepers started to move towards the ball to collect the cross, they should not quit, because if they do, that can get caught in the so-called »no man’s land« and can easily concede a goal.


6. Attack the ball not the player

Have eyes on the ball. It’s one of the basic rules. It’s the same when a shot is fired at your goal or when you are facing one on one or when the cross in coming in the penalty box. So always attack the ball when you decide to collect the cross. Players are obstacles and they can cause you a lot of trouble, but if you focus on them instead on focusing on the ball, your trouble can get double.


7. Protect yourself by using the knee

In general, goalkeepers are less injured than outfield players. Nevertheless, one of the ways of getting sidelined is by getting brought down when in the air, trying to collect the cross. So every goalkeeper should push off with one leg and bend the other so that their knees protect them in possible collision with the players. If the cross is coming from your left you should jump with your left leg in bend the right one and the opposite. Keep in mind that landing is then safer on both legs instead of just one.


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