Players Pass Along Their Tips
December 31, 2003 09:00 PM
Town: Louisville, Kentucky
Favorite Team: D.C.United
THE PENALTY KICK - the real beauty of the game!
The P.K. can really make or break a game. It can make a hero out of a nobody, or, unfortunately, sometimes the other way around. So much pressure, tension, and stress is put on the penalty kick, it's really easy to get psyched out! After playing hard for 90 minutes plus overtime, many times we are too tired to think of the proper techniques of how to shoot. Here's some tips!
1) Play mind games with the goalie. Look one way, and shoot the other. Or, fake twice. Doing confusing things like this will surely mess up the goalie's mind. (Just don't get confused yourself!)
2) The best and easiest shot to go for is low and to the corners. An important part to remember is to take a good touch. It doesn't have to be a power shot at 60 miles per hour! A good shot with good placement is essential. To assure that your shot goes in the corner, just pretend like you have a player right on the post. Then, pass it to them! That's right! All you have to do is pass it to your "player" on the post. Also, to make it even harder for the goalie, you can add a little extra bounce to your shot so the goalie will have a harder time getting it. Add the bounce by hitting the ball on the space between your shoelaces and your toes. Hit the middle of the ball, a little on the low side. Make sure you have good follow through. Exaggerate your shot!
3) CALM DOWN! People are usually really nervous and tense when they shoot, but you don't have to be. Don't think about missing the shot. Don't even let the thought cross your mind. Only positive thoughts here! If you need to, just close your eyes, and take a few deep, slow breaths. Take your time. Then look the goalie firmly in the eye with your best game face on, and take your best shot!
Town: Cincinnati, Ohio
Favorite Team: USA
How to Make the Breakaway Save
This is for all you GKs who have trouble with those breakaway saves. Before I start, I'd like to thank Dan Smith for teaching me these tips.
When you first see a breakaway forming, make a decision. Think, "Can my defenders make a difference in the play?" If the answer is yes, come off your line a few steps, but not enough to give the shooter an easy chip over your head. Once the attacker is at the edge of the penalty box and is still moving at a quick pace, it is urgent that you make a smart, quick decision. Chances are that when an attacker is on a breakaway, he/she is going to get as close to the goal as possible before taking a shot.
When making your decision, DO NOT HESITATE. Hesitating gives the shooter an atvantage, because by the time you make a decision, it will probably be too late. In this situation, you most likely want to come off your line and challenge the shooter. This greatly narrows the angle at which the attacker has to shoot at. When you are about 4 feet from your opponent, hit the ground and take the ball off the strikers dribble. If you don't fall to the ground, the attacker can easily push the ball past your feet and score. I have picked up the ball up out of my net more times than I'd like to mention for that reason.
When you make breakaway saves, it looks amazing, but it's not really all that difficult once you know the secret to them!
Town: Goodyear, Arizona
Favorite Team: LA Galaxy
Tips to save the ball
1. Always bend your knees so your ready for every thing
2. When a player is on a breakaway and is 3 feet away, run after the ball and jump on it. 5 out of 10 times it will work.
3. When they shoot from a long distance always keep your eye on the ball and watch there hip and feet. And if you have to dive it doesn't hurt.
I hope these help you become a better keeper!