Deflecting Shots: A Skill That Every Goalkeeper Needs
As a goalkeeper, you have to deal with all kinds of shots from different angles, distances, and speeds. Some shots are easy to catch, some are hard to catch, and some are impossible to catch. That’s why you need to have another skill in your arsenal: deflecting shots. Deflecting shots means using your hands or feet to parry the ball away from the goal, instead of trying to catch it. In this article, we will explain why deflecting shots is a skill that every goalkeeper needs, and how to do it properly.
Why Deflect Shots?
Deflecting shots is a skill that can save you and your team from conceding goals. There are many situations where deflecting shots is the best or the only option for a goalkeeper.
- When the shot is too powerful or too close. If the ball is coming at you with a lot of force or from a short distance, you may not be able to catch it securely or safely. The ball may slip through your fingers, bounce off your chest, or hit your face. In this case, it is better to use your palms or fists to push the ball away from the goal, preferably to the sides or over the bar.
- When the shot is too far from your body. If the ball is shot outside your reach, you may need to dive or stretch to get a touch on it. In this case, it is better to use your fingertips or the side of your hand to deflect the ball away from the goal, preferably to the corners or out of play.
- When the shot is unpredictable or deflected. If the ball is swerving, bouncing, spinning, or changing direction due to a deflection, you may not be able to judge its trajectory accurately. In this case, it is better to use your reflexes and instincts to react to the ball and deflect it away from the goal, preferably to a safe area or out of play.
Deflecting shots can also give you some advantages over catching shots. For example:
- You can avoid giving away rebounds. If you catch a shot, you may drop it or spill it in front of you, giving the attackers a chance to score on the rebound. If you deflect a shot, you can direct it away from danger and prevent the attackers from getting a second chance.
- You can avoid giving away corners. If you catch a shot, you may carry it over the line or touch it out of play, giving the attackers a corner kick. If you deflect a shot, you can keep it in play and avoid giving away a set piece.
- You can start a counterattack. If you catch a shot, you may have to wait for your teammates to get into position before distributing the ball. If you deflect a shot, you can launch a quick counterattack by finding an open teammate with your throw or kick.
How to Deflect Shots?
Deflecting shots requires good technique, positioning, anticipation, and decision-making. Here are some tips on how to improve these aspects of your game.
- Use the correct technique. Depending on the situation, you may need to use different techniques to deflect shots. For example, you can use an open palm or a closed fist to parry shots with power, a fingertip save or a scoop save to parry shots with finesse, or a foot save or a block save to parry shots with your feet. You should practice these techniques regularly and learn when and how to use them effectively.
- Position yourself well. Your positioning can make a big difference in your ability to deflect shots. You should always try to stay on your feet and keep your body balanced and ready. You should also try to narrow the angle and reduce the space for the shooter by coming off your line when appropriate. You should also try to cover as much of the goal as possible by adjusting your stance and posture according to the situation.
- Anticipate the shot. Your anticipation can help you react faster and better to shots. You should always try to read the game and predict what the shooter will do based on their body language, position, movement, and options. You should also try to watch the ball closely and track its flight and direction. You should also try to communicate with your defenders and organize your backline.
- Make smart decisions. Your decision-making can determine whether you deflect a shot successfully or not. You should always try to assess the situation and choose the best option based on various factors, such as the speed, distance, angle, height, spin, and deflection of the shot, as well as the position of your defenders, attackers, and teammates. You should also try to deflect the ball away from danger and avoid giving away rebounds or corners.
Deflecting shots is a skill that every goalkeeper needs to have in their toolbox. By following these tips and techniques, you can improve your ability to deflect shots and become a more reliable and confident goalkeeper.