The importance of a field hockey goalkeeper

The goalkeeper is amongst one of the most important players in many team sports and Hockey is no different. They are essentially the last line of defence before the opposition players reach the goal. As the position is such a specialist one you will find that players of this position train in a particular way and focus on the skills and strength that they need to be at the top of their game. Many players, regardless of their playing position will undertake skills and stamina training and some will do this by watching Hockey Training drills like

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Other than in football you will often find that the goalkeeper is the player who has the most padding and protection in their uniform and equipment. This is due to the fact that they are on the frontline of having other players and the sports ball travelling in their direction at great speeds. In field hockey the goalkeeper will wear a helmet with a face grill and also a mouth guard to protect them from a stray hockey ball flying into their faces. They will also wear padded chest protectors, leg guards and arm guards. It certainly isn’t a position for the faint hearted.

With all of that protective equipment on it can be hard to move around and one of the key skills a goalkeeper needs it to be able to react quickly. Here are some top tips on enhancing your goalkeeping skills and ability.

Foot placement

Reacting quickly to a ball flying towards the goal is all about your feet. One of the ways to do this is to keep your weight forward on the balls of your feet. This allows for you to quickly change your position, to dive for a ball and also to utilise your hockey stick to the best of your ability.

Hand placement and positioning

When you are facing a ball heading towards the goal it is important that you keep your arms in an upright position and that they are open. Similarly, to your foot placement this then allows you to react to any high shots that may come in as well as dropping down to a lower position or diving if necessary.

Watch the ball

Players over the years have become very clever at being able to disguise the direction that they are intending on moving in and hitting the ball in. This is why it is important for the goalkeeper to make sure that are continually watching the ball and not the body movements of the player as it is possible to be caught out by watching body movements.