A Catching Game to Work on Hands & Distribution

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity is a catching game to work on hands, confidence and distribution.

Start with 2 keepers 10 yards apart (the distance can vary depending upon the level of the keepers.  You do want this to be done between 2 keepers of similar abilities.  One keeper starts with a ball in their hands.

The keeper with the ball throws the ball at the other keeper.  The ball can be thrown at any height but must be between the shoulders width (so it can be a rolling ball, a high ball or anything in between but must be at the keeper and not to the side).

If the keeper bobbles the ball while trying to catch it, it counts as a point for the thrower.  If the keeper drops the ball while trying to catch it, it counts as two points for the thrower.  Once the ball is caught (or dropped) it then gets thrown in the other direction.

The first keeper to get 5 points (a somewhat random number, it can be 5 or 8 or 10 or whatever you want) wins.  If the ball is wide of the keeper (not between the shoulders) the thrower loses their turn and the other keeper throws.

Other variations include volleying the ball at each other instead of throwing or kicking from the ground.

This activity works great on forcing the keepers to focus on good catching technique and also will help them realize they can catch a lot more than they might otherwise think.

You can play this with two keepers or if you have a larger group turn this into a competition to see who the “champion” will be.  It’s amazing what happens when you add some competition into the game.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Have a great day!



  1. Tony Pariso says:

    I’m going to try this today with our HS Keepers. Thanks Lawrence.

  2. Mike Feehan says:

    I run a similar drill but allow the ball to be thrown to either side, as long as it is catchable. This reinforces the idea that there are many more “catchable” balls. I also run the drill with the restriction that the catch is made with only one hand. This is especially useful to develop “soft hands.” Lastly, the same drill is done with a tennis ball and a one-hand catch to improve eye-hand coordination and forcing the keeper to look the ball into their hands.

  3. Mike

    I have also done this where the ball could be thrown to the side (within reason). I have found it turns more into a diving activity (and there are times when this is good) but there are also times I really want to emphasize the catching and that is when it changes to what is described above.

    I have also done the one handed catching and absolutely LOVE it. Never tried it with a tennis ball, might be worth an experiment



  4. bill howle says:

    good game, used it and it went well, they liked it and were able to get a lot of reps.