Footwork for Flighted Balls

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on footwork for flighted balls.

Catching (or punching) flighted balls requires the keeper to be able to judge the flight of the ball and also to be able to use proper footwork to approach the ball properly.  This activity works on the footwork.

Start with a keeper on the near post and a server holding a ball at the corner of the 6 and endline.

The server tosses the ball in the air just in front of them and the keeper comes forward and attacks the ball timing it to catch the ball up high

Next the server tosses the ball out in front of the keeper so the keeper must come off his line and get his body turned to catch the ball.

Next the ball gets tossed further back and further out.  The big emphasis should be on the keeper getting back behind the ball whenever possible and coming forward on their last step

Each server goes further and further until it’s truly a challenge for the keeper to get to the ball.  The thing to remember is it’s not good enough to get to the ball, the keeper must use proper footwork to get behind the ball and come forward to attack the ball.

This would be done from both sides.

Next do the same thing but instead of the keeper tossing the ball they would punt the ball out of their hands so now the keeper has to judge the flight of the ball as well.

Once the keeper has proper footwork, then take the crossing from out wide so they are challenged to read the flight of the ball while still concentrating on proper footwork.

Have a great day!



  1. John Cicchino says:

    This drill is so simple, but so effective; we come back to it repeatedly. We’ve made a concious effort to work our keepers on high balls and crosses far more than any other Club. We have a major focus on ‘attack the line, then attack the ball’ It’s absolutely critical, and surprisingly hard to master, having the keeper get into the line of flight first in order to attack up line to the ball

  2. John

    I really like that saying “attack the line, then attack the ball” It does a GREAT job of summarizing the concept in a few words