Kick Saves And Close Range Shots

Over the first few weeks in the Premier League, numerous goalkeepers have employed the save with the feet to keep out close range reaction shots. If used correctly, the kick save can be a very effective technique. This session is a good way to introduce or refine the goalkeeper’s ability to save with the feet.

Recent Session of Warm-up through Exercise 3. Watching the session you can see the difference between the two goalkeepers and their comfort with kick saves. One has trained it regularly. The other has only just started to train this technique.


Kick Saves & Close Range Shots

1.

Setup:

A. After a few minutes of dynamic movement to loosen up and general handling to warm-up. As a mobility/stretching exercise, Gk’s create blocking shape and kick save shape, alternating sides.

B. 2×2 or 3×3 box. One server and a pile of balls.

Kick Saves And Close Range Shots | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram A

Instructions:

Set 1:

  1. GK initiates action by footwork laterally (left or right) or backwards.
  2. GK to front of box into set position.
  3. Server plays firm ball close to feet of GK for blocking save shape with feet. (6 Rep set/2x footwork into each space).

Set 2:

  1. GK is now using cones for footwork (diagonals)
  2. Still getting to front of box for set.
  3. Server now plays wider than GK’s shoulders, but still within cones for GK to save with extended foot.

Coaching Points:

  • Balanced body weight throughout footwork and set
  • Appropriate hand position even though GK knows it is going to be a foot save
  • Dropping hips, shoulders and head forward so GK is not falling backwards early
  • Different GK’s will have different levels of set position so it is not a once size fits all at this range.
  • Encourage the GK to not drop too low, focusing specifically on not letting their butt drop behind their heels

2.

Setup:

Server A central, just outside of 6-yard box. Server B angled near corner of 6-yard box. Balls with Server’s A & B.

Kick Saves And Close Range Shots | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram B

Instructions:

  1. Server A takes positive touch forward low shot for GK foot save.
  2. GK covers rebound (if close), then quickly angles for Server B.
  3. Server B shoots for either hand or foot save.

In this session, we rotated 2×2 each side to maximize intensity without creating fatigue.

Coaching Points:

  • Body shape
  • Kick save shape and technique
  • Rebound reaction/angle
  • Angle for 2nd shot
  • Choice to save with hands or feet

3.

Setup:

Same position for servers A & B. This progression Server A will have 2 Balls.

Kick Saves And Close Range Shots | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram C

Instructions:

  1. Server A exchanges pass with GK. 1 or 2 touch return.
  2. Server A takes positive touch towards GK. GK holds ground in good balanced body shape for kick save shot.
  3. GK angles covers rebound or angles to where ball traveled. Server A passes to Server B (GK angle with ball).
  4. Server B shoots or passes back to Server A for GK re-angle for close range shot (cutback).

Coaching Points:

  • Body shape
  • Kick save shape and technique
  • Rebound reaction/angle
  • Angle for 2nd shot or cutback save
  • Choice to save with hands or feet

4.

Setup:

Using a smaller goal. Something the size of a futsal goal. Width of 6 by 18 yard box. Everything is within shooting range. Coach immediately passes in when ball is out/scored.

Kick Saves And Close Range Shots | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram D

Instructions:

Play 2v2 plus 1/plus GK’s (3v3+1). 1 min-1.5 min rounds. The plus 1 should allow attacking teams to get shooting opportunities within limited number of passes. Rotate players after each round.

Coaching Points:

The smaller goals force the attackers to shoot at a smaller target which will allow the GK many opportunities to make saves with the feet and hands in reaction scenarios similar to those possibly presented in a game.