The defence of a Penalty Corner can never be taken too seriously. The focus that a Goal Keeper (and every defending player) must have during a Penalty Corner is extremely great.
Being calm and keeping your defence calm in vitally important. If the tension level of one player is too high, you can almost be sure that your opponents will score. Some Goal Keepers prefer to get hyped up, perhaps trying to focus, however I personally find that being calm and focused is the best way to successfully defend a Penalty Corner.
With no offside it is especially crucial that you are focused on everything that is going on around you. Players may come in behind you for the a tip in and the movement of the ball around the circle will be made easier for attacking players. Thus leading to an increase of difficulty for all of the defence (not just the Goal Keeper).
General Points to be Conscious of During Penalty Corners:
- Be calm and focused
- Be aware of the attackers movements
- Be quick and agile (able to change direction quickly)
- Be strong (able to get up quickly after going to ground)
- Be decisive (follow through on your decisions)
How to Defend a Penalty Corner
There are two main ways to defend an Penalty Corner:
- Laying Down
- Standing Up
I personally lie down on Penalty Corners for the direct hit. What ever you do on a Penalty Corner is extremely personal. This the information that I am about to give you is only a guideline to lying down on a Penalty Corner. I have included five basic steps to help you get an understanding of how to lie down on a Penalty Corner.
Move quickly (i.e. sprint/power) off the line 2-4 steps when the ball is hit in.
Set yourself lowering one leg (bending one knee). I keep my knee above the ground to allow easier push off to save the high ball. Thus I am not set in a grounded position.
When the ball is hit shoot the legs and arms out moving towards the ground. It is important to keep the pelvic region in line with the penalty spot.
Lie flat on the ground keeping all body parts as close to the surface as possible and parallel to the goal line.
Note the arrows pointing to two trouble spots. Make sure these areas are on the ground and there is no gap.
Get up the easiest and quickest way possible. It is vitally important that once you have returned to your feet that you are stable and ready to react quickly to the next shot.
Good luck with the keeping!
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