Lateral movement

Moving in shuffles is an essential part of getting around the D; staying in front of the play where you can block, rather than being side-on and turned away from goal.

Lateral movement (side to side) is the key area of movement around the circle. Think of your movement area as a mini semi-circle of the larger D you play in; this is the space you need to cover to protect your goal. By moving sideways, you can change your angle against the opposition; moving across to deal with the new attacker as the pass is made.



Shuffling is the essential form of movement for a goalkeeper to move across the face of goal. If you watch soccer goalkeepers, the move is very similar; basically, it is sidestepping across to the side you wish to move to. When pushing across from the pushing foot (depending on your left or right direction), make sure your keep in your ready stance, holding your hands up ready for a shot.










The following diagram illustrates the shuffle off the right foot moving to the right (the shuffle is a sideways movement, with you moving left or right to move into the space to your side):




Closing holes

With the shuffle opening up a large space between the open legs when moving, a lot of keepers (up to the pros; Stephen Lambert is a good example, and you could find footage of him actively doing this, playing for Australia in the recent Olympics). This closing off of open space when moving makes sure you have no space showing, in case of a shot; when facing a screen or in-close action when facing goal mouth scrambles, or when facing a deflection as you move across goal – more important in higher levels when shooters like to go for this area, as it is easy to expose.


When pushing across, lead the back leg into the lead leg, in order to close gaps by pushing to lock the pads together, or be as close as possible to block. This extra coverage against shots, with the security of no gaps. However, comes at the cost of movement (since it slows you down when moving to force your legs together, which can be costly when moving with speed against the play is vital). So if you’ve got to dash across the D to get back into space, then you have to balance the importance of speed, by ignoring the need to cover gaps and sacrifice coverage for extra movement.




Moving around your D

Moving around your D is just as important as controlling it; if you’re not moving into position every time the ball moves, you’re not going to be into position to make the save. Shuffling is the main vehicle for moving around, for sideways movement across the D and between attackers, but don’t rule out running sideways, backwards or forwards – how else are you going to charge down the shot, or rush back to fill up space?


Moving with the play

To be able to react to the play’s development and be ready to make an immediate save when called upon, you have to constantly be moving with the play itself. With the change in pace and direction, you have to be adapting your position to match. If you are not and caught unawares, you make the opposition’s life all too easy; not being set on the angle and leaving a wide open net to shoot at.


Moving constantly to re-position in the arc (that has been talked about in previous articles; will dramatically improve your shot stopping and ability to play the angles to your advantage, instead of being forced into a difficult save as the ball moves into the open space you were not ready for.




Focus on the ball

You can arrange your movements by where you are in relation to where the ball is; moving with the ball to keep up with the scoring chances and angles for incoming shots. Your head should be on a swivel, constantly checking to see where the ball is, in case a long pass or run has been made, and then moving your body to adapt to the change in play; kind of like a turkey in a farmyard!


When the ball gets past your half way line you can relax, but once it’s over the line and an attack can easily appear out of nowhere you need to be ‘switched on’ and alert; ready to spring into action.