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Goalkeeper Handling: “W” Catch

In this coaching corner we are going to focus on the Goalkeeper. As a former Goalkeeper I recognize that the modern keeper has to cover a lot of bases, from having to be good with the ball on the ground to being technically solid with diving and catching the ball. The “W” catch is a common save in the game and one that with practice and understanding can be mastered.

When to use the “W” catch 

When a shot is above chest height, the keeper should catch the ball using the “W” catch. The catch gets its name from the keeper’s index finger and thumbs forming a “W” shape when the save is made.

Technique: Upper Body

  • Shoot hands to ball
  • Keep thumbs behind the ball as a barrier
  • Head slightly forward
  • Keep eyes open (do not blink)
  • Arms should make an upside down “V” shape
  • Ball should end in keeper’s eyeline

Technique: Lower Body

  • Legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart
  • On toes, weight forward
  • Knees slightly bent
  • If ball is shot outside of the frame of the body the keeper must shoot hands and step to the ball (ball side leg first) so they complete the catch with their body behind the ball

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