Getting ready for a soccer match is different for a goalkeeper than anyone else on the team and making sure and warming up in ways that will enhance your responsive, focus and agility will make for a better performance every time. The first part of warming up involves stretching and short 10 to 20 yard burst runs, but it also goes beyond the physical exercise. Warming up for the activities you will be doing during the game will make sure you are well prepared from the start of the first kick-off.
Grab your coach or a teammate to help you warm up and start with ten volleys into hands, during this time make sure you are doing your best to catch the ball with both hands at the same time and making powerful throws into different parts of the field. Next, roll the ball to your warm up partner and have them hit it back to you with their hands to work on agility and response time, about ten times is enough for this warm up.
Other effective warm ups include shuffles from post to post. For this warm up, ask your partner to serve the ball to your hands as soon as you reach each post. Also balls thrown into the air toward you will help with jumping, agility and response time, especially when they are thrown into you as a high cross ball. Remember to also work some diving warm ups in by having someone roll the ball into the goal where you must dive for it. Doing about four of these on the left and four on the right should be sufficient.
The best warm up is up to thirty minutes long and will focus on creating the best game performance. Along with the suggested warm up exercises, you might also want to work in kicking long balls, half volleys and punts. Give yourself a good ten to fifteen minutes for a quick recovery time after your warm up and you should be good to go for the entire game.
You have probably heard of a medicine ball before. It is a weighted ball that is used in all different types of workouts. For goalkeepers, a medicine ball can be a best friend in helping to strengthen wrists, hands, arms and the core. Not only does this improve the power and force they will be able to have as they handle balls during a game. It also decreases the risk of injuries because the stronger the goalkeeper is, the more resilient he or she will be to the heavy impact of game balls.
The easiest way to start using a medicine ball during workouts is to simply bounce, catch and throw it. It can also be used during warm ups by having a partner bounce it to the left or right and allowing the goalkeeper to dive for it as he or she would a game ball. If the goalkeeper has never worked with a medicine ball before though, make sure to start slow and use low impact rolls and bounces before moving on to more strenuous throwing and catching exercises.
Another great exercise to use a medicine ball for improved strength and to also help with some agility training is to have the goalkeeper stand with legs open wide, knees straight but not locked. Then have them move the medicine ball in and out of his or her legs, making a figure eight motion. As they get used to this, they can increase the speed and close the legs together more and more as they go.
As with any other type of exercise, make sure your goalkeeper is properly stretched out and warmed up before getting into more strenuous forms of exercise. Taking breaks from the medicine ball and making sure the goalkeeper is well hydrated will also keep the workout going towards the highest level of benefits. You and your goalkeeper will be able to tell a noticeable performance improvement in just a short time from working out with a medicine ball.
Plyometrics are jumping exercises such as jumping, hopping and bounding. For a quick example, a well known plyometrics exercise is to jump from one box onto the ground and then jumping immediately to a higher box. These are perfect exercises to help goalkeepers improve their agility, speed, and power. They also improve coordination and enhance overall performance, making them a great way to help a goalkeeper bring the best skills to his or her game.
As wonderful as plyometrics are, they do have a higher risk of injury if they are not done properly or if the goalkeeper isn’t properly warmed up and stretched before going through them. This is because of the tremendous force that is used while doing the jumps, hops and bounding movements. There is a possibility of landing the wrong way, such as twisting or sideways motions of the knees. With this in mind, being warmed up and stretched is the beginning, but also, use plyometrics sparingly and make sure there is a good break in between each set of exercises.
To further assure safety for plyometrics, have goalkeepers start slow with small jumps and take time before building up to bigger jumps. Also, having the goalkeeper practice landing softly, toes first then rolling onto heels will help resolve impact issues from landing on the entire foot all at once. Plyometrics should be done on soft surfaces with supportive shoes that have plenty of cushioning.
Starting slow and taking breaks will help the plyometrics drills stay safe, and will condition goalkeepers for the jumping, hopping and bounding they will do during the game. Remember to practice proper landing to keep from twisting muscles or ending up with impact injuries. Also, keep this type of exercise to the smallest percentage of the goalkeepers overall workout for the best results.