To be a great goalkeeper, you need to be able to block shots aimed just below the cross bar—a favorite target of talented scorers. To master the art of blocking the high ones, work on enhancing your vertical jump, reaction time and hand-eye coordination.
Hope Solo, star goalkeeper for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, uses the Depth Box Jump With Ball to develop all three attributes at once. The drill was prescribed by National Team fitness coach Dawn Scott and used by Solo during her prep for the 2011 Women’s World Cup.
To perform the drill, you need a 12- to 18-inch box, a soccer ball and a partner.
- Start by standing on the box with your partner five to 10 feet away holding a soccer ball
- Step off the box with both feet, landing in an athletic position, ready to react
- Immediately explode upward into a jump as your partner tosses the ball high above your head to simulate a shot near the cross bar
- Catch the ball and throw it back to your partner before landing
- Upon landing, step around and back on top of the box
Add this drill to your off-season schedule two days per week.