If the other team doesn’t score, you can’t lose.
Yeah, it’s an old cliché—but it’s true. Just ask the Houston Dynamo.
The Dynamo are sitting atop the Western Conference standings, and Pat Onstad, their goalkeeper, who gives up less than one goal per game, has helped them get there.
According to Mike Toshack, the Dynamo’s goalkeeper coach, agility is crucial to making saves. “The way soccer balls are made today, you see shots that move quite a bit. So more than ever, goalkeepers need to be agile to react,” Toshack says. “We do sport-specific agility drills to help the goalkeeper’s position, foot quickness, reaction and recovery.”
Check out Toshack’s keeper-specific Agility Save drill. Dynamo goalies perform it twice a week throughout the season.
Goalkeeper Agility Save Drill
- Face sideline closest to post where cones are set up
- On coach’s command, jump 180 degrees over cones so you’re facing shooter
- Use footwork to get across goal and in good set position before shot
- Defend shot coming from partner
- Perform 5 reps in each direction with 30-second rest
Adaptation: If the goalkeeper doesn’t get possession of the first shot, the shooter can try to score again on the rebound. The drill doesn’t end until the shooter scores or the goalie makes a save.
Benefit: This drill gets the goalkeeper in an awkward, unpredictable position, which recreates a game situation.
Get your head around as soon as you jump over the cones to find the shooter // Move across the goal line fast but with control // Keep your head and hands steady as you move // Don’t be moving when the ball is shot; be in a set position // You should be set with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight on the balls of your feet.