Water Polo Goalkeeper Types and Technique

Translated from the original by Manel Silvestre, 19/07/2007. All the opinions, development of themes and means of differentiating goalkeepers are personal opinions and are not based on any specific study. It is not an exact science: there are no obligatory rules for the development of goalkeepers. It¶s only a personal opinion as seen by an insider. The physical, mental, muscular etc., aspects are taken into account, but there is no guarantee of success in all cases. Various examples illustrating them can be seen in the video ³Goalkeepers 70¶ 80¶ 90¶ 00¶´ at http://elcuervowaterpolo.blogspot.com/ or in YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuyUqsFUkB8 and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBl0HMUZ7Vk. Manel CONTENTS

1 2 3

Goalkeepers, the Great Forgotten ................................ ................................ ...... 2 What goalkeepers do we have? ................................ ................................ ........... 2 How to train a goalkeeper? ................................ ................................ .................. 3

4 What type of goalkeeper do we have or what type of goalkeeper are we creating? ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 3 5 6 There are types of goalkeeper? ................................ ................................ ........... 4 5.1 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 7 Technique................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 7 6.1 The Back, the Lumbar and the Abdominal ................................ ............................ 7 6.2 Glides and Fakes: the Hands................................ ................................ ...................... 8 6.2.1 Glides................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 8 6.2.2 Gliding in the goal, in set attack ................................ ................................ ...................... 9 6.2.3 Glide in man-down................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 10 6.2.4 The fake: the hands................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 11 6.2.5 The jump ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 12 6.2.6 The jump with a fake ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 13 6.2.7 Arms in the jump ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 14 6.2.8 Hands ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 15

1

1 Goalkeepers, the Great Forgotten
Do we pay enough attention to our goalkeepers? There are very many times that, when we have finished explaining training to our players, we look at two people alone, anxiously waiting for the training that applies to them. Our solutions are not the best« We get them to swim with the players. We repeat the same routine training. We say to them ³warm up a little for shooting´.

These are easy solutions but are not correct for an essential element in our team¶s scheme. It is said that the goalkeeper is more than 50% of the team. That might not be a slight exaggeration but he is one of the most important players in any team and we don¶t treat him as such. We do not correct them, technically. We do not make them work to give their maximum. We do not prepare them to perform at 100% at the end of the week. We do not adapt the system to them, but we do expect them to adapt to the system. Perhaps You should not take the same approach with goalkeepers who range from those who save from close range, from far, are fast or slow, those who steal balls, those with great wingspan, those who stay up for the fake, the ones that only save the first time shot. In the end, what goalkeepers do we have?

2 What goalkeepers do we have?
In general terms we can say, that whoever is our goalkeeper, our system is not going to change: that is a big error. Here are some examples: y Goalkeepers that are good at saving first time shots.

If we play a 2-3 static zone, for example, it will be very difficult and performance will not be maximal. On the other hand, if we convert to a more dynamic defence including adding a extra player to help the zone, the performance will be improved. The attackers will have only one or two seconds available to take a shot and it will always be first time or without much of a fake. y Goalkeepers with good movement

You can benefit by using an M defence, or by pressing, to steal the ball at centre forward. y Goalkeepers with little movement

Types of defence are confined to two players: 1 and 2 or 2 and 3. If there are three players involved, always place one in line (in the passing line) so that a long pass, for example, from 2 to 4, will be as slow as possible. These are goalkeepers used to cutting down the shooting angle and their tendency is to jump forward. y Goalkeepers used to certain systems

Russians, Hungarians, Serbians, Croatians, etc. Used to defensive systems with big blocks limiting the space where a save is required. In this case particularly, you have to adapt the team to him, improving the team¶s capacity for blocking in defence in 6-on-6 and 6-on-5.

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3 How to train a goalkeeper?
Broadly speaking as a player. We get the players to carry weights, in the gym and swimming pool, reducing these over the week, and increasing speed and explosiveness when getting nearer to the match. For the goalkeeper, it needs to be the same whether in the gym or in the water. Do drills taking more time, weight or quantity at the start of the week and changing to less time, weight, or quantity; progress from slow and long drills to more explosive ones as the week goes on. (You can find specific drills in Training Goalkeepers 2000 in the downloads section of http://elcuervowaterpolo.blogspot.com/ or at http://www.scribd.com/people/view/69166). In any case it all depends, as always, on the type of goalkeeper that we are talking about.

4 What type of goalkeeper do we have or what type of goalkeeper are we creating?
It is with disappointment that we often see goalkeepers that have great quality in early categories fade away gradually as they go up through the grades. And regardless of the physical or technical qualities that had been acquired during years of training, we are partly to blame that talented goalkeepers become good, but not excellent, goalkeepers. The majority of goalkeepers in inferior grades have the style that we could call from 1993 and before. We¶ll call this type of goalkeeper type A. The principal characteristics of this goalkeeper are: y y y y Vertical ³alert position´ (see translation notes) Vertical jump in a cross shape Body when jumping almost never twisted sideways. Hands in alert position outside the shoulders (and the more the fakes, the more they open) y Jumps with arms almost straight y Arms going out laterally from the body when jumping y Hands oriented to the outside (the opposite of what is needed for absorbing a shot) y Often a two-handed jump etc« If a goalkeeper¶s physical development has been premature, they like it that it is easier to save shots in the younger grades. Schools: Stops everything that arrives y Why?

Small goals: Big error. A goalkeeper gets used to saving in a cross position because that¶s enough to cover the goal. The majority of shots are high, slow and have a predictable shape to them. Obviously school children lack the strength and technique required for bounce-shots (they might be tried in training, but not in matches because of tiredness), or to make changes to the shot using wrist action etc. Jumps with two hands, because shots are predictable by look, position or the difficulty of making technical shots in these younger grades.

3

Youth: Things begin to go wrong. He does not get to well-placed shots, but continues being a good goalkeeper. y Why?

With the players¶ increase in strength, they can start taking bounce-shots (also because they enjoy it) and shots under the arms (low shots) without fear that they will get stuck in the water. He continues to have the tendency to jump upwards, including taking his hands out of the water before the shot. The goals are normal size. He doesn¶t get to well-placed shots because he continues to jump in a cross position and because his continued physical development makes him slower. He is still a good goalkeeper, he has a good physique for his age and continues to stop shots from the majority of players in matches, but in training, we see he doesn¶t stop certain shots from fresh players«That makes us think. He continues saving with two hands, because he knows the players at this grade (and will know continue to know them) throughout his career up to the senior team. Juvenile and Junior: He saves half the shots what he saved as a youth player. He is a ordinary goalkeeper. He has stopped growing and hasn¶t passed 1.80 in height (like most of us). y Why?

He continues to save as we have taught him. Or rather, as we did nothing for the development of his technique: we didn¶t say anything about it. Or if we said something, we didn¶t know what we were talking about. The players start using wrist variations, also bounce-shots from various angles, (the ball coming from above or side-on), the accurate placing of shots and big fakes. He doesn¶t save shots under his arms, nor those to the top corners, nor bounce-shots and only guesses half the shots for two-handed saves. We have created an average goalkeeper. Congratulations! The solution is to understand the types and techniques of goalkeepers and to apply training to them.

5 There are types of goalkeeper?
Yes, there are. You are doing 10 sets of 30 seconds with 5 kilo medicine balls each over the head (the famous Mickie Mouse), and legs going at a thousand revolutions, and each time that you reach 25 seconds in each series your legs begin to burn. Having finished the drill, you go to the goal and feel that although you have made a good effort with the legs, you need to continue warming up. Why? Because you are a type C goalkeeper. There are very many types, including goalkeepers that from the same position in the water make a completely different jump compared to their peers, but, taking an overview, we can distinguish three. We will call them A, B and C.

4

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Type A

Look at t e erti al position of t e motorcyclist: it is pretty much the typical position of American goalkeepers, ut also the typical position of new goalkeepers that we have already descri ed and in our case in Spain) it is the worst option to teach unless, of course, the players is about metres tall.

abor emes Examples in the Type B

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his is the best position for a goalkeeper who has the following physical characteristics: a great wingspan and a big physi ue with good coordination in and outside the water.

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nce the shot is made, some tend to contract their trunk again to cut down the angle of the shot. e is practically the perfect goalkeeper taking into account his physical advantages). hey have few flaws in their characteristics.

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is almost foetal position allows him to make the most of his trunk when beginning a jump even before taking his arms out of the water reat arm power, helping stay up during fakes with arms at shoulder width and without opening them much wider for fakes. n the other hand, they are vulnerable to very technical shots, like a shot over the head or with a delay. heir arm techni ue is usually very good. heir techni ue with hands in the water´ is very good. echni ue with hands out of the water´ varies according to the individual, but, when correct, barely a ball goes into the net. As for jumping, there are two types: 

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his is the position advised for goalkeepers lacking height, because it allows them to reduce the angle further in the jump. he position of the knees is lower and the goalkeeper works in his initial position, more with abductors than with uadriceps or femorals´.

ence the answer to the example we gave at the beginning. ith the medicine ball you are likely to work vertically: therefore you are working muscles that are used in the second part of the jump, but you are not working the main muscle used by these goalkeepers: the abductor.

hen jumping, as with type B, the whole trunk is used and they further reduce the angle by crunching again. As a result of having the knees further back, the angle to reduce is greater. ith very fast hands, they need to work with lower weights than the previous type and more explosively, above all with reference to the shoulders. Again there are two types:

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ith a much more extended body as we have already described. heir tendency in response to a fake is to go forwards, making them vulnerable to lobs here computer analysis comes in, or memorising the shots of players, as well as intuition) but good at penalties and close-range shots.

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hilst others make a lateral jump, sacrificing the capability of cutting down the distance to the ball. hese are vulnerable to bounce-shots when making the lateral jump. heir techni ue with hands out of the water is worse, so they give too many rebounds.

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2. The goalkeeper¶s body position is between that of B and C and although their position seems semi-vertical, their technique is faster than type B¶s, having a lighter physique, and they are good with lobs and at reducing the angle of the shot to a little less than the previous type; however they are a bit less assured with close-range shots and bounceshots. Examples in the Goalkeepers video: Andreo, Aguilar, Attolico In the video ³Goalkeepers 70¶ 80¶ 90¶ 00¶´ at http://elcuervowaterpolo.blogspot.com/ or in YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuyUqsFUkB8, you can see the differences between the types, although there are some goalkeepers like Andreo and Aguilar who fall into two different types.

5.1
y y y y

onclusions
Understand where we are now and what is the typical state of players in our country. (Although there are always exceptions). There are significant medical studies on the growth of the individual in both height and wingspan, at an early age. Introduce stimulating technical routines; correct, teach and back up what we explain with argument. Choose carefully the type of goalkeeper that we want to instruct, whether:

He already is an extremely big individual. Or maybe he lacks motor skills or coordination in his movements (in and out of the water). Or maybe even look at his parents to see what he might end up like. y y Observe his weaknesses and insist on correcting them in training. Don¶t forget that in doing shooting drills, we are already working the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper also needs players to be at his service in specific drills. Be sure that anything that is not corrected now, will become a technical issue that will always hold them back and will be more difficult to correct later.

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6 Technique
How is that when each type of goalkeeper and each individual is different, we do a general progression of technical work.

6.1

The

ack, the Lumbar and the

bdominal

It is the primary and key element in the jump of a goalkeeper, you can even stop a shot in the first instance by, for example, using the hamstrings in the ³abductor position´, or with the legs crossed or with the body half stretched in the water. 1. All of this work is carried out by the lumbar muscle which allows you to lift yourself up to your waist. The trunk has to move in the same direction as the ball, not come up and then turn towards it. Another of the important tasks when dealing with fakes is keeping rhythm for the duration of the faking. Example in the Goalkeepers video: Sostar. 2. The abdominal is the next muscle, allowing you to close the shooting angle. When the ball is already on its way, that¶s the moment to contract the abdominals. Example in the Goalkeepers video: Rollan 3. These movements are generally in real-life defensive situations where movement of a short distance is needed by the goalkeeper (1 and 2, 2 and 3).

7

In long glides from to or to for example), it is more difficult to make this movement, because the tendency in these shots is to jump backwards, so that you are not in the ideal situation in the goal in relation to the player: also because you have had further to move.

In the gym: working the abdominals and the lumbar in general In the pool: igh butterfly with crunches in the air ultiple shots in the same position

umps facing the goal: if we always insist that they touch the posts and the corners when facing outwards from the goal, it¶s only possible by jumping backwards. umping towards the goal and insisting on reaching the posts and corners, gets them used to saving while jumping forwards, cutting down the angle.

6.2
6.2.1

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There are three or four different glides.

The problem with this glide is the loss of support and balance when the arm and body come down into the water, resulting in an unnatural position for the next jump, and when needing to jump again, the position of the arm which is already extended) coming from the below to above without any control. Very typical of American goalkeepers, like raig ilson, Brandon Brooks or ackett: the ungarian goalkeeper, Zoltan Zsecsi is also used to doing like this.

The problem with this glide is the loss of support by not having the same thrust with the arm extended as contracted, and, if a jump is required, the position of the arm which is already extended) coming from the below to above without control.

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lide made with the arm below the water in the direction of travel, extending it but not using it like a pushing stroke. The only push is from the hand the opposite side from where they are moving.

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or example glide to the right. rom the normal alert position:

. Left hand with the palm of the hand outwards to get the greatest resistance in the water and therefore to start the glide. At the same time, the right hand begins the glide towards the right with the palm of the hand downwards to have the minimum resistance to the water. Initiation of the glide and the jump

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movement of the glide

orce for the glide

Perpendicular vertical force

And so on. In this manner a rapid movement is made: while it is not the quickest method to glide that is the first method), you always have the correct support and enough power in the arms to make a jump in any direction. seful types of training: Lateral alert movement across the pool Lateral alert movement across the pool with traction from only one arm right and left in the same direction) Shots with players in an arc, making as many passes and fakes as they like.

Typical faults in drills: pay a lot of attention in the lateral glide to having the most vertical body position possible. If the body leans in the direction of the glide, the jump is low, technically incorrect and uncoordinated.

We already have a way to glide.

It¶s easy to understand. rom the shooting position to the centre of the goal draw an imaginary line: we will call this the li e f shooter. We also make an imaginary ellipse from post to post, and the intersection with the li e of the shooter gives us the point where we have to place ourselves. This point we will call the i eal position.

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eturn to the initial position: in this case the left hand turns with the palm of the hand lightly inwards, with little resistance to speed up the movement, but at the same time having a minimum level of support to make a jump. At the same time, the right hand is the one that gives almost all the power of the glide, turning the hand hori ontally when returning to the original alert position.

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lide in almost all goalkeepers - two pushes

palm of the hand downwards with minimum resistance

In all the glides, the rule is: move first to the line of the shooter and then, secondly, to the i eal position. If we were always to follow the ellipse to get to the next ideal position, we would always arrive late.

The distance between the line of the shooter and the ideal position is almost nothing: by making a small glide we are already in position.

In the case of a long glide, for example from to : the big difference between the movements that we have to make to get to the ideal position is obvious.

The movements in man-down will depend on the defence of the team in each position. If in general the defence is tight, the radius of action to defend is quite small and the shift is less.

Whilst with a more open, higher´, defence, the goalkeeper has to cover more of the goal.

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Advice: y advice always is to assume the later applies, because in that way you become used to not always being dependent on the defender¶s block. In that case, you are not just used to saving shots in your space´ and you are unpredictable to attackers, who otherwise know that getting past the arm of the blocker is half way to scoring a goal. This is case with ussian, roat, Serbian and ungarian goalkeepers). oalkeepers video, Aguilar and Silvestre save behind the arm of the

Examples: in the defensive block. 6.2.4 Th f

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(Examples for styles of type B and

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A player fakes to make the position of the goalkeeper unstable: therefore the goalkeeper should maintain the alert position as long as possible before the shot.
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The alert position

The hands: They have the most important function in the balance of the body along with the back. They are also the stabilisors when staying up for fakes and for making the jump afterwards. The movements are symmetrical: . Palms perpendicular moving outwards to exert pressure on the water, without opening the arms too much: the movement outwards should coincide with the shooter¶s arm moving backwards, and«

Vertical force to maintain elevation of the body

. Palms of the hands perpendicular and inwards, producing a vertical push that coincides with the shooter¶s arm moving forwards, so that you are prepared to jump if a shot is made. If no shot happens, back to the beginning.

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ovement of the hands in alert position

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The arms: ands and elbows parallel to each other. Elbows separated from the body coming out some shoulders. Elbows about centimetres in front of the torso.

centimetres from being level with the

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Vertical force to start the jump

It¶s very important not to make the first movement too high in response to the fake because, after this movement, the shooter has a window, and with one more fake, gravity does its job and the body sinks. Another of the important point is that, when the arms are more open, the jump is less natural, and there is no control of the jump from a lateral position upwards.

There are two different leg techniques to make a jump.
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With an alternate kick, suitable for goalkeepers with a big wingspan: lateral jumps are limited in extent, but recovery after the jump is quicker. With breaststroke kick: the boost is greater as is the jump: the disadvantage, in a lateral jump, is that the resulting position of the body is more sideways than the first technique and the recovery to the alert position is slower.

Hands low in the water We have already explained the movements in the alert position to initiate the jump: this is the complete sequence with the jump included«

Palm downwards with minimal resistance

Vertical and lateral force

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Th jump

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ovement of hands in alert position

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The correct jump can be done when the shooter is at a distance of -8 metres: when the shooter is much nearer, (in man-up, counter-attack, lateral players), the tendency of the goalkeeper is: . To have a more vertical back: positioned so that the angle with reference to the players is less. . The reaction time is less, therefore you tend to cover more of the goal jumping with two hands at the same time, but in the end you end up doing a lateral jump that is technically poor. Don¶t get confused by the examples below, where the trunk is completely vertical. Aquí pasas, de parar el balón a desear que te de«´

The principal mission of the goalkeeper, in response to fakes, is to maintain the alert position as much as possible. Errors when responding to fakes:
y y

In fakes, the tendency is to open the arms, so they go to the side and forwards: this hinders saving technical, particularly low, shots. The tendency is for the hands to come out of the water with the loss of all support, and, when there is another fake, only the range of the arms can be covered.

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ave a look at these lateral jumps

one of them have a hand supporting at the end of the jump.

In some it is because, having made the effort of a lateral push, their body is already at maximum height for the jump and the hand is off the water. In others, it¶s a result of the circumstances of the game.

The sequence is clear: at the beginning of the shot, Patricia del Soto has her hands in the water and in the end makes the save.

Always depending on the situation, normally the arms will move from a forward position laterally or upwardly. The first movement you already know.

Vertical force to begin the jump

Which allows you to get to a high position.

rom this position, you can make any jump you like quickly and with lateral support.

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and movement in alert position

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6.2.7

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any young (and not so young) goalkeepers first cover their faces and then watch the ball.

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Arms in th jump

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In a low position or with an open alert position:
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The arms go upwards from the side and almost straight Saves around the head are slower because you have to go in a circumference around the body with straight arms. umps to the corners come up short because the support hand provides less power in the water.

6.2.8

Hands

When a jump is started correctly, the hands play the most important part in avoiding conceding corners and rebounds to a long way out. Turning wrists forwards, downwards and inwards is important to block shots and to not give the ball away.

The End

ote: I repeat again that they are personal opinions and that, of course, I don¶t have perfect technique myself« anel

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pen or low alert position: slow around the head, with arms extended and around body Short corners

or low jumps, arm goes from up to down

Translation notes: The text refers to ³presión´, where the goalkeeper is ready to receive a shot, as ³the alert position´. I¶ve translated ³desplazamiento´ as ³glide´: it may be better translated as ³displacement´ or ³slide´, or even ³shift´. I¶m interested in views on this. Where I¶ve used ³he´ or ³his´ or ³him´, this should read ³he/she´ or ³his/her´ or ³him/her´. We are not sure if the expression ³abductor position´ is correct. Where the word ³lateral´ is used, it can usually be replaced, more colloquially, with ³sideways´. UK English is used.

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