I can’t stop the ball from being dragged around me
I’ve contacted you once before about a training programme. I have now worked one out with 3 of my forwards. I’m now an average goalie and I’m rising in skill level. After training with Helen Clarke the New Zealand Womens’ goalie I’ve gained more skills being able to stop almost anything hit, flicked or pushed at me. One skill is still sitting in the back… its my sliding, I’m reasonably good at it now but now forwards are learning that they can pull the ball around me…. What can I do now that the other teams in our grade have found out my weakness. I must improve on it. I’ve read all the tips you and Rachel have put on the OBO site but nothing seems to be working…..Do you have any idea to what I can do??? I have everything I need, I’ve got the speed, timing and reflexes but I still can’t stop the ball from being dragged around me.
Patience is a virtue and it can be an asset, especially for young keepers. First, it’s great to have the ambition to want to master skills as quickly as possible. Reality usually says that new skills, especially advanced skills like slide tackling, take months if not years to master. Patience applies to more than just mastery in slide tackling. It also applies to application. The one thing you don’t want to be as a keeper is predictable. If you’re getting beaten coming out consistently, staying back may be an option. Coming out and staying upright might also be an option. When you’re working on a new skill, there can be a tendency to overuse it. If a forward knows you’re coming, he’s going to have an easier time pulling around you.
Without seeing you play, and seeing the situations you’re coming out and sliding on, there are some things that make it harder to get pulled around. Make sure you’re not starting your slide too far away from the ball carrier. As mentioned, make sure you slide through the ball, not to the ball. If you start your tackle too far away, the forward sees you coming. If you don’t have speed, you don’t slide through on your tackle. Make sure you’re coming forward with your hands when you tackle, whether it be front stick slide tackles or reverse stick. A lot of the time keepers get pulled around because they make their tackle parallel to the pull. You need to get your stick, hands or body in to the line of the pull if you want to avoid being pulled around.
Success can be a frustrating thing. Once you’ve experienced it, you want it all the time and you want it now. Experience has taught me that it was easier to get a lot better in the beginning of my career when quantum leaps were possible. As you improve, the people you play against improve. The skills you’re working on are more complex. You’re not going to be successful in every situation, but if you’re patient, realistic and critical in analysing your play, you give yourself a chance to be successful over time.