Low ball saves are a common aspect of goalkeeping. They often don’t draw the attention that saving a ball from the upper 90 does. Yet making the low ball save is equally important and equally challenging. When making these saves here are some of the decisions that must be made:
Low Ball Saves
Pace of the ball: Evaluating the pace on the ball in critical for every type of save. When making low ball saves you must decide if you can get your hands down quick enough or do you need to react with your feet.
Location of opponents: Are opponents close in or outside of the 18 yard box? The closer in to the goal line they are the more important it is to save the ball with your hands. If the opponents are further out playing the ball with your feet can be a better option.
Conditions of the field: In wet conditions it is often a better choice to get your body behind the ball and use your hands. This allows a second barrier in the event that the ball skips unexpectedly. In dryer conditions the ball is more predictable so playing with ones feet is not as risky.
There are more decision that a goalkeeper needs to make in these situations. What are some of the things you think about when making a low ball save?