Dan Naden

The Ball Is Yours. Don’t Drop It.

The ball needs to be in your hands.

Don’t fumble it. Don’t drop or juggle it.

Secure the ball in your hands.

I’ve seen too many young goalkeepers who struggle with securely catching even the simplest of shots.

My advice — relax!!

Does Steph Curry look tense when he’s draining shots from another zip code? No.

Does Fred Couples look anxious when he’s effortlessly driving a golf ball over 250 yards?

Does Tom Brady look fearful as he lobs a gorgeous touchdown pass just beyond the outstretched arms of a defender?

Want to get better at catching and securing the soccer ball?

  1. Be with a soccer ball every day. Not just when you have practice, but every day. Don’t think you have time? Rethink the question – you do. Go find a 10 yard patch of grass and bounce the ball off the turf and into your hands a hundred times. Do it again. Concentrate that you catch the ball in a W shape — your thumbs nearly touching each other.
  2. Play catch with a friend. Stand 5 yards apart and pass the ball overhead (like a throw in). Do this 50 times. Then try it chest height. No friend available? No sweat. Use a wall as a rebounder.

The ball needs to be in your hands. The best in the world practice every day. Are you willing to put in the work to get better? Don’t let your team down by mishandling the ball at a critical moment at your next match. Put in the work and get better (and more relaxed) at securely catching the soccer ball.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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