Goalies: How to stop a break-away

by Ivan Bobanovic | Last updated

Many think that when a player is on a break-away, all the pressure is on the goalie in order to stop the shot.  I disagree, all the pressure is on the attacker to score the goal.  With this in mind, goalies everywhere should approach every break away with confidence and understand that the player with the ball is uncertain about what he/she will do.  Here are a few tips for goalies to help stop a break-away.

Come off of your line early

The reason for coming out early is that you immediately cut down many angels of the goal.  But for whatever reason, goalie’s tend to sit on their line and only come out when they have to.  This is a mistake.  As soon as the player is sprung free on a breakaway, come off your line right away and come out as far as possible.  Don’t get excited and come out too far though.  Even if you are out too far, there’s always hope…

Goalies should make it a habit to stand off of their line when their team is attacking.  The reason for this is two-fold.  (1) You force yourself to be part of the play and help organize the game.  You become a crucial part of your teams structure and movement; (2) if there is a counter attack and there is an out-let pass, you might have the chance of cutting it off before the attacker can get to it.

Make yourself big

When you begin to approach the oncoming player, do not go down.  Stay on your feet and make yourself as big as possible with your arms.  When you stay on your feet, you force the attacker to make a decision.  If you go to the ground early, you’ve already made the decision for the attack and he/she will know what to do.

The closer the attacker gets, the lower down you should begin to slouch.  Continue to stay on your feet but create the illusion that you are about to stack your pads.  Try it on an attacker and you will see how hard it is to get the ball by a goalie who stays on his feet.

Be confident and never allow yourself to panick.  Make sure to practice your break away tactics over and over until they become a habit.  Once they become a habit, you will be one of the most effective goalies around.

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