To be an effective goalkeeper, one the team can count on, agility, speed, and quick reaction time are the fundamental requirements. These skills are universal and apply to all goalkeepers, no matter if they are in hockey, soccer, or handball.
Luckily, reaction time can be improved by goalkeeper reflex training. It is because our bodies and brains are designed to get good at what we repeatedly do.
How to improve reflexes for goalkeeping?
Here are some of the most effective goalkeeper reflex training drills that can help improve your reaction time for goalkeeping.
1. Speed ball drill
This one is primarily for soccer goalie reaction time training but can be used by any other goalie too. You’ll need 5 soccer balls and a partner for this exercise.
- Arrange the soccer balls in a row parallel to the goal post.
- Take your goalkeeping position in the post.
- Ask your partner to kick the balls into the goal, one after another, with a little gap between shots.
- Your goal is to stop the balls from hitting the net.
2. Reaction light drill
This drill needs a partner and a set of reaction training lights, and the BlazePod app.
- Attach one light to each of the poles of the goal and one at the center of the crossbar.
- Using the BlazePod app, configure the lights to flash at random and position yourself in the center of the goalpost.
- When a light turns on, you need to tap it off.
- As you move to turn the light off, your partner will hit the ball, which you’ll then have to block.
If you do not have reaction training lights, you can do the same by asking your partner to shout ‘right’ or ‘left’ before every hit, and you’ll have to touch the corresponding pole before you block the goal.
You can also come up with your own ideas for the training. All you need to keep in mind is that you have to create a scenario where you have to react fast to something that you are not expecting.