The 4 Core Goalkeeper Techniques: How To Dive The Right Way

Kristian // December 1 // 0 Comments

Goalkeeping Tips on Diving are your ticket to mastering the goalkeeper's art of the dive. In this guide, we'll dive into the four core techniques of goalkeeping dives - from the basics of low and collapse dives to the finesse of mid and high dives.

Embracing the Dive: The Goalkeeper's Flight

Every goalkeeper has that dreamy dive in mind - the one that defies gravity, snatches the ball from the brink of a goal, and leaves the crowd in awe.

Diving as a goalkeeper isn't just for looking good; it's a skill that takes lots of practice and learning the right way to move. When goalkeepers make those amazing jumps to save a goal, they've worked hard to do it safely and effectively.

In this guide, we'll unravel the process, offering you a step-by-step ladder of goalkeeping tips on diving. Each step is a leap towards mastering the art of safe and effective diving techniques for goalkeeping, making the goalpost your stage and every save a showstopper.

Overcoming Fear with Expert Goalkeeping Tips on Diving

Embarking on the journey from anxiety to mastery is a hallmark of every goalkeeper's career.

Our expert goalkeeping tips on diving are designed to guide you through this transition in a controlled and systematic manner.

As you delve into the mechanics of diving and immerse yourself in consistent training, fear will gradually disappear, replaced by a growing confidence and a newfound love for the art of the dive.

How do Goalkeepers Overcome the Fear of Diving?

The art of diving, for a goalkeeper, is a cheeky nudge to the basic human reflex of dodging a fall.

It's a leap of faith, demanding more than just muscle power, but a mental grit to silence the inner alarm bells as you soar through the air.

Taming this fear is a cocktail of mental tuning, physical gearing up, and a rock-solid trust in the training and skills tucked in your arsenal.

Mental Conditioning: Visualizing the Perfect Dive

The mind is the goalkeeper's most potent ally in overcoming the fear of diving.

Visualisation serves as a potent instrument in this scenario.

By mentally rehearsing dives, a goalkeeper can condition the mind to be comfortable with the act of diving.

It's about creating a mental blueprint that guides the body through the motions seamlessly.

Additionally, understanding the mechanics and the safety aspects of diving can also take the edge of the fear.

Knowledge, as they say, is power.

Goalkeeper showing how you can get over the fear of diving

Before you can get to the top corner, you have to master the very basics of diving as a goalkeeper.

Physical Preparation: Building a Dive-Ready Physique

Physical readiness is the other half of the equation. A well-conditioned body instills confidence.

Regular training in the correct goalkeeper diving techniques ensures that the body is well-prepared to execute dives safely. 

This includes mastering the art of landing to minimize the risk of injury.

The more adept a goalkeeper becomes at diving through consistent practice, the less daunting each dive becomes.

Trust in Training: The Bedrock of Confidence

Trust in one's training and coaching is the cornerstone of overcoming fear.

A goalkeeper must have unwavering faith in the training received, knowing that it has equipped them with the skills and techniques necessary to dive safely and effectively.

This trust forms the bedrock of confidence that empowers goalkeepers to embrace the dive, to soar fearlessly when the moment calls for it.

Creating a Supportive Environment: The Path to Fearless Diving

A supportive training environment, where goalkeepers can practice dives in a safe and controlled setting, is invaluable.

Encouragement from coaches and peers, coupled with a progressive training regimen that allows goalkeepers to gradually build their goalkeeper diving techniques, can significantly help in overcoming the fear associated with diving.

Chapter Summary Points

As the legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon once said, "Everyone gets scared from time to time. It’s totally normal, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar."

Embracing this fear and working through it with the right training and mindset is what sets great goalkeepers apart.

Goalkeeper smiling while landing in an awkward position after making a save, showcasing fearlessness and enjoyment in the sport.

Embrace Every Tumble with a Smile: The Path to Mastery is Paved with Joyful Challenges.

Mastering the Basics Before Making A Diving Save

Setting the Stage for Successful Diving Techniques

Before a goalkeeper can soar through the air to make a spectacular save, the groundwork must be carefully laid out. 

These basics set the stage for mastering various diving techniques, ensuring a goalkeeper is well-prepared for that crucial leap. 

Now, let's delve into these foundational principles.

  • Shoulder-Width Stance: A goalkeeper's stance is the dive's foundation. A comfortable shoulder-width position serves as the cornerstone of a good dive. It creates the perfect balance for a swift, controlled dive. If your feet are too narrow, it's difficult to control your balance, and on the other hand, if your feet are too wide, it's difficult to generate any power in your legs.
  • On Your Toes And Leaning Forward : Proper body positioning, starting with your knees bent and a slight forward lean while on your toes, ensures balance and readiness to move in any direction, laying the groundwork for a successful dive.
  • Eyes on the Ball: Keeping your eye on the ball is crucial from the moment it's at the striker's feet until you make your dive. Following the ball's path until it lands securely in your hands, significantly improves your chances of a successful diving save.
  • Pre-Shot Hop: A small hop before the striker shoots sets you up perfectly for the dive. This hop, altering body shape slightly, can convert extra muscle tension into explosive power during the dive.
  • Relaxed Posture: Easing tension in goalkeeping is easier said than done. Yet, it's scientifically proven that a relaxed posture boosts reaction speed and agility. It's about being relaxed yet poised, ensuring every muscle is dive-ready without being tensed up.

Now that we've covered the fundamentals of stance, body positioning, eye tracking, pre-shot and hopping, let's jump right into our goalkeeping tips on diving effectively, starting with perfecting our collapse diving technique.

Goalkeeper illustrating the subtle pre-jump and the attentive ready position, essential components in preparing for a dive.

The ready (or SET) stance may vary slightly from goalkeeper to goalkeeper but the fundamentals are the same. Before doing anything else; get this right!

How To Do A Collapse Dive As A Goalkeeper?

The collapse dive is a key move for goalkeepers, especially when the ball is close to your body and you don't have time to shift your feet for a scoop save.

However, there are two types of collapse diving saves, and the diving techniques for each are quite different.

Perfecting the Fast Low Collapse Dive Save for Shots Close to your Body

First, let's delve into the low collapse diving save.

This technique is a bit of an oddball compared to other diving methods, but it's highly effective.

This diving technique shines when you have to react fast and there's no time to shuffle your feet.

The ball needs to be near you - but not quite close enough for a scoop save and not far enough for an extended diving save.

Instead of kicking the ball back into play with your feet, this method lets you get your whole body behind the ball, making for a much safer save.

Here's a step-by-step breakdown to execute a flawless low collapse dive save:

Goalkeeper performing a fast low collapse dive save, transitioning from a ready stance, to kicking the ball away, and finally making a ground-level save.

This Leg-Removal Diving Technique is especially useful for shots close to your body.

Starting the Dive:

  • As the ball zooms your way, lift the leg nearest to the ball, almost like you're gearing up to kick a ball in front of you.
  • As you lift your leg, swing and remove your both legs away from your body, aiding a swift descent to the side the ball is darting towards.

Hand Positioning:

  • As you go down, reach out with your arms towards the ball. 
  • Make sure your hands are ahead of your body to avoid landing on them. We don't want a T-Rex style save as it limits hand movement and can cause injuries.
  • Aim to have one hand behind the ball and the other on top, using the ground as a 'third hand' to hold the ball securely.

This simplified breakdown of the fast low collapse dive save highlights the careful steps needed to pull off this fundamental goalkeeping diving technique.

By nailing the this fast low collapse diving technique, you're putting a strong lid on those pesky rebound goals that sneak in when you use your feet.

Mastering the Low to Mid Collapse Dive Save

The mid collapse dive (or just collapse save) is a goalkeeper's trusty friend, often used when the ball is comfortably within diving reach.

It serves also as a stepping stone towards mastering the extended diving save.

But unlike a hasty, uncontrolled leap, the mid collapse dive is a calculated diving technique that follows a precise sequence of movements.

Here's a simplified breakdown of the mid collapse dive for goalkeepers:

Goalkeeper demonstrating a three-phase low diving technique: from power step, through mid-dive, to final execution, showcasing a comprehensive low dive as a goalkeeper.

A Symphony in Three Parts: The Power, The Plunge, The Precision. Every Phase, a Crucial Note in the Melody of a Perfect Save.

Body Alignment:

  • As you gear up for the dive, ensure your head and chin are aligned with the ball.
  • This alignment is key for diving in the right direction.

The Step and Dive:

  • Take a step towards the ball, rotating your shoulder with your knee, and pushing your chin and face towards the ball.
  • This step helps position your head and hands behind the ball, ensuring a higher body position for higher shots and a lower transition for lower shots.
  • It's about attacking the ball, not shying away from it.

Absorbing the Impact:

  • Upon making contact with the ball, focus on absorbing the impact rather than bracing for it.
  • Your body should flow with the dive, ensuring a safe landing.

Securing the Ball:

  • Land securely, cradling the ball with one hand on top and the other behind it, using the ground as your 'third hand' to secure the ball.

Each of these steps smooths the transition from one to the next, making the dive seamless.

Mastering the mid collapse dive not only boosts your saving capabilities but also lays a solid foundation for tackling more advanced diving techniques.

Advanced Goalkeeping Tips on Diving: Perfecting The Extension Dives

Now that we've sharpened our skills with collapsing dives, it's time to dive into mastering extended low and high diving saves (or one handed top corner saves).

The diving method is similar to the mid collapse diving save, but with a key difference.

Instead of falling onto your step, you'll now step, load up, and spring forward with your power step, adding a lively leap to the side.

Goalkeeper demonstrating a three-phase low diving technique: from power step, through mid-dive, to final execution, showcasing a comprehensive low dive as a goalkeeper.

A Symphony in Three Parts: The Power, The Plunge, The Precision. Every Phase, a Crucial Note in the Melody of a Perfect Save.

Breaking Down the Extended Low Diving Save Technique

Getting the hang of the low diving save technique is a tough but vital skill for goalkeepers, usually used when the ball is heading towards the lower corners of the goal.

This technique is all about stretching out, diving sideways to catch those ground-level shots veering away from the center.

Unlike the collapsed dive, the low diving save requires a good stretch, reaching out further, making it a must-learn skill for up-and-coming goalkeepers.

Here's a simplified breakdown of the low diving save technique:

Initiating the Dive:

  • The Step: As the ball gets closer, take a strong step towards it. This step helps launch you into your dive. This is also called the "powerstep" in goalkeeping terms.
  • Taking Off: Push off hard with your legs, sending your body sideways towards the ball.

Mid-Air Moves:

  • Extension: Lead with the hand nearest to the ball, using the other arm for balance. Your body should form a straight line from fingertips to toes. Aim to meet the ball with the palm of your hand.

Making the Save:

  • Contact: Hit the ball with the palms of your hands, steering it away from the goal.
  • Securing the Ball: If you can, grab the ball with both hands and pull it to your chest to deny any rebounds.
  • Smooth Landing: As you hit the ground, let your hip and side take the impact for a smooth landing.

Every step you take in mastering the low diving goalkeeper save lays a solid groundwork for tackling more advanced moves, like the high-dive saves. 

The High-Dive as a Goalkeeper: Mastering the Top Hand Save

The top hand save is like the cherry on top of a goalkeeper's skill set, making those jaw-dropping saves that seem almost out of reach.

It's about stretching your limits and making the impossible look easy.

Goalkeeper in a sequence of actions leading to a one-handed top corner save, showcasing agility and precise timing in the execution.

Elevating the art of goalkeeping: a snapshot into the seamless transition from readiness to a one-handed top corner triumph.

The Step:

  • Similar to the low diving save technique, initiate with a strong step towards the ball, followed by a powerful push-off. This step is crucial as it sets the momentum for your dive, propelling you in the direction of the ball.

Transition from Two Hands to One:

  • Start with both hands ready as you prepare for the dive, using them to build momentum, and not leaving any dead-weight behind.
  • As you dive, transition to using just one hand to extend your reach and get to the ball.

Timing is Everything:

  • The moment you switch from two hands to one is crucial.
  • Too early or too late, and you might miss the save or land awkwardly. Sync your hand transition with the dive's momentum for a smooth save.

While the allure of the top-corner save is undeniable, it's just one piece of the goalkeeping puzzle.

As we close this chapter, remember that the foundation of great goalkeeping lies in mastering the basics and consistently refining them.

As we dive into our next chapter, we'll explore the importance of consistent practice and the never-ending journey of goalkeeping improvement.

Consistency and Mastery: Beyond the Dives

Diving might be the showstopper in a goalkeeper's repertoire, but what truly sets apart the greats from the good is their commitment to consistency, repetition, and mastering the basics.

As we wind down our deep dive into our goalkeeping tips on diving, let's focus on the heart of the matter: continuous learning and repetition.

The Power of Repetition

  • Muscle Memory Magic: The more you practice, the more these diving techniques become second nature. It's all about building that muscle memory so that in the heat of the game, your body knows exactly what to do.
  • Consistency is Key: Regular training sessions ensure that your skills remain sharp. It's not about how long you train, but how consistently.
  • Back to Basics: While those top-corner saves are the stuff of legends, the foundation of great goalkeeping lies in mastering the basic diving techniques. They're your bread and butter on the field.
  • Diverse Challenges: Every match is a new puzzle. Being able to adapt to different scenarios is crucial, and that adaptability comes from a strong foundation in various diving techniques.
  • The Unsung Heroes: I hate to sound like a broken record, but basic dives might not get the loudest cheers, but they're the workhorses that keep the scores in your favor. Prioritize them.

Goalkeeping isn't just about the flashy saves; it's about showing up, game after game, practice after practice, with unwavering focus and dedication.

As we've emphasized throughout, while the high dives are the cherries on top, the real substance lies in the basics.

Keep training, keep repeating, and remember: every dive, no matter how basic, is a step closer to goalkeeping greatness.

Smiling goalkeeper giving a thumbs up, signifying positive encouragement after sharing insightful goalkeeper tips on diving.

Your journey between the posts just got a bit savvier! Dive into your goalkeeping adventures with confidence and a thumb held high. Let’s save the day, one dive at a time!

Concluding our Goalkeeping Tips on Diving

Embarking on your goalkeeping journey, we've navigated through the depths of diverse diving techniques, from the essential collapse dives to the spectacular top-corner saves.

Bear in mind, the secret ingredients to your success lie in consistent practice and unwavering repetition, with a hearty dose of basic diving technique mastery.

Now, the pitch awaits your newfound diving skills and dedication to practice.

So, dive into your training, strive for continual enhancement, and remember: the basics often make the biggest impact.

We're eager to be a part of your goalkeeping adventure and welcome any insights or stories you wish to share.

Strap on those gloves, secure those saves, and let’s keep this goalkeeping dialogue alive and kicking!

FAQs on Goalkeeping Dives

How do Goalkeepers Overcome the Fear of Diving

Overcoming the fear of diving involves a mix of mental conditioning and physical preparation. Visualizing successful dives and understanding the mechanics of safe diving can boost confidence. Regular training and mastering the art of landing also play a crucial role in alleviating fear.

How do Goalkeepers Not Hurt Themselves When Diving?

Goalkeepers undergo rigorous training to perfect their landing techniques. They learn to land on their side, using their hip and side to absorb the impact. Proper hand placement, body alignment, and regular practice ensure they dive safely.

How do Keepers Land When Diving?

Goalkeepers are trained to land safely, usually on their side, to distribute the impact. They use their hip and side to absorb the force, ensuring a smooth landing and minimizing the risk of injury.

How To Do A Collapse Dive As A Goalkeeper?

A collapse dive involves a balanced stance, tracking the ball's trajectory, and taking a step towards the ball. As you dive, your body should move in a forward line, attacking the ball. The aim is to get your entire body behind the ball for a secure save.

How do you save low balls?

For low balls, goalkeepers employ the low diving save technique. This involves a quick step towards the ball, a horizontal dive, and extending the arms to intercept ground-level shots.

How do you save a high shot as a goalie?

High shots require a top-hand save. The goalkeeper pushes off with a strong step, propels forward, and extends one hand to reach the ball, ensuring the other arm is extended backward for balance.

Why do Goalkeepers Jump Before Diving?

Jumping or taking a step before diving gives goalkeepers the momentum and elevation needed to reach balls that are further away. It acts as a springboard, propelling them in the direction of the ball.

Why do goalkeepers dive forward?

Diving forward allows goalkeepers to close down the angle, making it harder for the striker to find the net. It also positions the keeper to attack the ball, reducing the chances of a successful shot.

Have More Questions?

If you have additional questions about our goalkeeping tips on diving, feel free to submit them, and we may include them in future updates!

About the author


Hey! I'm Kristian, a seasoned goalkeeper with nearly two decades of experience. My journey through the ups and downs of goalkeeping has molded me into the person I am today. From winning championships to facing relegations, being voted Goalkeeper of the Year, and overcoming injuries, I've lived the full spectrum of what this position entails. Now, I'm dedicated to sharing my insights and experiences to help goalkeepers at all levels develop their skills and mindset. Feel free to reach out if you have any goalkeeping queries or just want to chat about the game!

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