Kicking From Hands

For any young Goalkeeper the two most commonly used distribution techniques are Dead ball kicking and the Volley (‘Kicking from hands’).

Goal kicks are not necessarily as difficult as Dead ball kicking, as the ball is already elevated when you kick it. So it always stands a chance of being kicked over the oppositions head. However they too at first can cause a young Goalkeeper difficulties as they try to master not mis-kicking the ball. Which can happen as they try to take the steps before kicking the ball, or the throw is not at the right height, or the ball isn’t at the right distance from the body, etc.

Basic Technique

So what is the right technique:

For a young goalkeeper starting out in Goalkeeping and are new to distribution or even those having trouble at a more advanced levels, like I discussed before, start at the basics. A basic technique will provide a more consistent drop of the ball, can start bringing confidence in kicking and can help focus the Goalkeeper on how to kick the final ball (part of the foot, where on the ball…).

The basic technique is as easy as 1-2-3:

Without taking any steps, holding the ball with 2 hands starting with both hands will allow for more consistency in the drop;

The foot not kicking the ball should be pointed towards a target;

Holding the ball out in front of the body, with upper body leaning forward, drop the ball just in front of the kicking foot; and

Kick the ball with the front part of the foot, kicking in the direction of the target and following through with the kicking foot through the ball, so that they land on the kicking foot.

Once confident with the basic technique, you could then move on to a more advanced level:

This time taking 2 to 4 steps before dropping the ball and kicking; and/or

Dropping the ball with one hand (try dropping with the hand on the same side of the body as the kicking foot or better the hand on the opposite side for balance – but only which ever feels comfortable for them); and/or

Finally for a match to get them to understand where to kick in the area – utilising their area, kicking the ball from the edge of the penalty box.  

Imagery scripts

Imagery scripts can also work here too as they do for all exercises… You could set this as homework, that once trained on get them to produce an imagery script to see what they have learnt and then next time get them to work through their script. Just getting them thinking about kicking the ball can help them in this task as it is training the mind as to how to do it…  

Useful coaching exercises:


You could use the ‘Cross-Bar Challenge’, to encourage height, distance and accuracy – where they have the cross-bar to aim at or to aim over… from varying (appropriate) distances (penalty spot, 18 yard box, half way line); and

For game scenario accuracy, kicking out of hands to a target area – Set out a box with marker cones on different parts of the field at appropriate long/short distances to the left/center/right of the field. Place a coach/keeper/player in that box to collect the ball with hands/feet. If using another keeper they could work together kicking the ball to each other in boxes/target areas whilst you as a coach look on/or assist.

Again to reiterate, don’t be scared of going back to basics with the Goalkeepers, that includes new starters and those more experienced keepers having a few difficulties. That you could go back to getting them to kick out of hands from a standing start (no steps) gently dropping the ball in front of the body with two or one hand… Helping them to take their time and gain confidence of where and how to kick the ball. When they have kicked the ball like this a few times and gaining confidence, then get them to do a short run up of 2 steps… then the 4. However if they do then have trouble at 4 or 2 steps take it back to no steps to gain their confidence.

Finally,with all these distribution techniques it is all about practice, routine and a lot of patience… Remember sometimes mistakes can be made in kicking dead balls and out of hands because often the young student goalkeeper will rush these kicks. Get them to take their time, working through their routine. In addition, at a young age in matches referees and managers should also give your Goalkeeper the time they need to take their kicks, not rushing them. So patience will be needed by all.
Dead Ball. Kicking from Hands. NEW