How to command the penalty box

Rule your penalty box like a lion marking his territory, says Ipswich Town No.1 Scott Loach

BE LOUD
Make yourself as loud as possible. A lot of teams put a striker on the goalkeeper now, but if you’re shouting in his ear he won't want to be anywhere near you, which will give you extra space.

TAKE UP THE RIGHT POSITION
If it’s an inswinger stand a bit tighter to your line near the centre of the goal, so you can go either way. If it’s an outswinger you should be two-three yards off your line - this will give you more of a chance when coming to claim the ball.

More after the break

COMMAND THE TROOPS
Make sure you bring back all your defenders early and get them organised so everyone knows what their job is and there’s no one left unmarked. Be loud and aggressive – make sure they hear you.

MAKE YOURSELF BIG
Put your arms up in the air and challenge the kicker to put the ball in your area. You’re like a lion in your cage and you’re saying to him, “Go on put it in there, it’s going to be mine.”

GIVE AS GOOD AS YOU GET
If someone is pushing you round, trying to unsettle you, give it to them back. You’ve got to make sure you don’t get pinned in. Use your voice, your size and your presence to let the opposition know you’re there. Your aggression has to be controlled because you don’t want to go too far and give away a penalty.

MASTER THE DARK ARTS
Treading on the toes of the opposition is one of many tactics used by goalkeepers to put them off. This will make them give you an extra yard or two – giving you a clear path to collect the ball.

FOCUS ON THE BALL
You can only look at what’s around you for a certain amount of time, then you’ve got to concentrate on the ball. You can’t do the defender’s job for them. You can try and address it and be as loud as you can, but your main priority is the ball.

DON’T HESITATE
Ideally you’d like to catch it, to take the pressure off, but if you’re coming for the ball and you’re committed and you have to punch it, then that’s what you do. Don’t get caught in two minds because you’ll end up doing nothing. Make your mind up early and stick to it.

Scott Loach is a consultant for GK:Icon. For more information visit
www.gkicon.com

Also see:
Scott Loach: Bounce back from a howler
Scott Loach: My pre-match playlist
Scott Loach: Win your one-on-ones

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