How Petr Cech sharpens his reflexes

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech is using an ingenious training regime to sharpen his reactions

Ryan Giggs swore by yoga for helping him to play until he was 40, but for Petr Cech, an unusual ping-pong routine is staving off the effects of father time. 

The 35-year-old recently uploaded a video to his Instagram page, which showed him catching balls fired at him from a gun at close range before dropping them into a bucket and touching coloured cones sat on poles either side of him.

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“I’ve using a table tennis robot which shoots ping-pong balls out,” he told the Evening Standard. “You have to catch it with one hand so it gives you a completely different hand-eye coordination. Then, when you have both hands facing one football, everything becomes easier.

He continued: “If you're a professional goalkeeper for 20 years and somebody keeps shooting the ball at you, after a while, just catching it from 15 yards will not make you progress.”

Out of 31 deliveries, Cech caught 25 balls, dropped five and allowed just one to fly past him. Not bad for a Premier League veteran. But who came up with his cutting edge session and how is it helping his game? 

The former Chelsea keeper revealed in 2016 that Christophe Lollichon - his goalkeeping coach at Rennes and the Blues – was the man behind the approach and used it to help him boost his shot-stopping brain power. 

“He also made me catch different shaped balls, bigger balls and smaller ones, because then you need to adapt your hand-eye coordination every time. Suddenly your brain starts working again and working harder than it does with a simple catch.”

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