Ali Al Habsi: Keep the ball out

Improve your agility and footwork with training tips from Reading goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi

“I’m a solid goalkeeper, but I’m not the greatest shot-stopper. How can I improve my footwork and agility?”
Iwan Vickery, via email

More after the break

Ali Al Habsi says:

"The key is to do a lot of training on your footwork and get it as fast as possible. I hate training without a ball, but it’s necessary to get yourself more agile so goalkeepers need to do their share of running.

An easy exercise is to set out cones close to each other and run through them. It’s a simple old drill, but the more you practise, the faster you will get on the day of the match.

Gym work is vital for a keeper. You need to be a physical presence these days, whether you’re playing in the Premier League against Stoke City or for an amateur team.

Talk to as many goalkeepers as possible and find out what works for them, then put it into practice.

If you’re big like Peter Schmeichel, you play to your size. But for me, the ideal role model is Iker Casillas.

He has natural talent but he’s also worked on his foot speed and strength to be the best. Everyone has different technique so you need to find what best suits you."

For more football tips see:
Tim Howard: Command the penalty box
Joe Hart: Guide to all-round keeping excellence
Victor Valdes' guide to shot-stopping

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