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Ball? Check. Gloves? Check. Punch bag? You betcha!

We all know that goalkeepers are a different breed, but German Dirk Orlishausen makes his fellow custodians look positively normal.

In a training exercise that wouldn’t look out of place in a martial arts gym, the captain of German second-tier side Karlsruher kicks a punch bag that dangles from the crossbar, and launches into a punch pad held by an assistant.

If you think it’s hard to imagine a match situation that could be prepared for in this way, think again. “As a rule, all exercises should be game-like,” says Karlsruher’s  goalkeeping coach Kai Rabe.

“In this case it’s about explosive strength, power and speed. The main function of the punching bag is to simulate the game’s aggressiveness and combine it with normal goalkeeping sequences.”

What Rabe means by this becomes clearer when you watch Orlishausen in warm-up action.
The keeper is positioned on the line slightly towards the right. He begins with quick sidesteps towards his left, kicks the bag on the turn, then moves back to his right and parries a low shot aimed for the corner. Finally he moves forward and beats the punch pad with his fists.

You wouldn’t want to be in this goalkeeper’s way when he comes out to collect a corner.