Rachael Lynch, Hockeyroos’ legend and goakeeper, wrote this tutorial about how to learn to dive. Make sure to visit www.rachaellynch.com.au, you will find amazing goalkeeping resources!
“Diving is not a difficult skill to learn but does require some guts and determination to practice as if you get it wrong, it can hurt a little!” Rachael says.
The key learning points are:
1. Start by practicing in your goal keeping gear on your knees. Sit up / kneel up straight and tall, then have a friend throw a ball to within you reach.
2. Go for it with both gloved hands; save the ball, then use your gloves to brace yourself as you land.
3. Practice this extensively, until you are quite familiar with all the points of impact – and the sensations – as well as the various ways you can lessen the force when your body meets with the ground.
4. Once you are comfortable doing this you can move on to do the same from a fully upright position.
5. Stand in your normal stance. As the ball comes towards you, push off with your outside leg to transfer your weight laterally. Then the main drive will come from your inside leg. Reach for the ball with one or both gloves; make the save then land with your hands bracing your fall.
The most important thing to remember is to make sure you are fully warmed up and stretched before trying this skill. It can be dangerous and hard on your body so please be careful.