People think that punting the ball is the best option when a goalkeeper distributes the ball, but that's just not so.
Punting is a great way to get the ball out of your end, but it does not compare with throwing for accuracy. Remember that punting the ball 40 yards into the air means anyone can be on the other end of it. The height of the kick often gives the other team time to react to the ball's flight. Also, forwards and opposing defenders dread having to trap a ball with their heads or feet from such a height.
Throw, don't punt
Often, throwing the ball can be more accurate and provide just as much distance for a goalkeeper. Some keepers are even able to throw the ball past half field right in stride with their player.
Distance will come with age as you get stronger, but if you are under 12 or so, work on accuracy of your throws first before you worry about tossing it 50 yards on the fly.
How To Throw
You need to be in a side position, with your weight on your back foot and non-throwing shoulder pointed at the target.
Your throwing hand should be positioned under the ball with your throwing arm kept straight.
Use your non-throwing arm to point in the direction of your target and bring this arm down as you bring your throwing arm through in an arc over the top of your shoulder. This windmill action creates the power of your throw.
Your weight should be transferred forward as you release the ball from your back foot to your front. In fact for distance throws, your back foot may lift off the ground.
Remember to follow through with your throwing arm to keep the ball on its projected path.
- This is not a baseball or football throw where you hand grips the ball. This is more of a cricket bowl where your arm is kept straight. Trust us, physics plays as big a role in this as strength.
- The ball should be cradled in your throwing hand. Do not use your fingers to hold the ball in place. Balance the ball against your hand. Trust us, centripedal force will keep it in place as you throw.
- Do not leave your arm too low when you wind up to throw the ball. You could lose control of the ball or you could throw the ball with too high of a trajectory.
- Do not confuse this with a sidearm throw. That involves the same principle to use your weight to propel the ball, but there is not nearly enough accuracy as the overarm throw.
This can be done from a standing position or at a run. Master the basics standing before you add some steps to it.
Target practice: set up cones at 10, 20, 30 and 40 yards up the middle and down the sides of the field. Attempt to hit the spots in the air or on one bounce. Reduce the distances for younger goalkeepers.