Ferran Plana, licensed Physical Education and specialized in swimming section, has been linked to the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation and the Catalan Federation. Tomorrow Friday, he will be in charge of giving a master class for the participants of our Water Polo Clinic, and he has left us this interesting article on the basics of movement for goalkeepers.

BASIC GOALIE TECHNIQUE: WATER MOVEMENT AND HIP PLACEMENT  by Ferran Plana

When we discuss the different positions for water polo players and their basic positioning in the water, we distinguish between the defensive position – PD – (horizontal), and offensive – PO – (vertical).

But what about the goalie? The player, usually forgotten, but so important to the success of any team… We must not ignore him!  We must discuss this position the way we discuss any other position. Each goalkeeper, while they develop, will acquire his or her own personal technique, but at the generic level and as general concepts are concerned, we can define his different movements as: displacement, jumping, blocking and passing.

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The most important thing for a goalkeeper is to not develop bad habits.  A goal keeper must practice and develop his basic positioning and the displacement that allows him to dominate his zone of influence in the cage and anything in the arc.

We will start by noting a few points in order for the goalie to be successful:

1. Position 4 (same as the offensive players position), i.e.: almost vertical back, leaning forward – 75 °-with very high (almost perpendicular in 90 degrees with the trunk) knees, and feet doing the rotation below the knees (not with low knees and making the rotation behind them).

The position, executed successfully marks a triple flexion (hip, knee, and ankle), and makes that the goalkeeper seem “seated” in the water.

2. When you want to move in the arc of the goal (now taking into account the 5 positions of a normal attack), the base position should always be like position 4 and without losing balance (falling to one side).

The movement, with the help of the arms, moving back, will be a sculling motion (if they moves to the right, then the left side of the body must move), while the moving forward, the goalie will be almost completely extended and ready to block. In this situation, the knee that lead (guides the movement) should be opened up by the hip, because if not, the motion will be hindered unconsciously and will the cause the goalie to lose balance.

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3. In case that the change of position is unexpected due to a pass or change of possession, the first thing the goalkeeper should be ready to place himself facing the player who will receive the ball. Therefore he changes his position by first turning his body in a rotation movement (helped by the outer arm), and point directs his movement to the new position of the ball, and ends up in the position we have discussed so far, 4.

4. In all displacement movements and sliding, the position of the hands must be very superficial. The hand which sculls should not be very deep, and the one that doesn’t scull can even be out of the water.