You may hear a lot of Goalkeeper Coaches informing there Goalkeepers to “Get set”. But what is getting set?
The set position for the Goalkeepers is also know as the ready position. This is the position in which the Goalkeeper takes up when the ball is about to be struck towards there goal.
Each Goalkeeper will undertake there own set position which can change from Goalkeeper to Goalkeeper but overall they will look similar.
Starting with the feet of the Goalkeeper. The Goalkeeper must have the weight on the front of there feet ready to pounce and react to the save. By putting the weight on the front of there feet we do not mean standing on tip toe. The weight should be on the front part of the foot with the heal slightly raised from the ground. The feet need to be around shoulder width apart. Some professional Goalkeepers take a wider stance. But with the feet shoulder width apart this will keep you balanced.
Moving up the body and onto the knees. Both knees need to be slightly bend with the kneecap over the front of the toes.
Keep your back straight but have your shoulders forward over your toes. Hands are forward in front of the body. Keep your elbows just in front of your body not by your side.
As for your head have your head up and your eyes on the ball. Have your head forward and your chin should be over your toes.
Ensure your body weight is forwards and not backwards but maintain balance.
When to get set
The time to get set is when an outfield player is just preparing to strike the ball. You can read the strikers body language to see if they are about to strike a ball. They may look down at the ball and also pull their leg back to strike. This is the time and place to get set and react to the strike.
The only way to improve the set position is to repeat this in training and transfer this into a game situation.
I have attached a few training exercises below to highlight hows this can be worked on.
If you are working with really young Goalkeepers then use a throw as service to begin with then progress to other methods used below.