8-Meter Shots: To Bait or Not to Bait, That is the Question

I apologize goalie world--I was a weakling this weekend and couldn’t handle the cold outside of the two lessons I had. In my defense, it was below freezing most of the day. The great thing about what I’m going to discuss is that I can do so in written form!

So, I’ve been getting a ton of questions on 8-meter shots. What’s the strategy? What are some techniques you can do to increase your save percentage?

This is a bit of a complicated situation, and there are different ways to go about it. A lot of the way you should set up for 8-meter shots is dependent on the situation. For example, you’ll want to take into consideration the hash the shooter is on and who is or isn’t on the hashes besides the shooter.

If a shooter is lined up on a hash without anyone to either side, you’ll want to stay put and play your normal position as it’s likely the attacker will move. However, if the shooter is on a hash, surrounded by two defenders, this is where you can have some fun depending on how much risk you want to take. If you prefer to stay and play your position, absolutely go for it.

Baiting is something you can mess around with though if you want to take some chances. You’ll see this sometimes in the college game. To be successful at baiting you’ll need to look closely at your strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if you’re not so good at low shots, you might consider sitting lower than usual to bait the shooter to go high. Alternatively, if you’re better at saves on one side than the other, you can adjust your positioning accordingly. I’ve tried some other things myself like taking a big step out on the whistle.

Those are just a few examples, but I’ve found with today’s scouting abilities (especially in college) you’ll want to change up your approach as this is something that can be easily seen in film. You always want to keep attackers guessing! Good luck! What’s your go to 8-meter strategy? Let me know!