How to protect your wrists and fingers from injury as a goalkeeper.
As a goalkeeper you’re intentionally putting yourself in the way of the ball to make a save. It’s what makes goalkeepers so special. Unfortunately, it’s common for keepers to often suffer injuries.
One of the most common injuries are broken fingers. It’s a hazard of the job. Right?
Well yes, but there are a few things you can do to at least reduce the likelihood of getting a devastating injury (let me tell you a broken finger is no joke!). Let’s go over your options:
Get a pair of gloves with finger saves.
Fingersaves are spines that run up the length of each finger and help protect from hyperextension, which is can lead to damaged tendons and can take a really long time to heal. Using fingersaves can be a problem for some keepers because they feel that it restricts the mobility of their hand and can be a problem for some of the more finesse movements. Overall, I would recommend fingersaves unless you are playing at a professional level and you absolutely need every ounce of mobility you can get.
All Renegade GK Gloves either come with removable fingersaves or has the capability to put them in if you choose. Click here to see the full range.
Tape your fingers and wrists.
If you’re playing at a level where shots are coming at you at pretty fast then you should consider taping your hands to help give your hands some extra support. Sometimes properly placed tape can really make the difference between a minor tweak and a nasty injury. Don’t get me wrong, neither is great. But one is definitely worse!
Something to note here is that you shouldn’t tape your hands and wrists during practice as this will restrict your body from building muscle in those certain areas.
Because we keepers take such a heavy beating, it’s always a good idea to work some strength training into your routine. One particular exercise that is great for building strength specifically in the hands and wrists is to use a medicine ball. Basic catching and throwing with a medicine ball can not only increase power with distribution but also helps build your catching strength and grip strength. The stronger you are the less likely you are to catch an injury instead of the ball.
You can also look up a whole range of wrist and finger strength building exercises online to help you build specific strength, but the medicine ball is a great place to start.