Hi all! Haley Kopmeyer here. I am picking up the WCGK blog series and am here to help with some of your most pressing questions! I hope you enjoy my first installment on finger saves.
Over at West Coast we get asked or get comments about finger saves daily.
- Why do you put removable finger saves in all of your gloves?
- Should my son/daughter use them?
- Do pros use finger saves?
- Will you ever make a glove without finger saves?
- Do thumb saves work?
For this post we will break down all the factors that go into making this decision and how, at the end of the day, you have to be the one to make a decision. Not us. Not your goalie coach. Not even Andre Blake or Aubrey Bledsoe. We put removable fingers saves in all of our gloves because it is YOUR choice and YOUR preference. Yours and yours only.
Why finger saves?
Finger saves are a safety mechanism to protect fingers from hyperextension. For youth players with developing hands and hands that are smaller than the ball, it can help keepers to avoid those costly trips to the ER and keep them in the game. It can also help to stop and hold shots you might not otherwise be capable of with your hands alone. For as much as finger saves are physical, they are also mental. Some keepers simply prefer that peace of mind.
Why no finger saves?
As players develop hand strength some start to argue that finger saves will take away that direct contact you feel with the ball. In other words, they feel their hands have the strength to hold and secure the ball without any aid. Again, the keep word here is “feel.” As keepers we must be confident and secure in our abilities. The mental side of the game is just as important as the physical side. Regardless of whether you use them or not, developing hand strength on and off the field is essential for goalkeepers to make it to the highest level!
Why removable finger saves?
Again- you get to choose! And we want you to have the option with every glove we make to make you feel good. We have pros who use them and pros who hate them. No joke, we even used to have one pro (who is a highly successful MLS starter) who sized up his gloves and put two finger saves in each finger. Personally, I always removed the finger saves but left in my pinkies and one other finger on each hand that I had broken in the past. Even though it was often years past when I broke them, I felt better knowing I had a little extra security in those fingers. I’ve heard of several other pros who do the same.
What if a finger save breaks?
This is rare but it does happen! You can take one from an old pair to replace it. We also sell replacement sets on our website. https://www.westcoastgoalkeeping.com/products/thumbsaves?_pos=1&_sid=bbaef2000&_ss=r
Some of our newer models offer removable thumb saves, like the EXO and Helix lines. Many of our older gloves (like the Kona and Vyper models) do not. We added them more recently at the request of customers! In reality, finger saves are intended to help with hyperextension and typically thumbs are more likely to jam versus hyperextend. The thumb saves aren’t made to prevent jamming HOWEVER- if you like them and they give you peace of mine, WEAR THEM! Be sure to check glove descriptions before buying if you want a glove that provides them.
When I used to play in games as a pro where the weather was really cold I would shove a hand warmer in the finger save pocket! It's a GAME CHANGER!