Drills to Improve Soccer Goalkeeping Skills
As the last line of defense and the first line of attack, the goalkeeper may be the single most important position on the field. The great influence of a goalkeeper’s performance for the outcome of the game usually puts the player in the middle of critical game situations. When all else fails a good goalkeeper not only prevents the opposition from scoring and so saves the team from defeat but inspires the defense and by quick skillful distribution contributes to the attack.
Because of the goalie’s specific function and importance being a key player on any soccer team, distinctive focus and great importance should be directed at the goalie’s development. But, like other coaches, you probably don’t have enough time to devote as much attention to your goalkeeper as you would like. Subsequently, the time we work with our goalkeepers needs to be used most effectively.
Especially in regards to youth soccer we try to ensure that our drills work so that the entire team can participate in the activity as well. If you are looking to improve your goalkeeper, the specifically designed goalkeeping drills in this section will assist you as a coach to develop and coach the fundamental goalkeeping skills.
Key Coaching Points for Goalkeeping:
We’ve polled coaches and here are the key coaching points they recommend when it comes to being a great goalkeeper:
- ready position (hips and shoulders square to the ball, trunk bent slightly forward from hips, knees are bent for mobility, balance on the balls of the feet and hands up with palms facing the ball)
- eyes on the ball at all times
- quick footwork to move as much of your body behind the line of the ball as possible
- move forwards towards the ball and attack it whenever possible
cushioning hands and arms to bring the ball to the safety of the chest
- concentrate until the ball is save
- know the location of the goal at all times ( spatial awareness)
- distribute the ball correctly by throwing, passing or punting to feet or into space based on distance
- distribute the ball away from the opposition to initiate/participate the attack (support field players, change point of attack etc. – think and act as the first attacker)
- communicate with and organize the defense (verbal & non-verbal)
- demonstrate a positive attitude ( be motivated, be concentrated and assertive)