Soccer coaching session for goalkeeping skills

Goalkeeping is not simply about making eye-catching dives to the top corner of the goal. This session will help improve your goalkeepers' distribution, catching from crosses and shot stopping – and your outfield players will benefit in dribbling, crossing and shooting techniques.

This session is about:

  • Improving distribution when throwing or passing out with your feet.
  • Being in charge when coming to catch crosses.
  • Improving shot stopping.

What goalkeepers should think about

  • Even a top goalkeeper such as “England's number one” rates as only 8 out of 10 in most areas so they need to work on improving their shot stopping, distribution with hands and feet, catching crosses and communication – to name a few disciplines.
  • Reacting to the next ball and constantly adjusting their position in relation to the ball is crucial to a goalkeeper.
  • A recent study showed goalkeepers have seven more touches of the ball with their feet than they do with their hands. Therefore improving a goalkeeper's passing and receiving skills is vitally important.

How to set it up

Use an area 30 yards long and 40 yards wide for all practices.

How to play it

Two goalkeepers work at the same time. They throw or pass the ball out to their wide player. When a cross comes in from the opposite wing, the goalkeepers try to come and catch the cross.

Immediately after this, the goalkeeper must react to make a save from a shot from an attacker. The goalkeepers have 30 seconds' rest before repeating this circuit. Swap the wing from which crosses are made on a regular basis.

How to advance it

In a small-sided game, each team places a wide player with a supply of balls on the wing. After a shot on target, the wide player on the attacking team is allowed to cross a second ball into the penalty area. This rule forces the goalkeeper to react quickly to a second ball in order to come and catch the cross or save a header/shot from the cross.

How to play it in a game

Play a small-sided game but it is the goalkeepers who are in competition with each other. They compete in three areas: Shot stopping, catching crosses and distribution. Goalkeepers earn a point for each successful shot stopped, cross caught, and pass made.

At half time, teams change ends but the goalkeepers stay in the same goal so that neither has the advantage of having a better defence or attack. The goalkeeper with most points wins. And the team with most goals wins the outfield contest.

This session originally appeared in Soccer Coach Smart Sessions.

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