Soccer coaching tips to keep your goalie happy

The position of goalkeeper is always the hardest to fill in any youth soccer team. Use this soccer drill and coaching tips to make sure your keeper is happy in his role.

When goalkeepers are in the news it's usually for the wrong reasons - for fumbles or mistakes. No wonder kids don't want to be goalie. But once you have found a good one, make sure you keep him happy with fun soccer training drills and lots of encouragement.

Should goalkeepers punch or catch?

In my experience goalkeepers were always taught to catch the ball, it was the fancy ones that punched it. If you can get your goalkeeper to catch the ball, he will relieve the pressure on a hard working defence.

diagram to get goalies coming out to catch the ball

Goalie soccer drill

Use a 15m x 15m square for this soccer drill. Put your goalkeeper and two attackers in the square. Put a player at each corner with a ball. The coach calls out a number (1 to 4) and that player kicks a high ball to the keeper. The keeper has to attack the ball and win it in the air under pressure from two attackers in the box.

Soccer coaching tips for goalies

Young players are always asking if they can play in goal during training sessions. They love putting on the gloves and diving around. But ask them if they want to play in goal during matches and it’s a different story. It is still the last position kids want to fill, and the last position parents want their kids to play. We need kids diving around at home with goalkeepers as their heroes, but to create that environment requires goalkeepers to be treated like strikers.

Boost your goalie

A good soccer coaching tip is to praise your goalkeeper first every match and pick out one good thing they have done in each half, so you praise them at half-time as well. If you have a man of the match trophy, DON’T NEGLECT YOUR GOALKEEPER WHEN IT COMES TO AWARDING IT.

Click here for tips to help your goalie get in the right position.

Soccer coaching tips


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