Coaching Goalkeepers

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Watching a typical soccer practice it often becomes apparent that sessions are targeted towards outfield players. Frequently goalkeepers take part in all of the practice progressions then when goals are added they are sent off to stop balls going in. A large number of coaches have very little goalkeeper training so even when they are trying to help them, they are unclear what to say. Considering the requirements of the position, not spending time specifically working with your goalkeeper(s) will limit their development and significantly damage the experience for the rest of your team at game time. Teams who do not have confidence in their goalkeepers are usually disproportionately affected by it – limiting forward runs and focusing on stopping any shots rather than taking risks and playing their game.

As is the common message on this site – knowledge is power! We recommend developing a strong foundation of understanding for the goalkeeping position. You could do this by: –

  • Going to sessions run by experienced goalkeeper coaches (if you club has a specific trainer for it, or if another club does);
  • Attending coaching courses specific to the position (NSCAA GK Levels 1-4, USSF license);
  • Getting books from libraries or online;
  • Watching videos on YouTube showing a wide range of technical activities to use;
  • Asking other experienced coaches (or technical staff) in your club how they incorporate goalkeeping into their practices; and/or
  • Contacting local university teams who probably have a specific goalkeeper trainer and asking if you can watch sessions.

Our site also includes plans specific to goalkeeper training, taken from various high level coaching courses and full time goalkeeper staff. These can be used by you or your assistant coaches, but keep in mind that the language used and approaches are unlikely to make sense unless you first increase your knowledge base.

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