Soccer Goalkeeping Drills

By: Niv Orlian

The goalkeeper's job is certainly the toughest of all soccer players, since whereas a defender, midfielder or attacker can get off with a couple of mistakes every now and then, a goalkeeper's mistakes are a lot more visible. To complicate things even further, modern goalkeepers have even more attributions than before: they need to coordinate the defense, they sometimes need to act as sweepers and they can fire off lethal counter attacks after a clean save.

For all these to happen of course, a goalkeeper will have to be thoroughly trained using specific soccer goalkeeping drills. Most commonly, such drills focus on soccer goalkeeping training skills such as mobility, flexibility, agility and reflexes rather than physical training. Let's take a look at some popular soccer goalkeeping drills you could try out with your team.

- Soccer Goalkeeping Drills - 1 Versus 1

This is a very common drill, but nevertheless, it's very effective since goalkeepers are bound to be caught in a 1 versus 1 situation with an opposing attacker in almost every match. Even more so, at amateur or youth levels, where defenses are less strict than they are with the pros, 1-on-1s are very common for goalkeepers, so you'll need to train them well.

This soccer goalkeeper drill is simple to execute. Get an attacker around 20-30 yards from the goal and tell him to charge full speed towards the goal, with the ball at his feet and try to score. Your goalie will have to counter him of course. To mix things up a bit, you could have another player passing the ball in front of the attacker, which allows the goalkeeper to take an extra decision as to whether or not it's a good idea to charge out of the goal, or stay put and wait for the attacker.

- Soccer Goalkeeping Drills - Automatic Fire

Have 8-10 players stand at around 20-30 yards from the goal, each with his own ball. At your signal, the attackers should, one by one, run forward and shoot the ball from a distance you specified beforehand. Your goalkeeper should be under a constant rain of shots, jumping from one post to the other to save the ball. It's not really that important if he saves them or not, it's important that he learns how to react quickly and get up from the floor fast and be ready for another shot.

To speed things up a bit, you could have another team of 8-10 players behind the goal, returning the balls back to the firing squad.

- Soccer Goalkeeping Drills - Ab Volley

This is one of the toughest soccer goalkeeping drills, but if done correctly, it's a very efficient one. Here's how it goes: your goalie should stay on his bottom, in the same position he would do ab crunches in. You or a teammate will have to throw the ball towards him and while he's doing ab crunches, he will pass it back to you.

Coordinate your move so that you throw the ball as your goalie is lifting up from the crunch and try not to give him too many breathers. It's an intense exercise, but results will soon follow, so make sure you encourage him not to quit!

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