“Attack wins you games, defending wins you titles.” This is one of the most famous quotes in the world of soccer. It belongs to one of the greatest coaches of all time – Sir Alex Ferguson. Every role and every position is important in soccer, but defenders take the cake, and on top of them is the goalkeeper.
A good goalkeeper is the best thing a soccer team can have. Here are 5 goalkeeper training drills.
Good goalkeepers aren’t born like that. The difference between a good goalkeeper and normal people (Other than the fact that every now and then they wear gloves and jump around trying to grab a ball), is in the training the goalkeeper does.
So how do you become one? There are many ways you can go about it, but for today I have chosen 5 goalkeeper training drills to help you improve.
…wherever you are… Why didn’t I call this the ‘Celine Dion drill’. Near-Far is a simple drill for goalkeeper training, but it requires that you have two people to assist you with your training.
Have one of them take shots from inside the penalty box and the other from outside. Allow the person inside the box to take the first shot, try to grab the ball and throw it back at them. Then immediately focus on the shoot coming from outside the box.
Alternating between short range shots and longer range shots, will help you develop neat reflexes. Goalkeeper training is basically reflex training. As a goalkeeper you want to have reflexes that would make a cat jealous.
2. Hand-To-Hand Goalkeeper training
This is one of the most common goalkeeper training drills. It is easy and effective so much so that both amateurs and professionals do.
Sit down and have a partner throw a football with his hands to your left side. Move your body do the side and grab the ball. Then come back to the middle, throw the ball back at your partner, and have him throw it at your right. Rinse and repeat.
This goalkeeper training drill helps you build reflexes and also helps you accumulate the necessary upper body and arm strength to stop a shot heading your way.
3. Cross and shoot
Among other things as a goalkeeper you will have to jump high with your hands to try and catch the ball before someone can head it to the goal. Most of the time when there’s a corner kick awarded, it is the keeper who ends up catching the ball. So your goalkeeper training routine should include drills that train that aspect of the game too.
You will need two partners for this one. Start by having a partner throw the ball in a way that simulates in-game crosses, run towards the ball, jump, grab it and throw it back at your friend. Then run back at the goal and have the other partner take a shot at the goal while you try and defend it.
You can do this at any point of your training, but this one is best used as a warm-up drill. It gets you going because of the running, while also building on your, oh so important, reflexes.
4. The Messy Shot
This is a really fun drill to do. It will teach you to adapt to unpredictability.
Throw a bunch of stuff in front of you. You can use the backpacks, footballs, cones or anything that will change the trajectory of the ball. Once you put these ‘obstacles’ have someone shoot the ball through them, and you try to stop the ball from hitting the net.
The idea here is that during matches, many times after being kicked the ball will hit the players and change direction. You want to train yourself to follow the ball even in such messy conditions.
One situation that you’ll face as a goalkeeper that isn’t really fun, is being alone with an opposing player. The best goalkeeper training drill for these situations is also a very simple one.
Just give the ball to a partner and tell them to try and score past you. They can shoot, try to dribble you, anything goes.
This is the best way to prepare for such situations. This isn’t only a goalkeeper training drill, this can also hugely benefit your partner. They might find themselves trying to score in a situation like this in-game.
These are some basic goalkeeper training drills. If you are looking for drills that can help you improve, try these out. I tried to include simple, useful and practical drills, for more complex and advanced drills, you will need professional lessons.