Best Training Drills for Goalkeepers
When it comes to goalkeepers, there is a lot of specialist training that is needed. While outfield players can train together and do the same drills, goalkeepers usually have to go off and do their drills to improve in different aspects of their trade.
Everything from footwork to throwing, kicking, catching, and blocking has to be considered. Goalkeeping can be a lonely position as a result, with goalkeepers often spending large chunks of a training session away for the rest of their teammates. However, this hard work usually pays off over time as the practice is implemented on game day, and you make fewer mistakes if you are more in tune with the different aspects of your game.
Setting up for success.
For some of these soccer drills, you will need a helper or some essential equipment. However, you can always find ways to improvise and carry out these soccer drills on your own. You must prioritize those drills that will help you work on your weaknesses. This will help you to become more well-rounded as a soccer goalkeeper.
It is also necessary that you are using top-quality goalkeeper gloves, as these can be the difference between saving a shot and conceding a goal at a crucial time in the match. There are many different top-quality goalie gloves that you can choose from, making your decision based on your specific preferences, no matter what your price range will be.
Many goalkeepers have a separate pair of goalkeeper gloves when they are training and for when they are playing games.
Useful goalkeeper training drills
If you are looking to take your goalkeeping to the next level, you will need to work. Practice usually pays off, and it will make you more confident come game day. Here are some useful goalkeeper drills that you can add to your training regime to help you get to the next level:
Working on agility
Agility is a crucial aspect of being a goalkeeper. You often need to dive and quickly get up again to make a second save. You want to make sure that you are not going to be crossing your feet with this drill, emphasizing quick and sharp steps.
You need to set up several cones in front of the goals where the soccer goalie will do some footwork drills. These can be varied depending on the age and experience level of the goalkeepers. The goalkeeper then goes to one of two cones, turning the corner and having a ball drop kicked straight at his or her chest. They quickly return to the starting position and repeat this for as many as a dozen times without rest.
Soccer drills is a great way to keep two goalkeepers occupied and to add a bit of competition into the mix. It sees two goalkeepers set up in goals opposite one another. Try to make this grid 20x15m with each goalkeeper being able to dropkick, kick, or throw the ball in an attempt to score past their opponent. You should decide on a specific time limit and how many rounds you are going to do.
Usually, it is a good idea to play until one of the keepers’ scores five goals before taking a break and doing a total of 4-6 rounds. If a goalkeeper scores, they will get the ball back straight away for another opportunity to shoot at goal.
If there is a rebound or a save with the ball bouncing out over to the other half of the pitch, the goalkeeper can take a shot on goal with their first touch. This drill helps to ensure that goalkeepers are focusing on catching balls when possible rather than deflecting it back for another shot by their opponent. It is also a fun drill that is competitive at the same time.
One of the most important aspects of being a good goalkeeper is having strong reflexes. You will not always expect a shot or the way the ball travels through the air or how it bounces. Therefore, you need to be adaptable and have the reflexes react to these surprises in seconds. This is a good drill if you are training as a team.
You should set up three players with balls about 25 yards away from the goals and two players a bit closer in, always making runs back and forth. The goalkeeper does not know who is delivering the ball and which inside player will be taking the shot. The goalkeeper quickly moves towards the player who will be shooting, creating a one-on-one situation replicating a real match situation.
This drill is a great way to help a goalkeeper quickly make numerous saves in a back to back manner. Oftentimes in games, goalkeepers will have to make multiple saves within a matter of seconds.
You will need to place eight balls at the edge of the box, with two players alternating with their shots in rapid succession. This will allow the goalkeeper to work on their reaction time and their footwork as they always need to be readjusting and getting into a strong position.
You want the goalkeeper to get back to their feet as quickly as possible after each of the shots. As the goalkeeper improves, you should tell the shooter to put more power on their shots while still being accurate.
Working on crosses
Crosses are an integral part of soccer and can be difficult for a lot of goalkeepers. As well as catching the ball, timing is crucial when dealing with crosses. You want to perfect time when you leave your goal and when to jump to catch the ball.
If you make a mistake or come out when you shouldn’t, this could be very costly for your team. You can place mannequins (3 or 4) around the penalty box, with the goalkeeper standing in the goal. You want to have someone crossing in balls from the wing, with the goalkeeper having to negotiate around the mannequins successfully. This will sometimes mean having to punch the ball away if the ball goes too close to the mannequins.
The most crucial coaching point is to ensure that the goalkeeper is decisive and do not second guess themselves. Once they make a decision, they need to carry it out rather than hesitating fully.
Back to the shooter
This drill is another way to work on the reactions of a goalkeeper. It simply sees the goalkeeper facing into their goals with their back to the striker.
You can either throw balls in this drill or go further out and kick them. You set up three different players that will be delivering the balls. The goalkeeper does not know which of these players will deliver the balls.
Once the coach shouts ‘Go’, the goalkeeper will quickly turn around to quickly face an incoming ball. The deliverers are trying to make the goalkeeper work hard, putting the goals towards the corners. There should be about a dozen reps of this drill before taking a break.