Soccer coaching tips and tactics to get your young goalkeeper in the right position to make a save.
Always On the Go:
Before a goalkeeper even uses any part to touch the ball, they should be making constant adjustments to their
Phase 1: The middle attacker plays the ball to themselves, at any angle left or right, and gives chase. They shoot with their second touch.
Phase 2: The middle attacker plays the ball left or right to either of the two supporting attackers. The supporting attackers can either shoot first time or take a touch before shooting.
Phase 3: The middle attacker can either take a touch left or right and take a shot, or pass. If they pass, the supporting attackers can now shoot on their third touch if they choose to.
Key soccer coaching tip: The coach should observe the keeper’s movement from behind the goal.
Goalie Positioning Tips:
- If the ball is in the attacking third of the pitch, the keeper should be in the front third of their penalty area.
- If the ball’s in the middle third, they should stand in the middle third of their penalty area.
- If the ball’s in the defending third, they should position themselves a little distance from their goal-line.
Sweep It Up:
Why is all that important? Because as well as making saves, a goalkeeper’s job is to provide support for their defense. The space between the keeper and defenders should be small enough to make it tricky for opponents to play a ball into it without either the keeper or defenders getting there first. A good position also means the goalkeeper is available to receive a back pass from an under-pressure teammate.
Stop that shot – Part 1:
To prepare for a save, goalkeepers should:
- Constantly adjust their position in relation to the sideways or backward/forward movement of the ball.
- Be towards the midline of a triangle formed by lines joining the position of the ball and the two goal-posts (see diagram).
- Once in line, plant their feet and be balanced when the attacker is in possession and in a position to shoot.
- Get on their feet quickly again after saving the shot and be ready for the next one!
Shop that shot – Part 2:
When an attacker’s through on goal in a 1v1, the goalkeeper should also:
- Move along the line to the ball if it’s outside the playing distance of the attacker, and as fast as possible.
- Once the keeper has closed down the attacker, they should slow to a couple of arms’ lengths away and force the shooter to make a decision. Slowing down makes it easier to react, and makes it harder for the attacker to dribble around the goalkeeper.
Remember: The goalkeeper is a specialist position so he deserves special attention.