BNSC – Building Better Goalkeepers

Fall Goalkeeping Training Sessions All Sessions are at Cloverdale Church

  • BNSC Goal Keeper Training Schedule:
  • Mondays: U10-U12 Boys & Girls @ 7th Day Adventist Church from 6-7:30pm (Jared Vreeland & Theron Fereday)
  • Tuesdays: U13-U14 Boys & Girls @ 7th Day Adventist Church from 6-7:30pm (Theron Fereday)

The essential components for training goalkeepers is consistent, cohesive development centered around quality training that pushes them beyond their comfort zone. It is with this training and instruction that goalkeepers improve and develop consistency. Beyond this, tactical training in a team setting, feedback and evaluation are other components vital to developing quality goalkeepers.

Tactical training in a team environment – This is also essential for goalkeepers’ improvement. The focus is on a wide variety of areas, including communication, distribution, and positioning.

Evaluation – The feedback received from our staff is important to developing quality goalkeepers.

Technical Training – It is important for goalkeepers to have a lot of repetition using good technique on a regular basis. Therefore, our training sessions will be organized and will consist of small groups. Besides the obvious handwork that we develop in our goalkeepers, our philosophy is that improvingfootwork on a regular basis is a vital aspect for developing excellent goalkeepers.

Positioning for Goalkeepers

Inches, one way or another, make the difference in being in or out of position. As goalkeeper coaches, we must realize that the quickest way to improve a young keeper is to improve positioning.

The Components of Positions:

• Location – simply, where is the keeper in relation to the ball and other players.

• Anticipation – The keeper that reads the game well and can anticipate the next touch (pass, dribble or shot) will generally arrive in the proper position to make the play sooner. An example: The striker receives the ball at the top of the penalty box. As the striker receives the ball, he/she prepares to take the shot. The keeper must pick up on the rhythm of the striker and know exactly when the shot will be hit and therefore time their movements to be in the best possible position when the ball is struck. If they move too early, the striker will have the opportunity to change his shot. If the keeper moves too late, he will probably be unsettled when the shot is hit and have less chance to save.

Positioning Concepts:

Position for the goalkeeper is a continual evaluating, learning and refining process. This is the main reason why goalkeepers are considered to reach their peak in their thirties.

“Ball Line” – The ball line is the imaginary line from the exact center of the goal line to the ball. This “ball line” obviously changes as the ball moves and a sound keeper will continue moving so that his or her positioning is always straddling the “ball line.”

When a striker takes a shot, the movement to establish position is almost always straddling the ball line. There are some specific situations which call for the keeper to be off the ball line, but I’ll save those at this time.

“Cutting the Angle” – This certainly should not be a new concept to most keepers and coaches; however, I am amazed at how we can complicate this concept. A goalkeeper will “cut down the angle” by moving off the goal line. The movement is on the “ball line.” Really what this movement off the goal line accomplishes is that it makes the goal smaller. Yes, that’s correct, by moving off your goal line towards the ball, the keeper makes the goal smaller.

The timing of when to move out and how far to move out is the real test of “cutting the angle.”

“The Saving Angle (or the angle of deflection)” – Just as cutting the angle makes the goal smaller, the “saving angle” allows for the deflections and touches of the shots taken – resulting in saves and not just good tries.

The ball that is deflected when the keeper is close to the goal line has a much better chance of finding the corners of the goal than the shot that is deflected four, five or six yards from the goal line. Also, the angle at which the save is attempted gives the keeper a little more advantage. By diving at an angle (and not back toward the goal), the process of making the goal smaller continues right through the save. Another benefit of the angle is ©SoccerPlus Goalkeeper School. All Rights Reserved.1

that deflections and rebounds will stay in front of you or stay parallel to the goal until they have no possibility of going in.

“The Angle Arc” – An imaginary semi-circle from just outside of one post up to and touching the six-yard line in front of the goal and arcing back to just outside the other post creates the “Angle Arc.” This arc is a guide to knowing what the maximum angle is. In other words, the arc serves as a guide for determining how far to come out of goal before actually putting yourself out of position. Remember, I am not talking about a breakaway, I am talking about preparing your position to handle the next touch (pass, dribble or shot).

When the ball is close to the end line and close to the front post, the keeper is positioned just outside the front post. His toes are just beyond the outside edge of the post. The keeper is on the angle arc (maximum angle). To go further out would put him out of position because any ball played into the front of the goal will leave the keeper outside of the posts.

Now, we put the ball in front of the goal, at the top of the penalty area. When the shot is taken, the keeper should be positioned at or near the six-yard line – again on the angle arc imaginary line, again maximum angle and, as we learned earlier, straddling the “ball line.” At this point, the keeper has established a balance between being able to react to the shot while still putting pressure on the shooter to try and hit a corner.

Hopefully, the above concepts will be helpful to the keeper and the goal coach for formulating or improving positioning. Remember, the game itself is its best teacher. The more games the keeper plays, the more natural and refined his or her positioning will be.

The following are some exercises that will help you improve your starting position.

Exercise #1: Improving Starting Positions on crossed balls

Cones are placed to indicate the starting position for the keeper and balls are crossed in from both flanks as well as balls played directly to goal. Start with a conservative placement of the cones and overextend the goalkeeper to make it difficult to cover balls played directly at goal.

Exercise #2: Improving Starting Positions on through balls

Cones, indicating a goal are placed 14 to 16 yards from the goal line. Two sets of balls are placed 35 yards from goal. The server can play a through ball on the ground that the keeper must win before it goes over the imaginary goal line indicated by the two cones. The server can also play a ball directly at goal (driven or chip) forcing the goalkeeper to utilize a drop step and a side on cross-over step back to the goal line.

Exercise #3: Training the footwork to cover from an extended Position

A server (from hands) positions themselves at the top of the penalty area. Two servers are stationed 35 yards from goal and off center. Server #1 tosses a ball so that the goalkeeper must come and catch (or box) it between the six yard line and the penalty stripe. As soon as the keeper lands, one of the servers out front tries to score (driven or chip shot). The goalkeeper must utilize good footwork to get back to cover their goal.

Coaching Point: The goalkeeper should not hesitate to see where the ball will be played. The keeper must sprint back towards the center of the goal line and adjust to the ball while moving. The footwork is side on cross-over step.

The goalkeeper should not hesitate to see where the ball will be played. The keeper must sprint back towards the center of the goal line and adjust to the ball while moving. The footwork is side on cross-over step.

©SoccerPlus Goalkeeper School. All Rights Reserved.