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Footwork for Goalkeepers

Footwork

Like any outfield player a goalkeeper needs to be fit, mobile and possess the ability to read the game. So agility, speed and footwork need to be part of the training programme, as well as good handling.

There are various practices...to begin the goalkeeper needs to learn to adjust feet and body.

Safe Hands:

The goalkeeper stands just forward of the goal line facing two servers who are, towards opposite angles of the penalty area, in possession of six footballs each.

They serve alternately and vary the serve e.g. volley, low drive, lob - making the keeper work at adjusting position and sharp footwork while attempting to hold on to the ball.

Coaches can add to the difficulty by demanding the keeper touches one of the posts between saves.

This means the keeper will face, save, return the ball, and then touch one of the posts, before turning to face the next server.

Exercise 2

Footwork

To speed up reflex work the servers change positions. Server 1 on the goal line 6 yards out in possession of 8 footballs, server 2 is centrally placed 6 yards out.

The goalkeeper starts on the near post facing server 1 who can throw, lob or drive the ball forcing the keeper to save, or as an alternative server 1 can throw the ball to server 2-making the goal keeper adjust body position sharply to prepare for an immediate shot, volley, or header from server 2.

The servers can move across to the other flank giving the goalkeeper practice at dealing with balls from both sides.

Coaches may consider junior players by reducing the size of the goal e.g. placing a cone 3 yards in from the far post.

Coaches can alter the position of the 2 servers so they both face the goalkeeper on the edge of the 6 yard line as in the diagram below.

Footwork 

Both servers will have a number of footballs each and will serve alternately forcing the goalkeeper (who will start off centrally placed) to move across the goal line to make any saves. The servers will again vary the type of serve testing the keeper’s agility and stamina.

Exercise 3

Footwork

A goal is set up (using two cones 3 yards apart) the two servers on either side of the goal each with three footballs. The goalkeeper has to be alert and ready as Server 1 volleys, or throws the ball at the goal. If the keeper saves, the ball is returned immediately, and at the same time the keeper has to turn swiftly ready for a serve from server 2.

The service has to be sharp and varied, testing the goalkeeper’s agility and response in turning and saving.

To add to the difficulty, the goalkeeper can be asked to touch one of the posts between serves. The width of the goal can be altered depending on age and ability.