Soccer Goalie Drills: [Printable Drill Diagrams]

When developing our goalkeepers we have to take a slightly different approach to their training. Most coaches will segregate their goalkeepers from rest of the team, have them working alone or with a bunch of other goalkeepers.

Now, while that certainly has it’s benefits and can work, when coaching young goalkeepers (8+) it’s far more beneficial to have them integrated with your team as much as possible.

By this I mean ensuring that they get plenty of time playing outfield as they do in goal.

Why?

Well apart from the obvious social benefits, modern day goalkeepers are required to be comfortable with the ball at their feet, be able to pass the ball out from the back and have the confidence to beat a player if the need arises. And the best way to achieve these things are by letting your goalkeepers train with your team – in goal AND out.

As I mentioned though, there will be time that you’ll need specific goalkeeper training for your young players. So what do you do?

Key Coaching Points

Soccer Goalie Key Coaching Points

Depending on the age group you’re working with you’re going to want to use some or all of the following coaching points in your training sessions;

Basic Goalie Coaching Points

  • Both hands move together
  • Keep hands behind the ball
  • Create a diamond shape with the fingers (Index fingers turned towards each other with the thumbs close to one another)
  • Elbows should be tucked in
  • For low catches: The arms should out in front of the torso with the elbows tucked in and the palms facing upwards. As the ball enters the arms, goalkeepers need to be encouraged to wrap the ball into close to their chest
  • For rolling ground balls: Goalkeepers should be encouraged to put one knee down and step one foot beside the ball. When picking the ball up, again, the elbows tucked in with the palms facing up.
  • For high catches: Hands should represent a ‘W’ with the the little fingers being the outside of the ‘W’ and the thumbs representing the middle
  • Goalkeepers ready position: Keepers should be on the balls of their feet, with their knees slightly bent while staying relaxed and focused on the ball
  • Step in to the ball when making the save
  • When make the save, they should be encouraged to side step or shuffle into position getting their body behind the ball
  • When making the save goalies should be encouraged to push the ball away from the attackers
  • Stay focused on the ball until they have it safely in their hands

More Advanced Goalkeeping Coaching Points

When following the game the keeper needs to be aware of the position of the ball and where that ball might end up going. Once your comfortable with the standard of your keepers development you can move onto other aspect of their game such as; angles, distribution and reading the game. When looking at these areas of development, here’s a few key coaching points to keep in mind;

  • Narrow the angles: The keeper needs to follow the position of the ball. If the ball is center of the goal then generally speaking the keeper needs to also be center of the goal. If however, the ball moves slightly over to either side of the pitch the keeper with need to adjust his position to reflect the new position of the ball. This is what’s known as ‘narrowing the angles’
  • Distributing the ball: Goalies can distribute the ball in 3 ways; they can roll the ball, throw the ball or kick the ball. You should constantly work on the different distributions methods and allow you keeper to develop the confidence to choose the right one when it comes to games and matches. Where possible, you’ll want your keepers to distribute the ball out wide away from the initial pressure
  • Reading the game:  Things to keep in mind for this are; reading the most influential players on the pitch, identifying what foot a player is likely to shoot with, where the open players are and runs that their own team-mates are making.

 

In this guide, I have put together 10 soccer goalie drills that can be used across your training sessions. Some drills requires goalkeepers to work on their own, some a great for pre-game warm up drills and others can be used with maximum participation from other players on the team.

Goalkeeper Equipment

For each drill you’re going to need at least;

Soccer Balls
Soccer Goals
Training Cones
GoSports Premier Soccer Ball...
PowerNet Soccer Goal 6ft x 4ft...
Pro Disc Cones (Set of 50) -...
GoSports Premier Soccer Balls (x6)
Powernet (6x4) Portable Soccer Goal
Profect Sports (x50) Disc Training Cones
To ensure your training session flows and achieves all it's objectives with minimal disruption, you're going to want to make sure you have at least 6-12 balls at your disposal
Remember to always purchase the right size goal for the right age group. Also, make sure you're goals are securely fastened to the ground
Finally training cones can be used to setup drill dimensions, used as targets and can help with identifying different sections of a drill
Soccer Balls
GoSports Premier Soccer Ball...
GoSports Premier Soccer Balls (x6)
To ensure your training session flows and achieves all it's objectives with minimal disruption, you're going to want to make sure you have at least 6-12 balls at your disposal
Soccer Goals
PowerNet Soccer Goal 6ft x 4ft...
Powernet (6x4) Portable Soccer Goal
Remember to always purchase the right size goal for the right age group. Also, make sure you're goals are securely fastened to the ground
Training Cones
Pro Disc Cones (Set of 50) -...
Profect Sports (x50) Disc Training Cones
Finally training cones can be used to setup drill dimensions, used as targets and can help with identifying different sections of a drill

Some of the goalie drills below will require additional equipment. I have listed these under each drill. While you don’t absolutely need additional pieces of equipment they are highly recommend not only for drill variation but the overall development and engagement of your young goalkeepers.

#1) Soccer Goalie Warm Up Drill

Goalie Warm Up Circuit

[Goalkeeper] Warm Up Circuit

For this specific circuit to work you’ll need some mannequins, hurdles, ladders and some agility hoops to complete the setup. You could however opt not to use any conditioning and instead be a little more creative with how you set up your cones and markers.  
To technically warm up goalkeepers ready for training

This drill is a simple circuit warm up that combines a number areas your goalkeepers need to work on.

  1. Get through the ladders, make the save then back up again to jump the hurdles
  2. Get round the mannequins and make the save
  3. Get through the hoops, make the save then roll/throw the ball towards the target
  4. Get past the oncoming attacker in a 1v1 situation.

You can have this set up and have a number of keepers run through in a continuous circuit.

Again, as with any circuit type drill you don’t need to use the exact stations I have illustrated above – there are plenty of other variations, drills, skills and activities you could add to this. Just remember to keep it simple but effective.

You could also use a soccer rebounder as one of your stations. You’ll get some soccer rebounder drill idea in another drill further down – but for this drill specifically they’d work really well.

  • Progression 1: A number of different movement patterns can be used through the conditioning equipment.
  • Progression 2:Vary the power, heights, angles and shots thrown / kicked at keeper
  • Progression 3: For 1 1 v 1 station – Start passive then progress to active

 

FORZA Soccer Mannequins
4 Reviews
FORZA Soccer Mannequins
Mannequins are great pieces of equipment that not only simulate defenders, but can be doubled up as targets, goal posts and can used with both goalkeepers and outfield players. I'd recommend having at least 3 to 4 soccer mannequins to hand when the need arises - if you don't currently have any, you can check out these ones from FORZA Soccer. They're super easy to set up and can be used with or without the bases. They're easy to store as they don't take up much room at all and weigh very little - well worth checking out if you've got the budget.

 

Soccer Goalie Drill #2)
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Unpredictable

[Goalkeeper] Unpredictable

A whole load of different sized and shaped cones will be perfect for this drill. The more obscure the better! You’ll also need some mannequins or some else that can provide a realistic obstruction for the goalkeeper to get round 
To get react quickly to any shots with a high level of unpredictability

Coaching Points

  • Get round the defenders quick
  • Be aware of where the ball is coming from
  • Get your body into position
  • Get your hands the ball
  • Always face the ball
  • Be aware of unpredictable changes in the balls direction

The drills requires 3 attackers feeding the ball in from different angles, some different sized and shaped cones to disrupt the balls roll / flight path and some mannequins to act as defenders to obstruct the keepers view.

On the call the keeper must get round the mannequins, be aware of what attacker is playing the ball in and react to save the ball. The goalkeeper should not know what attacker is playing the ball in.

Progression

  • Progression 1: Change the distances of the attackers
  • Progression 2:Change the size, weight and types of balls used

 

Kwik Goal Jumbo Disc Cones
45 Reviews
Kwik Goal Jumbo Disc Cones
You won't see these in many training facilities. I was first introduced to these types of cones from a fellow coach a few years ago. They're brilliant - especially for younger age group and those with physical or psychological disabilities

 

Soccer Goalie Drill #3)
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Target Box

[Goalkeeper] Target Box

Setup a box with different outlined sections for each player. You could, play this game with more than for 4 players.
To hit the ball underarm into an opposing keepers box without letting the ball bounce twice. This helps develop reactions, ball reading skills and body positioning

Coaching Points

  • Keep control of your underarm hits
  • Get your body into position
  • Read the bounce of the ball
  • Read the ball flight
  • Understand your opponents body position
  • Hit the ball into space away from your opponent

For this drill the more keepers you have on your team / at your club the better – however if you’re struggling to get 4 keepers you can have other outfield players take part. In-fact for younger players this would be a great warm up activity for everyone.

The game starts by one keeper serving the ball underarm into another keepers quarter.

The ball is allowed to bounce once – and then must be palmed / hit into another keepers box. If the ball bounces twice or outside the area that keeper loses a point. All keepers start with 5 points.

Progression

  • Progression: Use different types of balls with different bounces. Think rugby balls, footballs, tennis balls, beach balls and reaction balls

 

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Qball Reaction Ball
67 Reviews
Qball Reaction Ball
If you're looking to take your goalie training up a notch or two then here's a little 'curve ball' to throw into your next drill...

 

Soccer Goalie Drill #4)
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Reaction

[Goalkeeper] Reaction 2

This simple setup requires a small box laid out using 4 different colors. On the outside, you can use whatever conditioning equipment you have to add more variety to the drill.
To warm up and improve reaction skills through a simple to setup drill.

Coaching Points

  • Stay facing the ball at all times
  • React quick
  • Hands together
  • Hands behind the ball
  • Keep elbows in front of the body
  • Be prepared a ready for the shot

For the colored cones, whenever the player/coach calls out a color the keeper must quickly move to that color, come back to the middle and react in time to save the shot.

For the outside equipment, same rules apply. This is a great drill that can be used as part of your pre-game warm up.

Progression

  • Progression 1: Firstly start off with just the 4 colored cones then progress to the outside equipment.
  • Progression 2: Secondly, you can change the type of ball you hit in – you can throw or kick the ball at various heights and power
  • Progression 3: Finally, call opposites – green = blue / yellow = red

 

Soccer Goalie Drill #5)
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Not In My Backyard

[Goalkeeper] Not in My Back Yard

For this drill you’ll need to set up a small target area the ‘back yard’. The cones represent a ‘dead’ zone.
The aim of the drill is for the goalkeeper to stop the attacker from getting past him into the shaded area (backyard)

Coaching Points

  • Keep you eye on the ball
  • Close your angles down
  • Force him out wide
  • Don’t dive in
  • Make your body as big as possible

To start the drill, the keeper passes the ball to the attacker who tried to get past the keeper into the shaded area. The keeper must stop him by either saving the ball from going into the area or forcing the attacker into the ‘dead’ zone.

Progression

  • Progression 1: Allow attacker to shoot at goal
  • Progression 2:Add another attacker

 

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Quickplay Soccer Goal
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Quickplay Soccer Goal
Quickplay Soccer Goals are absolutely one of the best portable soccer goals on the market. Super durable, sturdy and easy to setup. They also come in 6 different sizes including Futsal for those indoor soccer training sessions...

 

Soccer Goalie Drill #6)
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Soccer Rebounder Drills

[Goalkeeper] Soccer Rebounder Drills

For these individual drills you’re going to need some sort of soccer rebounder. Now, soccer rebounders come in all shapes and sizes. Some more portable than others and some better suited for some drills while others better suited to…well other drills.
To provide an alternate solution to develop keeper handling, footwork and overall goalkeeping skills

Coaching Points

Key coaching points will largely depend on the type of rebounder drill you’re doing but in general you’ll want to keep to the fundamental goalkeeping coaching points such as; – basic catching techniques = hand close together / elbows close and in front of the torso / fingers high on the ball. Basic footwork techniques: – shuffle into position / step into the ball / get a good set position

  • Basic catching techniques:  Hands close together / Elbows close and in front of the torso / Fingers high on the ball.
  • Basic footwork techniques: Shuffle into position / Step into the ball / Get a good set position

Soccer Rebounders… the quick scoop

I won’t spend this whole post going into detail on the different soccer rebounders currently on the market as I have already done that here. However what I will say, is at the very least I’d recommend grabbing one of the Crazy Catch products as each model comes with both an ‘insane’ and ‘sane’ rebound  netting.

  • Sane: When the ball rebounds, it comes back in a predictable way
  • Insane: The ball returns to the thrower in an unpredictable way

I’ve gone into more detail on the whole Crazy Catch product range here…

These aren’t any specific drills per se – but each sections highlights some of the ways in which your can add and use soccer rebounders to your goalie training.

  • 1) Your goalkeepers can help develop each other. One throws the ball at the rebounder while the other makes the save. Alternate between goalkeepers.
  • 2) Individual training – can be used as part of a pre-game warm up
  • 3) Using a handheld rebounder
  • 4) Progressing the drill a little more so the keeper has to react to the rebounder ball and then a shot from one of the the attackers.

Progression

  • Progression 1: You could use a combination of rebounder drills mixed with some of the other goalkeeper drills
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Tekk Trainer Soccer Rebounder
169 Reviews
Tekk Trainer Soccer Rebounder
This is by far the most durable and solid rebounder on the market at the minute. You can change the angle of the net to work on different heights and velocities and it's big enough to help with developing your outfield players too. Highly recommend

 

Soccer Goalie Drill #7)
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Get There First

[Goalkeeper] Get There First

Simple setup only needing some cones and possibly some conditioning equipment to progress the drill 
To get to the ball and pick it up before the it goes through the gates

For this simple drill, the coach / player kicks the ball towards the gates – the keeper must react and pick up the ball before it crosses the line.

This is another great little drill you can use before games.

Progression

  • Progression: Use a variety of different ‘obstacles’ or targets the keeper must run to before heading towards the gate. You’ll need to be realistic in what the keeper can achieve the small amount of time available.

 

Soccer Goalie Drill #8)
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Colored Gates

[Goalkeeper] Colored Gates

You’ll need a some cones to setup each colored gate and a goal.
To react quickly to the coaches call, while dynamically working on the keepers positioning

Coaching Points

  • React quick
  • Get to the target quick
  • Keep your body facing the ball
  • Get in your keepers ready position
  • Stay on your toes

To start the coach hits a ball towards the keeper. The keeper must catch the ball, feed it back then react to what ever color the coach calls.

If for example, the coach calls a color (eg Blue) or calls ‘Goal’ – the keeper must get to that gate as quickly as possible to save another shot before returning back to the middle.

Progression

  • Progression 1: Call opposites – Yellow = Blue / Green = Goal
  • Progression 2: Add in a passive defender and / or mannequins to add a bit more realism to the drill

 

Soccer Goalie Drill #9)
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Colored Gates

[Goalkeeper] Angles

For the setup, the drill requires a few targets, some cones and of course some balls.
The objective is to work on the keepers ability to react to different stimuli whilst simultaneously developing their distribution skills to transition from defense to attack – quickly.

Coaching Points

  • Get in the set position quickly
  • Get up and react to the next shot quickly
  • Step into the ball
  • Hands forward with finger high
  • Elbows in front of the body
  • Use the feet to shuffle into position
  • Body always facing the ball
  • Roll the ball to the full back (goals)

Each player has a number/letter. The coach calls out the a player and that player must have a shot on goal. Once the keeper catches the ball they must then roll or throw the ball towards one of the targets. In this case, there’s 2 goals and 2 mannequins.

Progression

  • Progression 1: Start without distribution then progress to using mannequins / goals.
  • Progression 2:After the attacker has had a shot on goal they must close the keeper down and apply pressure as the keeper aims to find the full back (goals)
  • Progression 3: Instead of shooting – attackers pass and close keeper down

 

Soccer Goalie Drill #10)
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4-Goal

[Goalkeeper] 4 Goal

This drills requires 4 goals, 4 keepers and at least 3 attackers.
The objective is to work on the keepers ability to react to different stimuli whilst simultaneously developing their distribution skills to transition from defense to attack – quickly.

Coaching Points

  • Get in the set position quickly
  • Get up and react to the next shot quickly
  • Stay on your toes
  • Be aware of where the ball is coming in from

Each player has a number/letter. The coach calls out the a player and that player must have a shot on goal. Once the keeper catches the ball they must then roll or throw the ball towards one of the targets. In this case, there’s 2 goals and 2 mannequins.

Progression

  • Progression: Increase the pace at which the balls are fed in from the outside
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