Goalkeeper drill to deflect the ball

In a perfect goalkeeper’s world, every shot would be cleanly caught and brought into the body. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Tony Carr, academy director of West Ham United, English Premier League, has this soccer training drill to help goalkeepers deflect the ball safely away from the goal using the correct technique and quick decision-making skills.
This soccer training drill involves all your players in boosting this core goalkeeping skill.

What to think about in the drill

  • Where is the best place for a shot to be deflected to? As far away and as wide as possible from goal.

  • Defenders need to be aware, and ready to assist the goalkeeper with any balls not held and deflected, in case they do not leave the field of play and fall for a rebound.
  • Goalkeepers must be on their toes throughout the drill, ready to make the save.
  • Decision-making – can your goalie get both hands or just one to the ball?

Soccer training drill and coaching tips to get goalies deflecting ball from goal.

Set up the drill

  • Have a small goal (four to six yards), with the server approx six yards from the goalkeeper and two target zones.

  • Development: small area, 15 x 15 yards. One goal each end (four to six yards wide). Two target zones.
  • One goalkeeper works, while the other serves. Alternate frequently.

Key soccer coaching tips

  • The server must initially throw the ball underhand with both hands. This develops into shots as the drill and the goalkeeper’s understanding develops.

  • Encourage the goalkeeper to step into line/down the line of the shot. Get as close as possible to the line of flight of the ball.
  • The last step before the dive (the power stride) should be slightly diagonally forward into line. This will ensure the deflected shot is pushed well away from goal.
  • Tell them to have strong wrists/hands and to almost swat the ball away.
  • They must then make a quick recovery. Don’t assume the ball will go out of play and get up as fast as possible in case of rebounds.