Goalkeeper drills

Here are 10 goalkeeper drills that will help improve your team in both defence and attack.

Click on the headings for in-depth instructions on how to implement these 10 goalkeeper drills.

1. Diving basics

If a goalkeeper is getting hurt when making diving saves, he will be less inclined to get in the way of shots. This technique will teach your shot stopper how to dive safely and attack the ball at the same time.

2. The high ball

In this drill the goalkeeper is to come off their line to a cone set out in front of the goal. At this point a server throws the ball over the goalkeeper’s head aiming for underneath the crossbar, and they must run backwards attempting to catch the ball or deflect it over the crossbar.

3. Penalty area movement

This drill encourages the goalkeeper to be on their toes and ready to deal with a variety of different balls aimed into the penalty area. A ball to the left, one to the midriff and another to the right should help improve your goalkeeper’s agility before the drill is advanced.

4. Foot speed

When it comes to dealing with shots, you do not want to see your goalkeeper routed to the spot. It is important that a goalkeeper is quick off the mark, and this drill will get them moving around the area and used to where the ball will go. Encouragement on the coach’s part is key.

5. Long distance throwing

A good long distance throw can be a highly effective method of starting a counterattack. Have one goalkeeper at either end of a 40m field take turns at throwing a ball into two target areas either side of the goal. The drill can be extended by getting your goalkeepers to intercept each other’s throws before they bounce.


6. Positioning

This article looks at where goalkeepers should be positioned in general play and when facing a shot. The coach should observe the goalkeeper’s movement in training from behind the goal. A goalkeeper should remember that as well as keeping out shots, they need to be well positioned to help out their defence.

7. Deflecting the ball

Sometimes a goalkeeper cannot hold onto a shot. Tony Carr, academy director of West Ham United, uses this drill to help goalkeepers deflect the ball away safely into a target zone either side of the goal.

8. Punching

In a hectic penalty area it is not always easy to catch the ball. This drill encourages your goalkeeper to punch the ball away, ideally with both fists to get extra distance. This article also demonstrates how to develop the drill and turn it into a game.

9. Clearing Back Passes

This drill will help goalkeepers to clear back passes away with height and distance. With an attacker bearing down on a goalkeeper in possession they must clear the ball to one of the targeted cones or players. The goalkeeper must use their right foot if receiving the ball from the right and their left foot if receiving it from the left.

10. Angles

Goalkeepers can increase their chances in 1v1 situations with the striker by altering their positioning to cut down the angle so that an attacker has less space to shoot into. Tell the goalkeeper to watch the position of the attacker before coming out to confront them.