EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Dive, dive, dive

Diving at full stretch to tip a shot around the post makes great TV but what the instant replay does not show is the hours of practice the keeper has put in to achieve that perfect “Hollywood” image.

What this session is about

  1. Shot stopping.
  2. Footwork.
  3. Handling.

What to think about

A goalkeeper needs to:

  • Cover the ground quickly.
  • Take a positive last stride before he dives in to the line of the ball.
  • Dive slightly diagonally forward. Remember the order of landing from a dive: Ankle, outside of knee, hip, side of upper torso and shoulder.
  • Catch the ball if possible. If holding the ball is not an option, he must punch and push it behind for a corner or wide so an attacker does not have an easy tap-in.
  • Return to his feet immediately, ready to make the next save.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Use two players with one ball between them – one is the goalkeeper and the other is the server.

The keeper sits on the floor with his legs outstretched facing towards the server, who stands a few yards away. The server throws the ball to one side so the keeper has to fall, catch and return it.

The server catches the ball and immediately throws it to the other side for the keeper to repeat, and so on. Players switch roles after 30 seconds.

To progress, set up a cone goal. The keeper starts on his feet in the middle of the goal, with the server opposite, five yards away.

The server passes the ball along the ground to one cone for the keeper to dive (as shown in the top picture), collect and return it while on the floor, then the server passes promptly to the other corner for the keeper to repeat in the opposite direction.

Repeat the activity but this time, the server chips the ball at knee height.

In pairs, a server passes the ball to a cone that the keeper has to dive towards, collect and throw back.

In pairs, a server passes the ball to a cone that the keeper has to dive towards, collect and throw back.


Development

Put a keeper in a goal with three cones about a yard in front of each post. Add a server with a supply of balls about 10 yards away from the goal.

The keeper stands on the centre of the goal line and begins by diving towards one cone, knocking it over, getting to his feet and scrambling to save a shot by the server to the opposite side of the goal.

The keeper resets in the centre and the activity works in the opposite direction until all six cones have been knocked down.

The keeper dives to knock over a cone then dives the opposite way to save a shot.

The keeper dives to knock over a cone then dives the opposite way to save a shot.


Game situation

Play 4v4 plus two goalkeepers, with no offsides, on a 30 x 20m playing area. Place the goals on the longer touchlines. Making the pitch short encourages more shots so keepers are more involved.

Both teams take a maximum of four touches before shooting.

If the goalkeeper makes a save and the ball leaves the pitch, you, or an assistant, immediately serve another ball to an attacking player so he can shoot straight at goal rather than take a corner – this forces keepers to be ready quickly.

If the ball doesn’t leave the pitch, play continues as normal.

When the keeper turns a shot around the post, an assistant quickly serves a ball to a striker for a second shot at goal.

When the keeper turns a shot around the post, an assistant quickly serves a ball to a striker for a second shot at goal.


What to call out

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