EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Quick reactions

When an attacker is in the act of heading or shooting, the distance between himself and the goalkeeper can be so close the keeper doesn’t get any time to think about how to make a save. This means he has to develop reaction skills.

What this session is about

  1. Shot stopping.
  2. Sharpening reactions.

What to think about

Your goalkeeper must:

  • Be in the “ready” position, i.e. knees bent, arms and hands up slightly but relaxed.
  • Stay “big” for as long as possible.
  • Use any part of his body to make the save.
  • Gather the ball if possible or push it away from danger.
  • Return to his feet immediately and be prepared 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. One, who is the keeper, stands between two balls. On his partner’s command, the goalkeeper reacts as quickly as possible to a call of “left” or “right” by diving either way and grasping a ball.

The keeper then quickly returns to his starting position for the next command. Players switch roles after 10 dives.

To progress, make a cone goal about four yards wide. The goalkeeper faces away from his partner, who stands five yards from goal.

On the partner’s call of “turn”, the goalkeeper must turn and react to save a ball his partner has rolled to either side, as shown in the top picture.

Develop further by varying the height and speed of service. Players switch roles after 10 dives.

The keeper turns and reacts quickly to a shot towards either cone.

The keeper turns and reacts quickly to a shot towards either cone.


Development

Use four players (two of which are keepers) and two full-size goals 10 yards apart, as shown in the middle picture.

An attacker stands between the goals while facing a server. The server faces the attacker and tosses a ball to him. The attacker then volleys or heads at either goal for the keeper in that goal to make a save.

To progress, the server can pass the ball along the ground.

To progress further, the server and attacker both react to try and score from rebounds.

A server (S) throws balls to an attacker (A) who heads or volleys towards one of the goals guarded by a keeper.

A server (S) throws balls to an attacker (A) who heads or volleys towards one of the goals guarded by a keeper.


Game situation

Set up a 30-yard square and use eight players. Place two poles/flags, the width of a goal apart, in the middle of the area, as shown in the bottom picture.

Two teams of three outfield players compete against each other to try and score past a keeper. They can score from either side of the goal.

Teams are awarded a point for each goal, while the keeper wins a point for each save made. The eighth player is a keeper who waits outside the area and swaps with the active keeper on a regular basis.

The team (either of the outfield teams or the goalkeepers) with the most points wins.

In a small-sided game, teams try to score past a keeper through a flag goal. Keepers swap regularly.

In a small-sided game, teams try to score past a keeper through a flag goal. Keepers swap regularly.


What to call out

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