INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

The second six yards

When a cross arrives between the six-yard box and penalty spot, the goalkeeper can catch the ball or leave it to his defenders. This session will improve your goalkeeper’s confidence and decision making in the crucial “second six yards”.

What this session is about

  1.  Goalkeeper coming to catch crosses.
  2.  Decision making on whether to come and catch or to let the defenders clear the ball.
  3.  Building a relationship and understanding between the defenders and the goalkeeper.

What to think about

  • Giving the goal area zones and guidelines for the goalkeeper on where he should be coming to catch will improve decision making and game awareness.
  • The goalkeeper needs to communicate loudly and quickly to defenders with calls such as: “keeper’s” or “away”. This will remove indecision in the defence.
  • If the goalkeeper cannot catch the ball then he should punch it away.
  • The goalkeeper must not be a super hero. He should only go to catch if he is certain of holding the ball. If not, he should stay on his line and let the defenders win the ball. Even if the defenders lose the header there is still the chance to save a shot or header.

Set-up

Use a 50 yards long by 40 yards wide area for all three practices.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

The coach should mark out a second six-yard box outside the normal one. This will give the goalkeeper two zones. The normal six-yard box is zone 1 and the second box is zone 2. Anywhere outside these zones is zone 3.

Zone 1 = catching zone. Zone 2 = decision to be made. Zone 3 = stay on your line.

The outfield players place themselves randomly around the pitch with a ball each. On the coach’s call, a player crosses the ball into the box.

The players are allowed to use in-swinging, out-swinging, low or diagonal crosses to give the goalkeeper random balls to catch or leave depending on which zone the ball arrives.

Players cross a ball from various positions. The goalkeeper has to decide whether to catch or leave the ball depending on which zone it is in.

Players cross a ball from various positions. The goalkeeper has to decide whether to catch or leave the ball depending on which zone it is in.


Development

Include two defenders and one opposing attacker. The attacker passes to a wide player and then runs into the box. The wide player dribbles and crosses unopposed into the box (again the wide player can vary the crossing technique).

The goalkeeper and defenders must look to clear the ball. The goalkeeper must communicate his actions and if he is coming to catch, the defenders must protect him by blocking the attacker, who is trying to meet the cross and score.

An attacker passes wide and runs to meet a cross. The goalkeeper and defenders work together to stop the attack.

An attacker passes wide and runs to meet a cross. The goalkeeper and defenders work together to stop the attack.


Game situation

Play a small-sided game with both goalkeepers having their zones marked out in order to help their decision making. For this game, both teams use two wide players who go outside the pitch and play unopposed. The one rule for this game is that all goals must be scored from crosses to test both goalkeepers’ judgment and communication skills.

Play a small-sided game with each zone marked out. Use two wingers on both teams. Goals can only be scored from crosses.

Play a small-sided game with each zone marked out. Use two wingers on both teams. Goals can only be scored from crosses.


What to call out

  • “Make your decision early”
  • “Communicate to your defenders”
  • “Be strong, be brave and keep your eyes on the ball”
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