The ‘footballing’ goalkeeper

This week’s session is designed to improve your goalkeeper’s ability to pass and receive the ball and make him more confident while in possession.

What this session is about

  1. Playing out of defence.
  2. Improving passing and receiving.
  3. Building attacks from the goalkeeper.

What to think about

Champions League statistics show that goalkeepers have on average, seven times more touches with their feet than their hands.

This revelation has a big impact on the future of goalkeeper coaching and the importance placed on improving their technique of passing and receiving the ball.


Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out 20 yard square.

The goalkeeper starts on one of the sidelines. Place two defenders on each of the other three lines.

  1. To start, one defender passes to the keeper and runs to pressure him. The goalkeeper quickly receives the ball then passes it to another line. Immediately, the receiving defender passes back to the goalkeeper and runs to pressure him. The practice runs continuously.
  2. Progress to the goalkeeper making first time passes.
  3. Finally, the defender passes to the goalkeeper, runs and offers himself to get the ball back and pass out to a different defender. The new defender repeats the practice.
The goalkeepers must receive and pass quickly to a team mate.

The goalkeepers must receive and pass quickly to a team mate.


Mark out a 40 x 30 pitch. Play 7v7 on pitch with goalkeepers at opposite ends who play for both teams.

The aim is to be the first team to complete 25 passes.

The teams use the goalkeepers (who are limited to two touches) to keep possession in a 9v7 overload.

Goalkeepers must scan the pitch before receiving a pass, take a good first touch then pass to a team mate.

Goalkeepers must continually adjust their position along the line to receive a pass and create angles to play back onto the pitch.

The goalkeepers help the team keep possession of the ball.

The goalkeepers help the team keep possession of the ball.

Game situation

Add two goals and progress to a small-sided game.

Game 1 – Goalkeepers cannot be tackled in possession of the ball. This gives them confidence to receive the ball from back passes and time to pass to team mates to start the build-up.

Game 2 – Goalkeepers can be tackled any time and will need to make quick decisions on the ball while demonstrating excellent passing and receiving skills.

Play is always restarted with a goal kick to ensure keepers have lots of touches and influence in the game to practise playing out of defence.

The goalkeeper starts the build-up process.

The goalkeeper starts the build-up process.

What to call out

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