Goalie wars

A great training game that not only teaches goalkeepers how to come for the ball, but it helps them learn when to distribute the ball quickly to start a counterattack. When keepers catch the ball they can distribute quickly and set up a counterattack. This session has keepers on their toes trying to catch crosses, distribute quickly and save shots.

Set up

Use your penalty area, with a goal at each end. Cone off across the six-yard areas. The session uses two keepers and two servers.

How to play it

The goalkeepers compete for high crosses played into the combat area. They must judge whether they have a good chance to beat their opponent to catch the cross or punch it clear. If they catch the ball they have five seconds to distribute it into the opposition goal with a throw; a punch into the opposition goal also counts.
The priority is for keepers to defend their own goal. Servers should alternate crossing in four balls each and vary the area they cross in to – for instance nearer one goalkeeper or right in the middle so that decision-making becomes important.


The session helps keepers to understand how their starting position in relation to the ball and the goal helps them to move and collect the cross, or punch with power and accuracy. Recovery lines also come into play if they go for a ball and lose out.

    1. The goalkeepers go head-to-head in the penalty area and must deal with crosses with the emphasis on defending their goal
    2. If the keeper catches the ball he has five seconds to try and throw it into his opponent’s net from where he catches the ball

    3. Here the goalkeepers challenge for the ball and a punch away scores a point
    4. The servers take it in turns so the balls come in from both sides. Make sure they vary the position of the cross to lure both keepers to come for the ball

    5. Here the keepers have both gone for the ball and one catches but he is not quick enough with the throw and the other goalie recovers to save
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