Goals win you games, there is no doubting that. But what is it that keeps you in the game and provides the foundation for scoring goals? In every system, the goalkeeper plays an important part in the team setup. That is not hard to notice and understand given the fact that besides 10 field players, there is only one goalie. His role is incremental because he basically represents the last line of defense for every team. And although his role is often underrated he can literally win you a game, as he can lose it as well.
The goalkeepers are the last line of defense and a very important link in a soccer team. Their job is certainly one of the toughest on the pitch, since their mistakes are a lot more visible than the mistakes of their fellow field players.
Goalkeeping has changed a lot since the days of Sepp Maier and Lev Yashin. Modern goalkeepers have more attributions than just preventing the ball from passing the goal-line. They are called into action more often as they sometimes need to act as sweepers. Nowadays a good keeper is also a good defense coordinator.
A goalkeeper has to be a good athlete and possess excellent speed, agility, concentration, and reflexes. Because goaltenders are the only players on the pitch allowed to use their hands, it makes sense that they should practice handling and catching the ball on a regular basis.
Let's have a look at a few simple coaching goalkeeping drills. These drills focus particularly on getting your keeper used to stopping the soccer ball. They are also excellent for building agility and quickness.
Positioning is essential when it comes to goaltending as they have to know exactly where they are at all times. Goalies need to comprehend the tactics of the sport and know how to read the play. All these require thorough specific goalkeeping training.
The goalkeeper has to keep his eyes on the ball at all times. Understanding how to cut angles is an important skill to learn for any goalkeeper, therefore the goalie should be instructed to do so as if he had a string attached to their back from the center of the goal. This is a great mental drill.
One simple drill is to have a few players, spread all over the pitch, shoot or cross in quick succession. The keepers are required to move fast across the goal while maintaining the perfect position to stop the ball, catch it or dive quickly to both the left and right.
Another important goalkeeping skill is communication. Yes, being vocal in the goal area is a fundamental skill. Modern goalkeeping requires knowing how to control a defense. Good communication not only saves the goalie from having to face one on one situations but also provides a great moral boost for the defenders. For a goalie, telling your teammates that they're doing a great job, and encouraging them is absolutely necessary even though they're only doing what they're supposed to do. We all need our work acknowledged. Not being able to communicate with the defenders is bound to have serious repercussions. There's no special drill to improve a goalkeeper's communication skill, he just has to be himself, keep composure and advice the defense whenever he thinks he's reading the situation better.