In this guide we want to show you 11 of the best soccer drills for goalie practice.
Goalkeeper is the most unforgiving position on the pitch. Strikers are expected to miss some chances, midfielders go missing, but when a goalie makes a mistake, it can prove very costly.
Goalie skills include command of the area, effective communication with the defense, ball distribution, and, of course, shot stopping with the hands and feet. Using the 11 soccer drills for goalies below, you, or your goalkeepers can master the basics and some of the more advanced skills needed to become a top keeper.
11 Best Soccer Drills for Goalies
1. Colored Cones Footwork Drill
Footwork is vital in all areas of the pitch, but especially for goalkeepers. A wrong-footed goalkeeper is easily beaten, and with shots potentially coming from any angle and heading to any corner of the goal, the goalie needs to be able to get into position quickly and efficiently. The colored cones drill has a number of different colored cones set up and the coach calls out a color that the goalie has to skirt around before catching the ball.
2. 10 Cone Drill
The 10-cone drill is another that practices footwork and some reaction time. Two rows of four cones are set up parallel to the goal with one further cone in front of each row. The goalie faces forward and has to shimmy behind a row of cones before touching the opposite front cone and then catch the ball. The goalie should keep his head up throughout the drill.
3. Bounce Reaction
A reaction ball is a small knobbly ball designed specifically for goalkeeper practice. The drill is simple and can be practiced solo. The goalie throws the reaction ball against the wall and because of its non-uniform shape, the ball’s bounce is highly unpredictable. This drill doesn’t help with shot stopping but it can be a great way to work on reaction time. As you get used to the bounce, move closer to the wall or throw the ball with more pace.
4. Low Diving Drill
Low dives are difficult especially when the ball is played at pace and it is somewhat unnatural to dive onto the floor. This low diving drill is a very basic drill where the coach kicks the ball low and to one side of the goalkeeper and they have to dive to stop the ball. Initially, you can have a set pattern of just alternating sides, or even have the goalie choose a side. In time, the coach should pick random sides and deliver the ball at greater pace to increase intensity and difficulty.
5. Hurdle Footwork Exercise
The hurdle footwork exercise is another drill to improve footwork and can also incorporate short passing. A series of small hurdles are placed in front of the goal and the keeper has to jump over each before receiving the ball to their feet and returning the pass. The hurdles can also be used as a set of slaloms to change the practice up a bit, and the goalie can be instructed to pass the ball to different areas of the pitch.
6. Scooping Ground Balls
Scooping the ball means picking it up as it approaches and bringing it into the chest. It is generally the safest way to collect a ball and while scooping is often done off the ground, it is a handling technique that can be used at any level up to the chest. This is a simple drill where the coach delivers the ball at different heights and the goalie scoops it to their chest.
7. Shuffle Dives Drill
Footwork and diving need to work in conjunction with one another for the goalkeeper to make a save, and this soccer drill for goalies encourages the keeper to shuffle before diving for a save. Change the direction of the shuffle regularly to ensure good all round practice and increase the pace at which the ball is played in to really ramp up difficulty.
8. Agility Hands
This is another drill that uses a wall to help emulate a striker shooting at the goal. The keeper stands near a wall and kicks the ball against the wall. They can change the height and pace of the kick to practice low and high saves, as well as diving to the side. Kicking harder and faster will increase the intensity of the drill, which helps teach footwork as well as train reaction time.
9. Deflect And Dive
1v1s occur when a striker or another player is through on goal with no defenders between them and the goal. At this point, it is all down to the goalkeeper to stop the player from scoring. The best way to train for 1v1 situations is to put the goalkeeper in those situations. This is also good practice for strikers and other outfield players to improve their own 1v1 performance. It teaches position, staying big, and reaction saving.
10. Goalie Wars Drill
In the goalie wars drill, two goalkeepers face off against one another on what is basically a smaller version of a soccer pitch. Keepers stay on their own side of the pitch and try scoring against their opponent. The opponent saves the ball and then tries to score a goal themselves. This drill helps teach goalkeeping as well as some footwork and ball work.
11. Goalkeeper Distribution Drill
Good distribution is also a key part to the modern goalkeeper’s game. Good distribution can start attacking play from the back while poor distribution immediately puts the rest of the team under pressure. This drill teaches close passing and the speed of the drill means that it trains quick distribution when the goalkeeper is put under pressure by opponent players.
Soccer Goalie Drills – Conclusion
The goalkeeper is a vital part of the team. As well as stopping the opposition from scoring goals, the goalkeeper also starts a lot of possession and attacking plays. With the above soccer drills goalies can start to master ball control, passing, diving, and how to deal with 1v1 situations.