In soccer, a goalkeeper has the crucial job of protecting their goals from getting into the nets by any means necessary. Protection and success is the key, when it comes to goalkeeping. A goalie is naturally expected to save all routine goals in a match and try to prevent the remaining. To carry out this duty effectively, one thing that your goalie should never forget is to constantly talk with his teammates. Communication will then make it easier for the teammates to mark their opponents among them. Marking the opponents is very important because without this the team-members will not be able to support the goalkeeper.
Another important aspect of soccer goalkeeper drills is for the players to have quick reflexes and it is something that does not come to players naturally. You’ll have to teach them and they’ll have to practice it regularly. The soccer goalies will have to work very hard if they want to improve their reflexes and become the best goalkeeper in the league. In soccer, the closer your player will be to his opponent the tougher it will be for the opponent to get the ball past your player into the net.
The ability of your players especially the goalkeeper to read the body language of the opponents is something you need to work upon and improve. Most players tend to look in the direction in which they are going to shoot the ball, with an exception of some skillful forwards playing in your rival team. So, in situations where your opponent turns out to be pretty clever and expert in dodging and your goalie is not able to make out the direction where the opponent would be shooting the ball, train him to look at the supporting foot of his opponent with the ball. The direction of his supporting foot is typically the direction that he will hit the ball.
Learning to dive is as important as other skills and you should always train your goalkeepers to land on their side, protecting their head and clutch the ball fast in to their stomach. By diving on their side, they save themselves from a head injury that might occur when the opponent may kick their head in place of the ball if your goalkeeper lands with his head first. Clever and well practiced soccer goalies always dive for the ball using the knee of their non-supporting leg to avoid any serious injury. You need to tell all these seemingly small but extremely important tips at the time of practice because diving for a high ball may hurt them very bad if they don’t protect themselves from the opponents.
Soccer Goalie Training Preparation
If you are a youth soccer coach, you must understand that soccer goalie raining is like coaching a regular soccer player; his or her performance will depend on how well the practice has been. Here are some tips that play a major role in a soccer goalie’s training.
The need to eat proper meals: A goalie’s body needs proper and complete nutrition to build stamina and remain healthy and strong. If both you and your goalie are serious with the goalkeeper training then you need to make a diet plan and start with the real soccer food in adequate quantities. This includes what and when your players should eat. For example; quality carbohydrates can be had from eating pasta, bread, fruits and vegetables. Though the most important source of energy for a goalkeeper is carbohydrates, they will need to eat adequate amount of protein and fat as well. Also, the goalie should eat frequent meals every 3-4 hours before the start of practice matches.
The need to get adequate sleep: The goalie should be taught to get at least 8 hours of sound sleep every night because it is the only time when a soccer player can recuperate. If they don’t, they’ll just walk around in the field like a zombie having no interest in the practice.
The need of a proper warm up session: If your goalie has the habit of getting into the playing mode right after reaching the field, he’ll risk serious injuries that may hold them off the field for a day to weeks to several months. This is why it is extremely important for the goalie and other players a well to do a complete warm-up session for at least 20 minutes before starting the practice. It should include both strength and ball exercises because a goalie needs to learn catching the ball too.
The need for a goalie to be focused: For a goalie, every practice session is an opportunity to develop his or her skills and learn new ones. So they should be trained to come for training completely focused. Even on days when your goalie doesn’t feel like diving for the ball, he should push himself to remain alert, stay focused and perform his best during your practice sessions.
Need to stay calm, meditate and be in control: In order to concentrate on the game, a goalie needs to be focused. You may offer to teach your players the art of meditation and/ or listening to soothing music of their choice. When kids feel calmer from inside, they’re pumped up with power and would want to just run out on the field to play.
Soccer Goalkeeper Drills
Here are some soccer goalkeeper drills that will help your goalies increase their catching skills.
Catch the ball with one hand: This drill needs two players. Give the ball to one player and position the other player on the goal line. Both the players should be about 3 to 4 yards apart. Instruct the player with the ball to throw the ball towards the player on the goal line first to his left and then to his right.
Tell the goalie; player on the goal line to concentrate on making contact with the ball early and then catch the shot by keeping his hand relaxed. Goalie’s feet should remain firm on the ground. This soccer goalkeeping drill will help improve the goalie’s catching abilities with one hand thereby increasing their reflexes and developing their natural feelings for the ball.
Catch ball with two hands: This drill involves a teammate to support the goalie. Instruct this player to place the ball on the ground and the goalie to stand at a distance of about 5 yards from the ball. Now tell this supporting teammate to hit the ball hard at the goalie’s belly.
The purpose of this soccer goalie drill is to reproduce a real shoot in order to practice catching the ball in front of the body using both hands. Every time the goalie catches the ball his hands should make a W shape and the index fingers should move a little so that his hand is at the back of the ball.
Catch the low shot balls: The purpose of this particular drill for the goalie is to practice catching low shoots close to the left and right goal posts. The goalie should be made to stand in the middle of the goal. The supporting teammate should stand and place the ball at a distance of about 6 yards from the goalie. When the goalie is ready, he should signal that teammate to hit a low shoot in close proximity to one of the goal posts. But, the most important thing is that he should not let you guess at which post is he going to shoot the ball. Instruct the goalie to keep his body relaxed while pitching and concentrate on the ball. This drill creates one of the most common match-like situations that come up in a real soccer game.
When these drills are performed by your prospective goalkeepers with maximum focus, these will help improve their goalkeeping skills to a great level. All four drills above present an opportunity for your players to grow into a better goalie.
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