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Soccer Drills Goalkeeper Training PDF | Best Guide 2023

Soccer Drills - Goalkeeper Training PDF


Goalkeeper Training has changed a great deal in recent years. A goalkeeper doesn’t only have to worry about catching or saving balls anymore –  is expected to actively be part of setting up play. The modern goalkeeper is, in a way, a sort of sweeper who should be able to organize the defense and then, when they are in possession, quickly turn defense into offence.

If the opponent is hard to break down, then the goalkeeper serves as a sort of quarterback (distributing passes) and as an extra player when faced with aggressive pressing. The goalkeeper should always be able to adapt him/herself to new situations in games and be able to keep the ball in the game.

The goalkeeper should be able to master all of the various passing techniques, including short passing with the instep, long passes struck with the laces, clearances, goal kicks, drop kicks, etc., while at the same time not neglecting traditional goalkeeping skills.

We have attempted to include all of these aspects into this book and we believe that you will find the book to be detailed and that all parts of goalkeeping have been covered. We have used our years of experience, together with those of our many friends and counterparts in the game, to try to make this book as interesting as possible Enjoy the book and your coaching.

Features of the modern goalkeeper’s game

Precise, direct passing.
Tactical understanding and a good anticipation of potential play.
Coaching of the rearguard (defense).
Managing the pace of the game (quickly switching defense to offence, slowing down play through holding and controlling the ball, etc.)• Good positional play and game overview.
Excellent hand-eye coordination, very good technical ball skills with both feet and hands (cleanly dealing with back passes/passes, starting attacks with clean and quickly played low and high balls; targeted goal kicks, throw-outs or dispatching the ball via drop kick).

Good control of the penalty area
Good defense abilities on the line and in one-on-one situations.
High physical stability
Physical requirements are above all a recognized height of 1.85 meters and a large reach.

Good ability to jump and run paired with good coordination skills

Fundamentally, a modern goalkeeper has to have the skills of a outfield player at his disposal complemented with goalkeeper-specific abilities. The goalkeeper acts a type of sweeper, who is constantly involved in the game, coordinates the other players and intercepts the opponent’s passes.

Principles/Basic techniques of goalkeeper training

1. High ball:

When the hands are on the ball, the thumbs meet in the middle of the ball in front of the body and the fingers are spread. The ball should always be caught at the highest point. That means the arms must be stretched. The goalkeeper jumps up with one leg and bends the other (for protection).

2. Low flat ball:

Align the body behind the ball. The goalkeeper goes down on one knee, puts his hands in front of this knee and catches the ball. Make sure the goalkeeper puts weight on both knees. Always put the knee on the ground where the ball is rolling to.

3. Low ball to the side:

The goalkeeper falls with a push off to the side. He falls to the right by pushing himself over his right foot towards the ball. And vice versa to the left. The hands and face provide directional protection. For pike jumps (high jumps to the side) do not bend backwards, rather dive slightly forward.

By bending backwards, the shooting angle would increase and consequently the contact area for making saves would also increase, meaning the goalkeeper‘s reach would diminish. As a basic rule, always try to catch the ball. Every goalkeeper has a strong side where he is better and quicker. As such, you should strive to develop equal abilities on both sides. Simply train more often on the weaker side than on the stronger side to balance your skills.

4. Mid-height ball below chest height:

Position your body behind the ball and scoop the ball
from the bottom up with bent arms; pulling the ball towards the chest. Hold the ball with both hands. If this is not possible, push the ball off to the side with the left hand. Right-handed goalkeepers should reach for the ball with their top hand. In this case, the reach is bigger on the left side, as the arm can be guided forward from behind.

5. Mid-height ball at chest height:

Position your body behind the ball and position your hands in the catching position as described in high ball.

6. Catching technique:

The aforementioned 5 catching techniques can easily be practiced with balls rolled or thrown from a short distance.

7. Leg work:

The goalkeeper always has to move towards the front foot/soccer ball and should not fall backwards. He should learn to focus on the ball until he has it under control. In order to practice leg work, lay a pole down lengthways over which the goalkeeper has to guide his kicking foot, in order to fall to the side towards the ball.

In the game situation, in which the goalkeeper’s knees are in an upright position, he first stands up with his right leg, and then pushes off with his left. He lays with his torso laterally to the left. He then leans forward with both arms and stands up first with the right leg and then pushes off with his left.

8. Play opening:

The purpose is to play the ball to his teammates in a way that they don’t have any trouble controlling the ball. Also, if possible, when throwing the ball, avoid rolling and bouncing balls. In contrast to outfield players the goalkeeper has more opportunities in opening play. He can throw the ball, roll it, strike it or launch it in different ways (volley, drop kick), or pass it out from the back.

9. Throwing technique:

When performing a lateral throw out, the arm is stretched back like a javelin thrower, and ball laid in the open hand. The outstretched arm is then powerfully thrown forwards, just missing the ear. The bracing step is important here. When the goalkeeper throws with his right hand, the left leg is forward to the side, and vice versa when throwing with the left hand.

You can practice throwing techniques against a net,
and afterwards incorporate the throwing action into shooting practice, wherein after a ball is held, it has to be thrown into one of the goals built on the pitch. When rolling the ball, lay the ball in the palm of the hand, step forward and bend both knees (crouching). If rolling with the left arm, the left foot is the standing foot and placed forward.

The right arm is swung backwards and then snapped forward in the direction of the floor. The ball is positioned on the ground. The hand pushes the ball forward and directs it. The torso is slightly bent forward.

10. Shoot/pass technique:

There are different possibilities to train shooting the ball. With the instep (side-footed shot), full shot (laces), outside of the foot, spin shot, drop kick, volleyed shot from the front or side (scissor kick) shooting technique or with a lob.

11. Receiving and moving with the ball:

Familiarize yourself with training by receiving the ball and moving with it.

12. Repetition:

After a maximum of 10 balls, change sides or arm/foot.

13. Concentration:

The goalkeeper must always keep his concentration, as a goalkeeper’s
mistake often leads to a goal for the opponent.

14. Adjustments:

The techniques learned should be tried again and again in shooting practice and types of play. Mistakes must be immediately corrected so that no false movements become automated.

15. Features of training:

Training should be game based and after a shot on goal a consequence should follow.

16. Goal distance and formation:

Most goals are scored from a distance between 6 and 13 meters from goal. This should also be reflected in training.

17. Aspects of good training:

Demand accuracy and a high pace (slow training does not lead to long-lasting game
appropriate consequences).
Explaining exercises and the subsequent correction of mistakes must not lead to an information overload. Lack of concentration leads to an increase in mistakes. It’s imperative to find the right mixture of correcting mistakes and allowing training to flow.
Players should learn to observe and be able to use what they observe, just as they should in a game.
Correct mistakes again and again in order to guard against developing bad habits.

Address the goalkeeper with both factual clarity and empathy.
In good groups, the coach can imitate a stressful situation in training, so that players can prepare for stressful situations in games (shouting, criticizing players during training, etc.).
Demand concentration again and again.
The coach’s appearance (body language, pitch of voice, correctional tips) decides the quality of the trainings

Two fundamental aspects must always be considered:

1. What is the arm doing?
2. What are the foot and body positions?

Soccer Drills - Goalkeeper Training PDF

Techniques for goalkeepers

1. The fundamentals

Learning ball and movement techniques with the correct shooting and start timing takes time, should be both isolated and combined with passing practice, and learned to be integrated into various types of play. Exact kicking and passing techniques are important for both outfield players and for the goalkeeper for a successful soccer game. For the outfield players, good passing technique is a basic requirement for a safe and effective passing game in defense, in fast counterattacks and in different types of offense attacks.

The learning of kicking and passing techniques should thus primarily be learned in connection with a previous take and dribble at the highest speed, with as few touches of the ball as possible after receiving passes from various positions, as happens in typical game scenarios. So indeed it is exactly this type of training that enables a realistic game situation and assigns almost simultaneously challenging and targeted goalkeeper training.

It is fundamentally important that mistakes are corrected throughout goalkeeper training so that no incorrect passing and kicking techniques become automatic. In the game, different kicking and passing techniques are needed. In order to be able to use these in a game, they must first be learned in training.

Kicking and passing techniques in soccer:

With the instep (side foot)

With the laces

Curled as a curve or banana ball

With the outside of the foot

As a volley

With the side of the foot

As a drop kick

As a lob Methodical tips for learning the fundamentals:

1. Positions the group a few meters away from the coach.

2. Explain the course of actions and slowly point out the movement.

First, demonstrate in front of the group. Next, the exercise should be demonstrated so that the players see the actions from behind. (Tip: Some children comprehend exercises easier after observing them from different perspectives.)

3. Start slowly and use both feet in equal measures.

4. The course of actions can be initially learned as a dry exercise, in which the players
practice the course of actions without the ball.

2. Explanation of the different shot technique

In the following chapters, general technical information concerning the different kicking techniques will first be detailed. Subsequently the different types of kicking will be presented with their technical requirements and their respective outcomes.

2.1 General information

 The standing leg should be placed 30-40cm laterally from the ball.
 The torso is bent slightly over the ball.
 The foot is swung from top to bottom.

2.2 Goal kick techniques (laces)

The tip of the foot points down, the ankle is tensed and the torso is bent slightly over the
ball. The contact area is the back of the foot. In order to extend the length of the ball,
leaning back slightly is allowed.

2.3 Curling

The ball is kicked with the instep/tip of the foot and receives spin. The player lies on his side
on the ground. A slight lay off is not unusual.

2.4 Side foot kick
The ball is played partly with the side foot and partly with the laces. The standing foot is
positioned laterally next to the ball and the player’s torso tilts forward.

2.5 Side foot shot
The tip of foot points up, the ankle is tensed tightly and angled 90* to the side, the playing
foot is slightly raised. The ball has to be met in the middle. Bring the body over the ball and
avoid hunching the back.

2.6 Shot with the outside of the foot
When playing the ball with the outside of the foot, a slight lay off is possible, the ball is
played with the outer toes and outside of the foot and therefore gets spin.

2.7 Kicking technique – drop kick When performing a drop kick, the ball is met by the laces at exactly the moment it touches the ground. Learning aid: drop kick

Problems and correctional help when drop kicking:

The ball is kicked too early (before it hits the ground) => demonstrate and explain.

The ball is kicked too late => demonstrate and explain.

2.8 Kicking technique – volley from the front or side (scissor kick) kicking stance

When performing a frontal volley, the torso is bent slightly over the ball. The ball is thrown slightly forward from the hands and met at a low point (not too high). In this way, the ball receives strong pressure and a high degree of accuracy. The area of contact is the laces.

In order to gain greater distance, it makes sense to position the torso upright or lean backwards slightly. When performing a volley from the side, the standing leg is positioned laterally next to the ball and the player’s torso is angled. The toes point down, similar to a shot with the laces. The point of contact is the laces, the shooting leg is tilted at an angle and the ball is lightly guided/thrown by the hand to the shooting leg.

2.9 Lobs

When lobbing, the foot goes under the ball, which is then powerfully raised up.

3. Explanation of different throwing techniques

This chapter dedicates itself to two common throwing techniques. The purpose is to accurately throw the ball to a the teammate or to throw the ball where he is moving to.

3.1 Lateral throw
When performing a lateral throw out, the arm is stretched back like a javelin thrower and the ball is laid in the open hand. The out-stretched arm is then powerfully thrown forward, just missing the ear. The bracing step is important here.

3.2 Throwing technique – rolling When rolling the ball, lay the ball in the palm of the hand, step forward and bend both knees (crouching). If rolling with the left arm, the left foot is the standing foot and placed forward. The right arm is swung backwards and then snapped forward in the direction of the ground. Thus the ball is positioned on the ground. The hand forces the ball forward and directs it. The torso is slightly bent forward.

4. Correctional tips for the coach

Meet the ball in front of the standing leg

The foot points to the ground

Follow through after contact with the ball

The ankle is tensed

Don’t play a banana shot as a goal kick

Pay attention to correct arm positions

Don’t put too much spin on the ball

Small steps to the ball

When making long distance kicks, don’t let the ball slide over the laces

Don’t play the ball too high, as the longer it is in the air, the harder it is for the receiver to control

An almost linear trajectory of 3m in the air is optimal. When throwing, don’t let the ball slide too strongly off the palm. Don’t throw the ball too high, as it will be in the air too long. Put as much power behind the ball as possible. When rolling the ball out, let go of the ball 50cm (at the very least) away from the standing leg.

5. Technique and posture receiving and moving with the ball

• Receiving and moving with the ball should fundamentally ensue after contact with ball.

• Receiving and moving with the ball can occur with the side or outside of the left or right foot. When receiving high passes/back passes the goalkeeper must bring the ball under control at the moment it touches the ground. If controlled correctly, the ball bounces up off the ground, and so can be played in one touch.

• To counter the ball bouncing up and to ensure a swift ball reception and dribble, a goalkeeper has to command good timing and the right techniques to maneuver the ball.

• In the example of receiving the ball and dribbling with the right instep, the motion sequence happens this way: the goalkeeper has to take the ball with the inside of the foot at the moment that it hits the ground. The leg is swung from right to left in the direction of the ball. Then the foot is lightly guided from top to bottom in the direction of the ball and this prevents the ball from jumping up.

Body weight is solely played on the left standing leg. The body weight is shifted to the right through the hips. (The right shoulder is moved to the back.) The focus is on the ball, and the torso is then moved slightly over the ball.

• When receiving and dribbling with the outside of the foot, the ankle is tilted inside. The lower leg is bent inward at the knee so that the foot movement from top to bottom and left to right in the direction of the ball can occur. The area of contact is the complete outside of the foot.

6. Technique and posture moving with the ball – sole of the foot

In this variation, the toes of the foot that touch the ball are pointed up so that when the ball touches the ground the foot partly covers the ball from above and stops it from bouncing up. The leg with which the ball will be received is thereby moved forwards and bent slightly at the knee. The torso remains upright the elbows remain at the side of the body and are bent at the elbow (similar to the arm positioning when carrying a case of water.) The palms face each other.


Mastering goalkeeper skills is essential for any aspiring soccer player, and our comprehensive training PDF provides a valuable resource to elevate your game. Whether you’re a coach looking to enhance your team’s performance or an individual player dedicated to honing your skills, these carefully crafted drills offer a strategic approach to goalkeeper training. Take the next step in your soccer journey with iCoach Football – where excellence meets expertise. Elevate your game, inspire your team, and embrace the path to success on the soccer pitch.”

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