Becoming an elite goalkeeper requires great reflexes, agility and coordination. During a soccer game, goalies are constantly in high-pressure situations. They know that one small misstep can cause their team to lose a game.
Improve your performance, focus and effort with the following soccer goalie drills. (See also Block More Shots on Goal.) Perform the goalie drills with a smaller than regulation ball. This will offer more of a challenge and improve your precision reflexes and timing.
Soccer Goalie Drills
Seated Save Drill
The purpose of this goalie drill is to improve your ability to reach, save (preferably hold) and return to the seated position ready to save the next shot.
- Take a seated position on the goal line with your legs straight out in front.
- Have a partner stand five to ten yards away and shoot at either side of the goal, staying within your reach.
- With each shot, reach out and save the ball from scoring, then cradle the ball and launch it back to your partner.
- Perform sets of 60 seconds, varying shot placement and trajectory.
- Have two partners, one on each corner of the six-yard area.
- Take your place near the post.
- Encourage a shot across goal from either partner.
- After saving the shot, get up and cross to the other post in readiness for the second partner’s shot.
- Repeat for five sets of 10 reps from each side.
Meet and Retreat Drill
This goalie drill focuses on acceleration and handling to meet and deal with the initial cross, while training agility and reflexes to retreat and prepare for a follow-up effort.
- One player feeds in crosses and another shoots from the edge of the 18-yard box.
- As keeper, come out and “meet” the cross: either catch it or punch it clear.
- Immediately after meeting the cross, retreat toward the goal in readiness for player 2 to shoot from the edge of the 18-yard box.
- Perform 8 reps from each side of the field (crossing), with player 2 remaining in the same position.
- Add in a third player to offer some resistance to meeting the cross.
- Vary the trajectory of the shots and crosses (volleys, chips and drives).
Blind Shot Drill
- Have a partner line up 10 to 20 yards out from goal.
- Stay on the goal line, facing away from partner.
- Have partner shoot at goal, yelling just before the shot.
- Turn, react and adjust to the shot, already in flight.
- Perform one or two sets of 20 reps.
- This soccer goalie drill can be varied in numerous ways: partner position, shot type and different goalie position (seated, push-up, etc.)