Playing Out with the Goalkeeper

By Patrick Kasperitis –

The modern goalkeeper is required to use their feet almost more often than their hands. Players like Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich FC and German National Team) and Hope Solo (Seattle Reign and US Women’s National Team), whose stories involve relatively late changes in position to playing as a goalkeeper made their ability to play with their feet seem almost natural. On the opposite side we see fantastic shot stoppers like Simon Mignolet, who plays for Liverpool FC in England, come under immense criticism for his relative short comings playing with his feet.

The skills they use to help their team to play out of the back are things that we can train. We want to try to replicate situations they might see in the game. One of these examples is when the goalkeeper is asked to swing the ball from side to side. Our defenders in front of us are under pressure, we want our team mates to be able to be comfortable playing the ball back to us so that we can get to the

Read the rest of this article »

Warm-Up for Mind and Body

By Patrick Kasperitis –

A warm-up is intended to be a wake-up exercise for the mind as well. We need to prepare our goalkeepers to be able to focus on a specific task with many different stimulants around them. This warm-up exercise will incorporate functional agility movements with handling and playing with the feet.

The exercise is set up as below. I generally look to do all footwork at least off to the side of the goal for two reasons: 1) preserve the integrity of the ground inside of the goal area, and 2) when doing work with our feet, I ask our goalkeepers to try and avoid taking touches inside of the frame of the

Read the rest of this article »

Claiming Balls Out of the Air

By Patrick Kasperitis –

Claiming balls out of the air is such a difficult skill. It involves so many different variables that the goalkeeper has little control over. We have to work with our goalkeepers to make sure that they are able to block out as many of those variables and distractions as possible and focus on:

  • tracking the ball
  • using good footwork to keep body in good position
  • going for and jumping for the ball with strength and confidence
  • Catch and hold onto the ball while coming out of the air

There are many exercises that can try to improve these individual aspects. This exercise will work to improve the footwork necessary to track balls in the air and look to catch them in front of any traffic. The focus is on a shuffle step that clears them around the traffic and allows for the feet to be underneath them so that they can load and jump.

The exercise is set up as below with soccer balls next to mannequins scattered around a grid that is about the size of the penalty area. Usually I go with 15 meters by 15 meters. The Mannequins are used to simulate traffic from players. These can be substituted with poles.

Claiming Balls out of the Air (1)

Goalkeepers will work in pairs and will move from mannequin to mannequin. Once they arrive at a mannequin one player will grab ball and other player will line up behind the mannequin. Server will toss ball in front of mannequin.

Claiming Balls out of the Air (2)

The focus here is on the shuffle step to get around the traffic. Then we want to see a good jump as well in front of the mannequin claiming the ball high and keeping the ball high until the ball is secure.  Stop as necessary to make corrections on body shape or steps because those are most important here as the foundation for the activity.

Claiming Balls out of the Air (3)

By Patrick Kasperitis – Graduate Assitant Women’s Soccer Coach – St Mary’s University, SA United Junior Program Goalkeeping Director, South Texas ODP Staff

 

Reaction Save Exercise

By Patrick Kasperitis –

Whenever a goalkeeper is making a save there are equal parts anticipation as reaction. Sometimes though the reaction side becomes the most pivotal of these two. Reaction saves are about concentration, body quickness, and at times creativity. Here we have two exercises. One that is a warm-up involving shuffling/jumping and working to improve the quickness of the hand movements. The second exercise deals with the possibility of deflections.

The Warm-up is set up as illustrated below.
– Server 5 meters away
– one hurdle in front of goalkeeper

Goalkeeper will perform footwork and then will receive ball. Goalkeeper does not know when the ball will be served. The Server has complete control over when the ball is played. They can do it after on repetition of the footwork or after 10! (Should probably vary it up but go no more than 3-5 repetitions without

Read the rest of this article »

Improving Making Low Saves

By Patrick Kasperitis –

This exercise works the functional movement of diving to save low shots that are a little bit closer to the body. When looking at this type of shot we want to make sure that we address the issues of:

  • the first step of the dive
  • diving with our hands going towards the ground first (to minimize the chances of the ball going under the hands)
  • Keeping our chest facing the field in the dive and propelling through as we make contact with the ball in order to parry.

Exercise is set up as such:

  • One goalkeeper will work at a time
  • Take two tall hurdles (should sit about hip high) and place them 4 meters apart
  • One server will start about 8-10 meters away.

Exercise begins with a volley into hands, toss ball back, then a volley into a basket catch, toss ball back. After ball is tossed back a second time, the

Read the rest of this article »

Footwork and the Drop Step

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on footwork and the drop step.

Start with a keeper in goal, a speed ladder in front of him and a server 15 yards out.

gk280a

The keeper starts by taking quick steps through the

Read the rest of this article »

Dealing with High Crosses

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on footwork for high crosses.

Start with a server with a ball near the 18 and end line, 4 cones that are one yard apart starting at the near post a few keepers near the far post.

gk279a

The first keeper starts by stepping between each cone, touching and

Read the rest of this article »

Quick Footwork and Diving

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on quick footwork, changes of directions and diving.

Start with the keeper in a proper stance between two cones. There are two more cones 3 yards in front of the keeper and 3 yards to the side and a server 10 yards away with a ball.

gk278a

The server starts by pointing to one of the

Read the rest of this article »

Space to Deal with Free Kicks

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s topic deals with the keeper giving himself room on free kicks (when possible).

We will start using the example of a free kick from 35 yards out and near the sideline.

gk277a

Too often a keeper will allow the attacking team to get

Read the rest of this article »

Short Keeper Distribution

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on short keeper distribution.

This activity requires one keeper and 5 field players. One field player starts behind the keeper and the others are 10 yards away with balls. There are 2 cones 15 yards to each side of the keeper.

gk276a

The first player with the

Read the rest of this article »