Dealing with Breakaways

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on breakaways.

One of the difficult things about working on breakaways is that much of it comes down to experience. Knowing when to go down, when to stay up, when to come out, when to stay back is extremely difficult and it really does come down to experience. This activity can’t recreate a true game situation but it can help a keeper get accustomed to reading the touch, coming out for the ball and making the save.

This works best with a couple of keepers and a few field players. Each field player will need a ball. One keeper starts in goal and the others are to the side. The field players are near the top of the D.

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The first player touches the ball out in front of him (and slightly to the side) and the keeper sprints out and slides to make the save (uncontested).

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The next keeper then gets in goal, the next player does the same thing and this keeps going until each keeper has had a few chances to go on each side.

Next they do the same thing but this time, the field player sprints after the ball after he touches the ball. He isn’t trying to win the ball but rather is just trying to put pressure on the keeper to come quickly.

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Each keeper does this a few time to each side.

Next is the same thing with one major difference. If the player sees the keeper cheating out too far, waiting for the big touch, the player may shoot.

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Or, if the keeper is too slow coming out for the ball and the player gets to it first, he can shoot on the second touch.

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It’s important to emphasize to the field players that this isn’t a shooting activity but rather they are helping the keepers work on breakaways and they are just trying to keep the keeper honest and working hard.

Have the field players vary their first touches and force the keeper to read the situation.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Catching High Balls and Quick Distribution

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on catching high balls and quick distribution.

To start have a keeper in goal, a server with balls 20-25 yards out, two dummies inside the 6 yard box and a couple of gates (or small goals) 30-40 yards out.

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The server starts by playing a high ball toward one of the dummies.

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The keeper must get around the dummy and catch the ball at a high point.

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The keeper will have to figure out whether to go behind the dummy, in front of the dummy (or through the dummy) and use the appropriate leg to jump off of for maximum protecting (the knee closest to the dummy should be up for protection).

The keeper catches the ball and then throws the ball through the nearest gate.

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The keeper then quickly gets back to the center of the goal and does the same thing to the other side.

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Do this 5 times to each side.

For older keepers you can have the distribution go to the opposite gate.

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Emphasis should be made on jumping off the correct leg, catching the ball at a high point and quick and accurate distribution.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Runners Off of a Wall

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on runners off of a wall.

To start, have a server 25-30 yards out with a ball. There are 3 mannequins (or, if you don’t have mannequins, you can use people) making up a wall 10 yards from the ball. An attacking player is at the end of the wall and a keeper is in goal.

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We are recreating a free kick situation here so the keeper lines up prepared to deal with the free kick (direct kick).

The server starts by playing a ball on the ground past the player on the wall.

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The player turns and tries to get to the ball for a first time shot.

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In order to prevent this from happening the keeper has to read the situation and either win the ball or cut off the angle and pressure the shooter.

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If the keeper seems to be “cheating” by overplaying the pass, the server has the option to shoot directly on goal.

 

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It’s best to do this from different areas around the 18 and also have the player on the wall occasionally start on the other side.

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Similar to other training activities what we are trying to do here is recreate game situations so feel free to add other players into this activity, as you see fit.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Reaction Saves on Close Shots

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on reaction saves on close shots.

When we think about goalkeeping, and more specifically shot blocking, we think big goals and shots to the upper corners.

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In this activity it’s close in shots with a keeper protecting a small goal.

Start with a goal that is

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Creative Shot Blocking

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on footwork, diving and being creative in shot blocking.

The other day I was speaking with a friend who asked “do you think the game of soccer would be a lot different if keepers couldn’t use their hands?”. My first thought was “this is a typical thought process of a non soccer person” but then I started thinking more about this.

One of the most enjoyable training activities I have done is a simple shooting activity with a server just outside the 18 with a line of balls and a keeper in goal.

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The server shoots on goal and the keeper makes saves…with one minor limitation. The keeper is restricted to the same rules as any field player (no hands etc). At first this will seem to an almost impossible task but in a short period of time, the keeper will realize with good footwork and the willingness to throw their body around a bit, the keeper can still make most of the saves (some saves will be made with the feet, some with the chest and some with the head).

If you have multiple keepers, turn this into a competition where they take turns between being the server and the keeper. Have the keeper taking the role of server take 8 shots on the other keeper and then have them switch roles. They will be shocked at how successful they are making saves without using their hands.

When I have done this activity with keepers, they inevitably want to keep “playing” because it’s a challenge they haven’t done much before. I’m the one who ends up forcing them to stop (there are only so many times I want a keeper saving a hard shot with their head, for safety reasons) but isn’t it great to have an activity that the players have to be forced to stop?

Have a great day!

Lawrence

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Forward Dives

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Todays featured activity works on forward dives.

Start with a keeper in goal, a server with some balls at the top of the 18 and two field players just in front of the keeper.

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The ball gets played, on the

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Dealing with Distraction

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on dealing with distractions.

Start with a keeper in goal, a server 15 yards out and two players in front of the keeper. The server has a few balls.

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As the server shoots a ball, the two players split up to try to distract the keeper. The keeper makes the save.

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The players also have the option of crossing in front of the keeper when the ball.

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You can also have the players start apart and then come together as the ball is struck.

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The players can also move vertically, as well as horizontally, just to give a different look for the keeper to deal with.

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The idea here is for the keeper to feel distracted, and to be able to focus on the ball the entire time.

Once the keeper starts to feel comfortable with this activity, you can complicate matters by making the players “live” so they can redirect the shot as it’s coming toward goal.

The only way for a keeper to feel comfortable dealing with these type of issues in a game is to try to recreate them in a training situation.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Catching and Footwork

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Todays featured activity is a simple drill that works on catching and footwork.

Start with two keepers facing each other from 5 yards apart. Each keeper has a ball in his hands.

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Each keeper tosses the ball, underhand, slightly to

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Reacting to Runs in the Box

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on reacting to runs in the box.

Start with a keeper in goal, a player on the end line at the corner of the 18 and two players ready to make runs.

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The players start their runs and the player on the

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Protecting the Posts on Corner Kicks

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s topic deals with protecting the posts on corner kicks.

When watching many professional teams defending corner kicks we see one, or both, posts left unprotected. Without looking at the data but rather using general observation, it also seems there are a lot more goals being scored on corner kicks. One might say this is because of better services, better attacking players etc. but I have a hard time believing this isn’t partly due to lack of players on the posts.

My suggestion, especially at the youth level, is to have a player on each post.

It’s not good enough to just have a player on each post, they also need to know how to position themselves.

Too often I see players on posts with their entire bodies facing the corner.

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There are a couple of problems with the players lining up this way. The first one is the player at the near post tends to

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