Dealing with Break-Aways Part 2

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By Tony Englund –

When I give goalkeeper training sessions to coaches, many ask about teaching their goalkeepers to deal with break-aways. In the first of a two-part article on the subject, we looked at building the goalkeeper’s confidence in blocking and closing down. In this second portion, tips for dealing with the break-away situation in match-like situations will be shared.
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Break-Aways – Straight On The attacker starts his run from 25 yards before goal. To begin with, all break-ways are straight on to

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Dealing with Break-Aways

gk (1)

By Tony Englund –

When I give goalkeeper training sessions to coaches, many ask about teaching their goalkeepers to deal with break-aways. In the first of a two-part article on the subject, we’ll look at building the goalkeeper’s confidence in blocking and closing down. In the second portion, tips for dealing with the break-away situation in match-like situations will be shared.

It is useful to invert the break-way situation as a teaching model, looking at the final, blocking save as a start point. Young goalkeepers in particular often hesitant to get into the feet of the attacker, though this gives them the

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Combating Complacency

By Tony Englund –

Experienced, advanced goalkeepers sometimes fail to train on their edge if they are continually subjected to the same, rote technical training exercises. An engaging, challenging method of combating this complacency is to put the goalkeeper in an environment where they are forced to make multiple saves in tight, particularly where there is a recovery save involved. This article and the next in the series will offer a pair of scenarios where goalkeepers can be compelled to work on their edge and make multiple difficult, if confidence-building saves.

Meat Grinder: Multiple Save, Reaction Training

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The base set up for this exercise requires a

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Dealing with Back Passes

By Tony Englund –

Among the more challenging tactical teaching topics for goalkeepers is helping them to control their area. There are numerous moments in the game when the goalkeeper’s ability or inability to eat up loose balls in the area can swing control of the game to one team or another. Crosses, through-balls and balls that fall loose to the ground in the area when the opponent is attacking all present challenges, as do back-passes when the ‘keeper’s own team is in possession. In article #1, key teaching cues for teaching the goalkeeper to deal with crosses were discussed. This article will take a look at the importance of through-balls and back-passes for the goalkeeper and the back line.

Technical Training for Dealing with Back-Passes

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When we teach goalkeepers to deal with

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Teaching Goalkeepers to Control Their Area

By Tony Englund –

Among the more challenging tactical teaching topics for goalkeepers is helping them to control their area. There are numerous moments in the game when the goalkeeper’s ability or inability to eat up loose balls in the area can swing control of the game to one team or another. Crosses, through-balls and balls that fall loose to the ground in the area when the opponent is attacking all present challenges, as do back-passes when the ‘keeper’s own team is in possession. This article will take a look at the crossing and covering topics, and the next article (#2) will examine back-passes.

Dealing with Crosses

Because of the number of variables in any crossing situation (location of crosser; type and location of cross; number, angles and distance of potential defenders and finishers; weather (i.e. wind, rain) and the

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Reading the Angles

By Patrick Kasperitis –

The ability for goalkeepers to judge their angles correctly is paramount to the success of any goalkeeper. Athleticism can only make up for so much where as good positioning can make any save look comfortable. Below is a session that I use to help goalkeepers improve their understanding of the angles they need to take within the goal.

The key to this skill is making sure that the goalkeeper keeps their body weight forward so that they can get to a good set position and make a good dive. We want our goalkeepers to have that forward body weight and if that is not present in their movement, they might be flat-footed when trying to make a

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Dealing with Balls Cut Back from the End Line

By Patrick Kasperitis –

A common soccer tactic is for the attacking teams to have a player drive towards the end line and play a ball at a backwards angle toward the top of the 6-yard box. This type of play allows for the ball to already be behind the defenders and allows the attacking players to be able to attack the ball at an angle that is moving away from defenders and the goalkeeper. Plus because of the fact that this ball is often driven from a close distance it can be difficult for the goalkeeper to hold on to it. This exercise will

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Getting Back to Your Line

By Patrick Kasperitis –

This exercise set looks at the goalkeeper’s ability to not only deal with a cross, but to get back onto their line in order to deal with any save that might come from having to punch or tip the shot.

Set-Up
Place cones off to the side of the penalty area in line with the penalty spot. Using the Line for the end of the penalty area (or setting a cone 6 yards away from the gates) the server will toss the ball up in the air for the

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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

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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

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