4 Games to Improve Goalkeeper Play


The Game
  • Set up triangular goal with cones 12 feet apart.
  • Players A, B & C each have a ball.
  • Keeper starts at D.
  • Player A rolls ball towards E (No emphasis on scoring!), keeper dives and stops ball, returning it to player A as quickly as possible and then gets into position at E.
  • Player B then rolls the ball to cone F, etc.
  • Switch keepers at 90 seconds or when fatigue sets in.

Pill Diving Speed Diagram

Coaching Points

  • Look for proper diving technique.


  • Coach stands 5-7 yards away with ball in hand.
  • Coach simulates shots by rolling soccer ball to the side, lobbing over the head, throwing the ball downwards to replicate downwards header, but always gives the keeper a chance to make the save.
  • If keeper misses the ball or pushes it away, coach immediately picks up another ball while keeper is recovering.
  • When save is made, keeper must first throw the ball back to the coach, before doing anything else. Keeper uses the momentum of the throw to aid in the recovery back to the alert and alive position.
  • Give rest periods when fatigue sets in.
Pill Shot Stopper Diagram

Coaching Points
  • Throwing the ball back from the side diving position, while pumping back with the upper knee, brings the correct recovery position, forcing proper side diving technique and positioning of hands. This artificial condition has the effect of conditioning the keeper to adopt the open, side diving position when making a save.
  • Look for these improper diving positions:
    1. Swinging both knees around in front.
    2. Dives backwards.
    3. Belly flops.
    4. Rolls onto the back.


The Game
  • Keeper A tries to throw ball into B's net and vice versa.
  • First keeper to score wins.
Bubbas Keeper Toss Diagram

Coaching Points
  • Proper technique and throwing skills, developing arm strength.
  • Accuracy of throws will improve.
  • Heavy psychological factor because the two keepers compete solely against one another.
  • High work rate for keepers because this match can last a while with talented keepers.
  • Emphasize positioning.
  • Give each keeper a ball.
  • Add attackers who may only head balls into net.

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