Integrating the Goalkeeper into Team Training

I don’t think most coaches give a lot of thought to the needs of their goalkeepers when they sit down to plan their session. They’re usually just another player in the team for most of the session and then go in goal when it comes time to shoot or play a game. While it’s important for all goalkeepers, especially young goalkeepers, to work with the ball at their feet they also need to train with the team in functional exercises. This establishes a link between the goalkeeper rest of the team that will translate to game day.

A book that got me thinking about this subject is, “Team Training for the Goalkeeper” by John Murphy. In this book Murphy gives examples for training your goalkeepers with the team in all phases of training. Warm-up, Functional Training, Possession, Small-Sided Games, Phase of Play exercises and 11 v 11 setting are all discussed. He also includes full sessions that integrate the goalkeeper throughout the session.

Here are a few warm-up exercises that I’ve used with my teams to allow the goalkeepers and field players to prepare for practice together but also in their own way.


Center Circle Exercise 1
Organization: 2 goalkeepers in the center circle w/ a ball in their hands Players move freely in the center circleGoalkeeper passes to player and gets a return pass to his hands GK’s and field players move while looking off their shoulders

GK Coaching Points

  • Alertness / looking to link in w/ teammates
  • Quality of serves to teammates
  • Handling/body shape
  • Composure/speed of play
  • Emphasizes movement and understanding of space with all players

Progressions

  • Crescent kicks w/ the inside of the foot
  • Instep volley
  • Chest and pass
  • Head
  • All exercises performed twice in succession


Variations
Field players share 4 balls to pass among themselves and clip into GK’s hands
All players have a ball and look to dribble and clip ball into GK’s hands coach can place movement requirements on the players (shuffles/skipping/high knees, etc…)


Center Circle 2
Organization: Use corner flags or cones a 6 yard gate on halfway line
w/ a goalkeeper on each side
Players lined up opposite of each gk 15 yards away
Ball played into the goalkeeper / player moves to the cone to
his right, then joins in opposite line
Goalkeeper plays the ball back into next player

GK Coaching Points

  • Starting position in the gate
  • Body shape
  • Correct handling surface and technique
  • Quality of pass to teammates

Variations

  • Place cone further or closer to circle to change movement requirement of players
  • Add hurdles or ladders on the side of the circle for players to move through
  • Three extra balls at the outside of the circle for players  to run to, dribble a ball out and back before joining next line Work both right and left


Center Circle 3
Organization: 3 goalkeepers in an 8x8x8 triangle Players lined up opposite of each gk 15 yards away Ball played into the goalkeeper’s hands or feet / player moves to the
next line to his right to receive the ball and dribble to next line Goalkeeper plays the ball back into next player

Coaching Position
Get in between lines and stand within 10 yards of the goalkeepers.

GK Coaching Points

  • Starting position in the gate
  • Body shape
  • Correct handling surface and technique
  • Quality of pass to teammates

Share your ideas for incorporating the goalkeeper into your training sessions in the comments section below.

Have a Great Day!

Tom

One Comment

  1. Julian Carr says:

    I completely agree with this concept. On this side of the pond we tend far too often to isolate the keepers from the team and then EXPECT them to lead and be a valued member of the team when they spend far too much time away from the team.

    Great job addressing this Tom!!!