Goalies play a vital and unique role in the game of soccer, so it's crucial that they engage in training drills that are tailored specifically to their position. These drills may be repetitive, but they will undoubtedly help goalkeepers reach their potential and increase their teams' success. After all, a better goalie is the key to better defense, and good defense leads to victory. The most commonly practiced goalie training drills don't just focus on catching the ball, but on developing one's footwork and general mobility. Goalies who take these drills seriously won't only become better soccer players, but more conditioned athletes.
To perform this drill, the goalie will need to stand on the goal line while a teammate kicks a ball and sends it flying into the air. Beginning goalies may be tempted to stand and wait for the ball to come to them, but this exercise will teach them to leap aggressively for the ball as soon as they see it leave the ground. Learning how to catch high balls can be a frustrating and exhausting task, but any goalie with a drive to succeed should be able to master it with consistent practice.
This is definitely a skill a goalie will need on game day. In order to teach a goalie how to properly catch with both hands, the coach should instruct a teammate to kick the ball and aim it at the goalie's midsection. When the goalie instinctively grabs the ball, his or her hands should form a "W" shape and the index fingers should stay behind the ball. Goalies who become proficient at this drill will prove to be major assets to their teams, as learning to grab the ball with both hands seriously decreases a goalie's chances of dropping the ball during competitive play.
This is another one of the fundamental skills a goalkeeper needs to learn to prevent the opposing team from scoring. Instead of having a teammate kick the ball toward the goal line, the coach should instruct the teammate to throw the ball toward the goalie from a distance of about three yards. The teammate should throw the ball to the left and right with no predictable pattern, while the goalie should strive to keep his or her feet planted firmly in the same spot. After participating in this drill a few dozen times, the goalie will be able to better predict the movement of the ball and have a better sense of how to position himself or herself for the competing team's shots.
Although many drills for goalies focus on catching techniques, footwork is essential to a goalie's success as well. In the footwork mirroring drill, the goalie will follow the lead of his or her coach. The coach will move his or her feet at random speeds, alternating between slow movements and quick ones, and the goalie will be expected to emulate him or her perfectly. The object of this exercise is to show the goalie how important it is to bounce on one's toes instead of on one's heels.