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Goalkeeper is the most important position on the soccer field when you really think about it. An elite goalie can keep you in any game, even if the talent disparity is so wide where most think one team has no chance. You can control the game, if nothing passes you your team can't lose, it's that simple.
Now, this may be simple but it isn't so easy in practice, especially if one team is rocketing shots on goal at a steady clip—a good team around you will help. However, you can keep your team in any game with proper goalkeeper training. There are various goalkeeper training drills that can give you the leg up and make you the soccer goalie everyone is clamoring to be on their team. Add some of the best soccer goalkeeper drills to your training regiment, and maybe you'll be the next big thing in American soccer in no time.
Learn how to live in your space and you'll be an elite goalie quicker than most. Goalies are allowed to use both their hands and feet, so master them both and you'll be impossible to stop. Learning how to better place your goal kicks will always give your team the advantage, and it's one of the best soccer goalkeeper drills to practice.
Get comfortable with the soccer ball, whether you're rolling it, tossing it, or whipping it down field. The better you get at goalkeeper distribution, the more tools you've got in your tool bag. It's easy to practice, and can even be done solo in your own backyard.
If you learn how to communicate out on the field, you'll really start to appreciate the beauty of soccer. It's important for all players to talk during a game, but it's critical for the goalie to excel in this area. The better a goalkeeper communicates with his backline the better they will be able to help him out. Communication is all about comfort, so getting familiar with your teammates is best soccer goalkeeper drills. Putting each other in a better position will help you work smarter instead of harder.
Obviously, a goalie is going to need great footwork. This doesn't mean you need to be a speed demon or an olympic sprinter, but quick lateral movement is critical to playing the position. Luckily, it can be improved upon with some of the best soccer goalkeeper drills. Add some footwork training drills to your goalkeeper training and I think you'll be surprised at the results. Break out some orange cones, and shuffle through them until exhaustion.
While it jives closely with footwork, goalkeeper fitness is its own thing entirely. If you think it's not that important because a goalie is usually standing around in the box, you're mistaken. Everything from running to body exercises will give you better flexibility and more control over your body movements—huge when trying to stop a speeding soccer ball. Anything that will increase your endurance and agility are some of the best soccer goalkeeper drills you can do.
Goalkeeper Catching Drills
Butter fingers are a goalies' worst nightmare, so you're going to want to work tirelessly on your hand-eye coordination if you plan on becoming one of the best soccer players of all time. This is one of the best soccer goal keeper drills because it mirrors playing the position. Get a friend and have them kick the ball at you at varying speeds. You don't even need a goal to pull this off, it can be done in front of a fence or a brick wall. It's a must master goalkeeper drill, because stopping the ball is the most important part of the gig.
Goalkeeper Ready Position
Establishing a proper ready position is going to make stopping a kick that much easier. If you are falling all over the field and lurching at every cross you'll always be out of position, making for easy goals for the other team. Correctly positioning yourself no matter the situation is critical, and its one of the best soccer goalkeeper drills to add to your training drills. It's all about balance and weight distribution, so, when a striker really takes a shot, you'll be calm and ready to react to anything.
Goalkeeper Shot Stopping
Shots will sometimes be coming in so hot that you'll never be able to catch them. This is where the art of shot stopping comes in, and becoming an excellent shot stopper will allow you to rise to more competitive levels of soccer. However, just because you aren't able to secure the ball, that doesn't mean you can't control where it bounds off to.
Always deflect the ball off towards teammates, and never leave the ball right out in front of the goal. Sweep it off to the side when possible. This is a fun drill to practice, as you just need a friend to kick the ball as hard as they can at you from short distances, challenging yourself to stop the ball and keep in out of danger areas.
Being a goalie is tough, especially when it comes to the mental part of the game. You are all alone in the box, and whenever somebody scores everybody knows whose fault it was—even if it wasn't actually the goalie's fault. The mental rigors can be tough, that's why giving your mind some pliability is one of the best soccer goalkeeper drills you can do. Moving on from a tough goal and having a short memory is one of the most important parts of playing the position. Communication with teammates, and a philosophy of rolling with punches is essential for a great goalie.
Don't overlook adding some penalty kick work into your goalkeeper training, as it can make the difference between winning and losing. While it's an incredibly difficult shot to block, there are little tricks you can practice to influence the shooter. You can subconsciously influence the direction of the shot by the way you line up your body, helping you better guess the direction of the shot. Also, drilling this will help with your reaction time, so at the end of every training session have someone fire off penalty kicks and see how many you can stop.
Goalkeeper Breakaway Situations
Lastly, a breakaway situation is pretty much the most dire position a goalie can be in, and while the odds aren't in your favor, there are ways you can increase them through drills. Different techniques can help you learn to cut off angles, mess with your opponents timing, and build confidence under duress. Coming out of the box can be scary for some goalies, but it's one of the best soccer goalkeeper drills to try.
Have a coach roll a ball from the start of the box and then have an attacker come full speed: How do you react? Keep running this during goalkeeper training and remember the smallest improvements are substantial. This is not a high save percentage type situation.