How to Become a Better Goalkeeper

I’m often asked  ‘How do I become a better goalkeeper?’ or ‘How does my son/daughter become a better goalkeeper.’

Now I have a few answers to this, and it often involves discussing non-training and training traits, emphasizing that ”Rome wasn’t built in a day”. But this doesn’t necessarily give the answer to the question.

Personal

Lets start with non-goalkeeping traits, to be a better goal keeper you must understand that perfection doesn’t come over night and it takes hard work, determination and dedication for a period of time. Some people will take to goalkeeping like a duck to water but even those keepers need to understand the amount of effort required.

Basics

I am a big believer when it comes to being successful as a goalkeeper, no matter the level of aspirations that you may have, or what standard that you want to play at, that the ‘The Basics’ should be done correctly and be focused on consistently throughout a your playing career.

Do you think that the likes of Buffon, Neuer etc do not practice on the basics each training session? Their basic handling? Or their footwork? In fact, watch this short clip from Asmir Begovic! (watch up to 45 seconds)

Training

No matter how ‘good’ you get as a keeper or what standard you’re playing, training is still critical for development and enhancing performance.

In Every Training session, Practice, or Game, a keeper really needs to be thinking and working on the following areas:-

 

  • Positioning
  • Body Shape
  • Footwork
  • Hand Position
  • Watching the ball all the way into the hands
  • Dealing with the Ball (Catching or Parrying)
  • Landing
  • Recovery
  • Distribution

 

Feedback/Performance 

Looking at post game performances is useful for your next time on the pitch. Getting feedback from your coach, fellow players and even your own opinion can enhance your personal development and understanding of the game. You get a idea of what you did well, what you didn’t do so well and areas of what you can work on to ensure you don’t make errors next time!

 

Here’s a little tip: After each game or training session, write down 3 things you did well, and 3 things you can improve on.