Soccer footwork by the goalkeeper

When you think of soccer footwork, the last person who comes to mind is the goalkeeper. But for a soccer goalkeeper, footwork is the name of the game!

Being quick on your feet, mobility and being intuitive are vital skills to have as a goalkeeper when stepping between the posts.

Confidence in a professional goalkeeper’s soccer footwork.

Professional goalkeepers are often able to play exceptionally well with the ball at their feet. This gives the defenders confidence knowing that they can rely on the goalkeeper to take a back pass and know what to then do with the ball.

As a goalkeeper, when a teammate passes the soccer ball back to you, soccer footwork means knowing how to position yourself squarely to the ball and preventing it from getting behind you, knowing how to return that pass confidently using both short and long kicks or a throw, and evading attackers looking to strip the ball from you.

Below are some steps to gain your teammates confidence in your footwork.

Techniques of soccer footwork.

A keeper’s awareness and intuition must never waver. As the goalkeeper, when the opposing team is approaching with the ball you must prepare yourself, getting into your ready position.

As the attack is mounting near the penalty box, keep your feet moving to ensure you are on your toes and ready to spring into action. This soccer footwork includes hoping side to side, backing up quickly and lunging forward.

Soccer footwork by the goalkeeper

Keeping your feet active as the opposition advances prepares you so that when you have to dive, jump, or move fast from side to side you’re warmed up and ready to spring rather than being caught in a flatfooted position – decreasing the likelihood of making the save.

Quick mobility is important to a goalkeeper. If a scoring opportunity unfolds for your competition you have to decide when to make a move. If a one-on-one situation develops and the attacker is closing in, shuffle your feet forward toward the ball cutting off your opponent’s possible shooting angles.

Keep your eyes not on the attacker’s fancy soccer footwork. But rather, watch your opponent’s waist. Your opponent may have some fancy footwork to use in an attempt to evade your defensive approach, but his waist isn’t going anywhere you can’t follow. Keep focus on his waist while keeping tabs on the ball and it is unlikely your opponent will be able to move past you without some difficulty.

Soccer footwork to quickly get in line.

Always shuffle your feet in a way that allows you to get your body in a direct line between the ball and the front of the goal. By staying square to the ball and maintaining constant footwork motion, you have a fighting chance to block the next shot.

Should you parry a blast (a re-direct of a shot away from the goal) and the ball is still in play, quickly recover by getting to your feet and get your hands out in front of your, ready for any new shot attempt.

Knocking shots away can often lead to corner kicks or near throw-ins. When these times present themselves, be on your toes and prepared to jump and punch the soccer ball, dive for a redirected kick, or simply stay in ready position if it’s played short.

The necessity of practice to become invaluable.

Practicing regularly with teammates in their field drills and practicing goal-kicks with accuracy are absolutely necessary to learning proper soccer footwork. As a keeper you have a unique role that makes you the last line of defense and, at times, the beginning of an offensive surge.

With a strong understanding of a keeper’s soccer footwork, you can elevate your game and become an invaluable asset to your team.