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Tips and techniques for the soccer goalkeeper

Elvis Elvis

As a soccer goalkeeper, developing your goalkeeper techniques are crucial as you are the last line of defense for your team. Your most important task is to stop the scoring attempts or “shots” by the other team. When you stop an opponent’s shot on your goal, you call this a “save”. You must focus at all times to be ready for any shots on your goal.

After you make a save, you must then make sure your team has re-grouped, leading them from defense to offense. Because you have a unique and valuable position on the field of play, you must be a vocal leader and helper for your teammates at all times.

Unique Goalkeeper rules.

As a goalie, you are subject to unique rules that do not apply to any other position. To start with, you must wear different colors from the rest of your team. This distinguishes you from your teammates, helping the referees and players (and the spectators) to easily identify you as the soccer goalkeeper.

Another discernable difference is that you are allowed to touch the ball with your hands – something no other position is allowed to do. You are allowed to catch or deflect the ball with any part of your body as long as you are within your “goalie box”.

Tips and techniques for the soccer goalkeeper

The goalie box.

The goalie box is marked on the field around your goal area. It usually extends 18 yards from your goal line toward the middle of the field, and it also extends about 18 yards to the side of each goal post, depending on the overall width of your field. Outside that area, in any other part of the field, you are no longer allowed to use your hands or arms to touch the ball.

As the soccer goalie, typically you’ll stay inside your goalie box. You should not be afraid to venture outside this area to utilize your best goalkeeper techniques to drive a kick downfield. But once you step outside your goalie box, remember that you no longer have special soccer goalkeeper rules.

Goalkeeper techniques.

Unique goalie rules mean that developing goalkeeper techniques that differ from typical soccer skills is a must. As a soccer goalkeeper, you need excellent reflexes and an ability to pre-plan your moves so you’re always a “few steps” in front of your opponent.

For this reason it is imperative that you develop good observation skills. Understanding your opponent’s formations helps you to anticipate their next move. Share your insights with your teammates by informing them where they need to move and where they need to kick the ball based on what you see. Remember, it is you that has the best view of the playing field.

Be very consistent in catching and handling the ball, and have a willingness to put your body in the way of the ball, even when it is moving very fast.

Other goalkeeper techniques include having to jump as high as you can to reach a high shot, or dive onto the ground to stop a low shot, grabbing the ball before other players can kick it. After making a save, you need to be able to kick or throw the ball long distances and with high accuracy. This helps your teammates move the ball toward the other team’s goal.

You are the team leader!

As the soccer goalkeeper, you are the most important defender of your goal, and your teammates will look to you for direction. How you conduct yourself during the most pressure-filled situations will rub-off on your teammates. Be fearless and confident, remaining calm when the pressure is on.

Even when the ball is far down the field near your opponents’ goal, you need to remain a team leader and stay focused on all the action. Communicate with your teammates at all times. There will be difficult times when the opposing team scores and you may feel upset and angry, but you must remain calm and confident for your teammates.

However, when you make a difficult save and prevent the other team from scoring, all your hard work and preparation will be rewarded.