While most players on a soccer field receive similar training, the goalkeeper is the only one that needs specific training to harness their skills. Training your keeper with the basics will help ensure that they understand their responsibilities and know how to protect the goals in the best way possible.
Begin by working with the keeper’s feet. When the keeper stands correctly they can move around to stop the ball. Feet should be shoulder width apart and have their knees slightly bent facing the ball. The keeper should not move unless it is necessary.
Teach the keeper where to stand. The keeper should always be about three feet in front of the goal line. Additionally, teach the keeper to guard the post nearest to the attacking player without moving too far from the farthest post. This allows them to get close to the post quickly – where the player is most likely to kick the ball.
Train the keeper to keep their hands in front of them at about chest level. Hands should be about a soccer ball’s width apart. Shoulders should be back and squared. When you combine this with feet at shoulder’s width apart and bent knees, this is the ready position. It gives the keeper the best chance of moving, catching or stopping the ball.
Tell the keeper to watch the ball and the attacker’s body language, but never the attacker directly. The keeper should look for two things: the path of the ball and any feet, hand and eye movement of the attacker that will clue him in to where the attacker might strike.
The keeper must memorise and recognise field formations. Once they have stopped the ball they need to get it to their teammates. The best way to do this is to know where to put the ball so someone on their team can get it easily.