15 ESSENTIAL Goalkeeper Soccer Drills

Goalkeepers often get neglected in soccer training sessions and often don’t get the attention they need to develop as goalkeepers. Sometimes this comes down to not finding enough time to fit goalkeeper-specific training into your soccer sessions but often it’s because the coaches are sure of what goalkeeper soccer drills to use. This post will give you 15 ideas for goalkeeper soccer drills you can use for your next session.

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The goalkeeper soccer drills

Here are 15 fantastic goalkeeper soccer drills that will work on a variety of aspects of goalkeeping.

Working on a keeper’s footwork and passing and receiving skills are critical to beat a team that presses

These goalkeeper soccer drills are suitable for beginners as well as intermediate players.

Speed diving soccer drill

On the soccer pitch there is a soccer coach and a goalkeeper. The goalkeeper is diving to catch the ball after touching a tall cone on the outside.
Goalkeeper speed diving soccer drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to improve the goalkeepers’ speed and reaction time when diving for the ball

Set up:

  • 1 pole
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 6 tall cones.
  • 1 cone

How the drill works:

Set up your pole in the middle and this will be the goalkeeper’s starting position.

6 yards on either side of the pole place 3 tall cones in a line.

The goalkeeper will start with the ball in their hands and throw the ball to the player standing 6 yards back opposite them.

The keeper will then shuffle to the side and touch one of the tall cones over.

As soon as the cone has been knocked over the player will bounce the ball towards the central pole, with the keeper diving to catch the ball.

Repeat this until the goalkeeper has knocked over all 6 tall cones.

Coaching points:

  • Use quick side steps to go between the cone and the pole, so you are always facing forward
  • The head should be looking up so they always have eyes on the ball
  • Use your legs to explode into the dive, with your hands in a ‘W’ ready position to catch the ball

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How should you move so that you are always facing forward?
  • Where should your head be during this drill?
  • What part of your body can you use to help you dive quicker?

Agility and goalkeeper diving drill

There is 1 goal, a goalkeeper and soccer coach on the soccer pitch. The goalkeeper is in the goal and he has hurdled 3 cones, to touch the right post of the goal. The soccer coach is kicking the ball to the left side of the goal for the goalkeeper to dive and save
Goalkeeper agility diving soccer drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to improve the footwork and agility of the goalkeeper

Set up:

  • 1 goal
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 3 cones

How the drill works:

The player will start with the ball in their hands on the penalty spot and they will start the drill with a driven kick toward the goalkeeper.

The goalkeeper will catch the ball and throw it back to the player on the penalty spot.

They will then sidestep over the 3 cones and touch the goal post.

As soon as the goal post has been touched the player with the ball will take a shot towards the opposite side of the goal where the keeper will dive to try and make the save.

Coaching points:

  • Keep your head up so you always have eyes on the ball
  • Once you have touched the post, come off the goalline and across, to close down the angle of the player taking the shot
  • Use a power step to help explode into the side.

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you always ensure that you can see the ball?
  • What can you do to close the angle of the second shot?
  • How can you explode into the dive?

Goalkeeper drill for footwork

The goalkeeper is shuffling laterally over the 3 cones then catching a ball from the soccer coach
Goalkeeper footwork soccer drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to improve the goalkeeper’s footwork

Set up:

  • 6 cones
  • 1 soccer ball

How the drill works:

Place your first 3 cones to the left of the goalkeeper with half a yard space between all of them.

Place your next 3 cones in 1 yard in front of the goalkeeper and to the right with half a yard space between them.

The goalkeeper will start the drill by side-stepping through the cones to his left and then back to the middle.

They will then take a step forward so they are in line with the second line of cones and catch a firm shot from the player on the penalty spot and throw it back

The goalkeeper will repeat the process for the second line of cones and take a step back to catch the ball and throw it back to the player on the penalty spot.

Coaching points:

  • Focus on quick, sharp steps through the cones
  • Remain on your toes so you can react quickly
  • Head should stay up and look forward

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What is the most effective way to move through the cones?
  • How can you ensure that you react quickly to catch the shot?
  • Where should your head be looking?

Shot saving repetition goalkeeper drill

The soccer coach is taking shots at the the goal with the goalkeeper trying to dive and save the shots
Goalkeeper drill for shot stopping

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to help goalkeepers react quicker to shots that are taken in quick succession

Set up:

  • 3 soccer balls
  • 1 goal
  • 1 cone

How the drills work:

The keeper starts in their goal roughly 1 yard in front of the goal on their knees.

The coach starts with the ball and throws the ball to the goalkeeper’s left, forcing the goalkeeper to dive from their knees and catch it.

This is repeated but the ball is thrown to their right.

The coach then takes a firm shot down to the keeper’s left and then the right.

Finally, the coach throws the ball up in the air for the keeper to get off the ground and catch.

Coaching points:

  • Quickly react after making the save and get set to save the next shot
  • Lead with your hands when diving
  • Explode with a power step to help you cover more ground when diving

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • After you have made a save what should you be thinking next?
  • What needs to show your body when you are diving?
  • How can you cover more ground quicker when diving?

Don’t get chipped! Goalkeeper soccer drill

The goalkeeper has ran to touch the soccer ball the coach is holding, the coach has thrown the soccer ball for the goalkeeper to try and tip over the bar
Soccer goalkeeper drill for not getting chipped

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to help goalkeepers improve their footwork while back peddling towards their own goal.

Set up:

  • 1 goal
  • 5 soccer balls

How the drill works:

The coach will start with the ball in their hands on the penalty spot, with the goalie starting on the goal line.

The goalkeeper will sprint toward the coach and touch the ball in their hands.

After the ball has been touched the goalkeeper will begin running back to their goal with the coach throwing a lofted ball over the goalkeeper.

The goalkeeper must attempt to prevent the ball from going in the goal by catching it or by tipping it over the goal.

If the goalkeeper catches the ball they get 3 points, if they prevent a goal they get 1 point, and 0 points if the ball goes in.

If the goalkeeper tips it back into play the phase of play only comes to an end when the ball is securely in the goalkeeper’s hands.

Coaching points:

  • Focus on taking fast, shape steps back on your toes while running backward
  • Watch the ball the whole time it is in flight
  • Make sure to spring and jump using one leg to help reach the ball

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How you can effectively run backward?
  • What should you always have an eye on?
  • How should you jump to reach the ball?

Goalkeeper crossing soccer drill

The soccer coaching crossing the soccer ball from the left hand side of the pitch to goalkeeper to catch inside the 6 yard box
Crossing and catch goalkeeper drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this goalkeeping soccer drill is to improve how the goalkeeper catches the ball from crosses.

Set up:

  • 1 goal
  • 5 soccer balls

How the drill works:

The keeper will start in their goal ( in the center, 2 yards off of their line) with the coach in a wide area crossing the ball.

The goalkeeper will have to anticipate the cross and come out to catch the ball.

You can vary the drill by changing the type of delivery, here are some examples:

  • Inswinging cross
  • out-swinging cross
  • low driven cross
  • chipped (lofted) cross

The difficulty of the drill can also be increased by adding another player who will add pressure to the goalkeeper while they attempt to catch the crosses.

Coaching points:

  • Shout for the ball to make other players aware that you are going for it
  • Spring off one leg to jump for the ball and raise your knee with the other leg so your thigh is parallel to the ground, this will help protect you from opposition players or teammates who are in the way.
  • Catch the ball with extended arms above your head, then bring the ball into your chest to keep it secure

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you make other players aware that you are challenging for the ball?
  • When you jump how can you protect yourself?
  • Once the ball is caught, how can you safely secure it?

Goalie vs goalie soccer drill

There are 2 goalkeepers on the soccer pitch each in their own goal. The goalkeeper on the left is trying to drop kick the ball and score in the goal on the right.
Goalkeeper 1v1 soccer game

Purpose:

This drill aims to work on diving and catching a goalkeeper in a fun, competitive game.

Set up:

  • 2 goals
  • 2 goalkeepers
  • 2 cones
  • 1 soccer ball

How the drill works:

Place the 2 goals opposite each other 20 yards apart with a cone 5 yards in front of each goal.

(This distance may need to change depending on the age of the goalkeepers)

The goalies will be in each goal and take turns shooting against the other goalkeeper, however, they can shoot no further than the cones in front of them.

If the goalkeeper scores a goal they will get 1 point, however, if the opposition makes a save they get 1 point but if they can catch the ball they will get 3 points.

Each goalie will have 5 shots each and the winner of the round will be the goalkeeper with the most points.

You can vary the shots by:

  • Drop kicks only
  • Shots must be taken off the ground
  • The ball must be thrown

Coaching points:

  • The starting position should be 3 yards off your goal line to reduce the area that the opposition keeper has to shoot
  • You should be on your toes, with knees slightly bent ready to react to the shot
  • Take a small jump half a yard forward, to help give you momentum into your power step when diving.

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you reduce the area of the goal for the opposition?
  • What stance should you take when you are waiting in anticipation of the shot?
  • How can you increase your momentum for your power step when diving for the ball?

1v1 goalkeeper soccer drill

A soccer player is playing a combination pass with the coach to be put through on goal. The goalkeeper is trying to close the angle to stop the player from scoring
Attacker vs goalkeeper soccer drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to improve the decision-making of the goalkeeper when they come off their line.

Set up:

  • 5 soccer balls
  • 2 players, 1 goalkeeper
  • 1 goal
  • 1 mannequin

How the drill works:

Set the mannequin on the edge of the area, and the goalkeeper in the center goal.

Player 1 will start with the ball and play a combination pass with player 2 around the mannequin.

Encourage player 2 to vary the strength of the pass, (softer passes to suit the attacker and firmer passes to suit the goalkeeper.

When the first pass is made the keeper must touch the goalpost furthest away from the side that player 1 is attacking.

They will then pressure the attacker to prevent a goal from being scored.

If the keeper is able to come out and successfully claim the ball they will 3 points and if they make a save they will get 1 point.

If the striker scores they will get 1 point, however, if the striker is fouled by the keeper the striker will get 3 points.

The winner is the player who has the most points after 5 soccer balls have been played.

Place the mannequin in different spots around the area.

Coaching points:

  • Make yourself as big as possible
  • Close the gap between yourself and the striker as quick as possible
  • Don’t commit too early, stay on your feet as long as possible

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you reduce the area the striker has to aim at?
  • What can you do to reduce the space the striker has?
  • What could happen if you go to the ground too quickly?

Passing under pressure goalkeeper drill

There is soccer coach who is passing the ball to the goalkeeper and then immediately pressure the player. The goalkeeper is trying to pass the ball into either of the pug goals
Goalkeeper drill for passing under pressure

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to improve the goalkeepers passing while under pressure

Set up:

  • 5 soccer balls
  • 2 pug goals
  • 1 goal
  • 1 player, 1 goalkeeper

How the drill works:

The keeper will start 2 yards off his goal line and receive the ball from player 1 who is 10 yards away, directly opposite them.

This gap may need to be adjusted to increase or decrease the pressure ( the shorter the distance the more pressure for the keeper).

For 3 points the keeper must try to pass the ball into either of the pug goals located on the left and right side of the area.

If the keeper misses the pug goals they will get 1 point (this includes whether they decide to play the ball long).

If player 1 is able to win the ball back and score a goal they will get 1 point.

The winning player is the player who has the most points after 5 soccer balls have been played.

Coaching points:

  • Control and pass the ball with the inside of your foot
  • Receive the ball with the backfoot in an open body position
  • Play with your head up so you can see how quickly the attacker is pressuring you and decide whether or not you have time to take a touch

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What part of the foot should you be controlling and passing the ball with?
  • What body position should you be in when receiving the ball?
  • How do you know how much time you have on the ball?

Goalkeeper shot blocking soccer drill

There are 5 soccer balls between an attacker and the keeper. The keeper is anticipating which soccer ball the striker is going to shot
Shot blocking goalkeeper drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to improve the goalkeeper’s shot-blocking technique from close range.

Set up:

  • 5 soccer balls
  • 1 goal
  • 1 player, 1 goalkeeper

How the drill works:

Line the 5 soccer balls up 10 yards from the goal line with 2 yards of space between each one.

The goalkeeper and the player will start 5 yards back on either side of the soccer balls.

The player can striker the soccer balls in any order they want, with the goalkeeper having to react and predict which ball the striker will hit.

Every time the keeper makes a save or the shot misses the goal the goalkeeper will get 1 point.

Every time the player scores a goal they will get 1 point.

Coaching points:

  • Stay on your toes to quickly react to which ball the striker will take a shot with
  • The foot closest to the ball is the attacking foot, with the other leg becoming your kneeling leg to create a long barrier, to prevent the ball from being poked through your legs
  • Arms should be at a 45-degree angle facing downwards to prevent the ball from being squeezed between your arms and legs.

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How should you be prepared for the striker’s shot?
  • Which foot should be you attacking foot? What should your other leg create?
  • What position should your arms be in? Why?

1 touch soccer passing drill for goalkeepers

! player has the ball and they are passing to the goalie once the have hurdled the cones in the middle
1 touch goalkeeper passing drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to work on a goalkeeper’s footwork for first-time passing

Set up:

  • 1 soccer ball
  • 4 cones

How the drill works:

Lay your 4 cones out in a line with half a yard gap between each one.

The coach will start with the ball 7 yards back from the cones.

The goalkeeper can start on whichever side of the line of cones they would like.

They must sidestep through the cones and once they get to an end the coach will roll the ball to them for them to play a first-time pass back.

This drill will work first time passing for both feet.

A round will be complete once 10 passes have been completed (5 on each foot).

Coaching points:

  • Use the inside of your to make the passes
  • Light sharp steps over cones
  • Use your arms to help drive your legs

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What part of the foot should you use to pass the ball?
  • What steps do you need to help get over the cones quicker?
  • How can your arms help?

Goalkeeper distribution soccer drill

The coach has taken shot against the keeper, they then pass the ball along floor and the keeper has hit the ball into the goal that is in a wide area
Distribution soccer goalie drill

Purpose:

The purpose of the drill is to help a goalkeeper improve their distribution to players in wide areas

Set up:

  • 2 soccer balls per repetition
  • 2 goals
  • 1 cone

How the drill works:

The coach will start with the first ball on the cone, 10 yards to the side of the goal, and drive a shot into the goalkeeper to catch.

As soon as the ball is caught the coach will play a pass to the goalkeeper, where they will take one touch out of their feet and play a long driven pass into the goal that is in a wide area.

This drill can be varied by changing the angle the goalkeeper receives the ball and the positioning of the goal.

Coaching points:

  • Receive the ball on the back foot in an open body position
  • Take your first touch in front of you
  • Use your instep to strike the ball to get the power and distance on the pass.

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How should you receive the ball?
  • Where should your first touch take you?
  • What part of the foot should you use to get power and distance on the pass?

Rapid fire shooting drill for goalkeepers

There is 1 soccer player and 1 keeper on the soccer pitch. The player is shooting 6 soccer balls against the goalie, with the keeper trying to save them
Rapid fire soccer shooting drill for goalkeepers

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to help the goalkeeper to react to shots in quick succession

Set up:

  • 6 soccer balls
  • 1 goal
  • 1 tall cone
  • 1 player, 1 goalkeeper

How the drill works:

Place 3 soccer balls along the edge of the area with the remaining 3 soccer balls next to the cone on the edge of the D.

The player will take 3 long-range shots from the edge of the area and then take 3 1v1s against the goalkeeper.

If the keeper makes a save they will get one point and if the player scores they will get 1 point.

The winning player will be the player who has the most points at the end of the 6 shots.

Coaching points:

  • Make sure that your angles on the goal are covered and you are adjusting them depending on where the shot is coming from
  • If you cannot hold onto the ball make sure you are pushing it behind and or to the sides
  • As soon as a save is made, quickly get set and ready for the next shot (the striker isn’t going to wait for you!)

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How should you adjust your positioning depending on where the shot is coming from?
  • Where should you push the ball if you cannot hold onto it?
  • As soon as a save is made what should you immediately be doing next?

Explosive diving soccer drill for goalkeepers

The coaching is bouncing the soccer ball off the floor and towards the corners of the, the keeper is diving to the corners of the goal to save the shot
Goalkeeper soccer drill for explosive dives

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to help the goalkeepers be more explosive when diving

Set up:

  • 6 soccer balls
  • 1 goal
  • 1 server
  • 4 cones
  • 1 tall cone

How the drill:

Place a tall cone 8 yards back from the center of the goal, this is where the server will stand with the soccer balls.

In the corners of the goal create 2 gates 1 yard in length, this is where the server is aiming for.

The keeper will start on their knees in the center of the goal, the server will then bounce throw a soccer ball aiming for one of the corners.

The goalkeeper must dive and react in the direction of where the ball is going.

This can be made harder or easier by adjusting the distance the server is away from the goal or by changing how the ball is served.

Coaching points:

  • The foot that is the closest to the ball is the leg you will use to explode to make the dive (power stepping leg)
  • Keep a low center of gravity, this will help you generate more power when performing the dive
  • Lead with your hands

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Which leg should be your power stepping leg?
  • Why should you keep a low enter of gravity?
  • Which body part should be leading the dive?

Goalkeeper soccer drill that works on core strength

The keeper is moving 6 soccer balls from one cone and back again as quickly as possible
Core soccer drill for goalkeepers

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to improve the goalkeeper’s core strength in match-relevant movement

Set up:

  • 6 soccer balls
  • 3 cones

How the drill works:

Place 1 cone in the center and 2 cones on either side of the center cone that is roughly the goalkeeper’s arm’s length.

The keeper will start sitting on the center cone with the 6 soccer balls on one cone.

The goalkeeper must move all the soccer balls, one at a time from 1 cone to the other and back again as quickly as possible.

Coaching points

  • Use your legs to help you rotate from side-to-side quicker
  • Use your arms to lead your body
  • Have one hand on top of the ball and the other behind the ball, when the ball is in contact with the ground (note that the hands will have to change position when picking the ball up and placing it).

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What part of the body can you use to help rotate your body quicker?
  • What body part should be leading your body?
  • Where should your hands be placed when picking up/ placing the ball back down?

Goalkeeper soccer drills: Final thoughts

Having a dedicated and well-trained goalkeeper can make a huge difference in your team.

Not only will they make crucial saves but they will also bring an added presence and confidence to your team.

Make sure you dedicate time in your sessions to have goalkeeper-specific training sessions or extra sessions to accommodate your goalkeepers, and the time and effort will pay off!

I hope these goalkeeper soccer drills have helped give you some inspiration.

While looking for ideas for goalkeeper soccer drills, I came across First Class Goalkeeping. He is a UK-based goalkeeper coach who provides great resources and variations for loads of goalkeeper soccer drills, definitely check him out!

If you are a goalkeeper who is looking to improve on matchday I made a complete guide on how you can fulfill your goalkeeping potential:

How to be a better goalkeeper in soccer

Finally, if you found these goalkeeper soccer drills helpful or know a soccer coach or player that would then please share them with them using our social buttons.

Thank you,

Toby

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