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Goalkeeping by Ben Thomas

It is more important for goalkeepers to master the basic techniques than it is for outfield players. For goalkeepers, the majority of their game situations can be handled with a single perfectly executed goalkeeper technique. Confident mastery of basic technique is the only way for goalkeepers to win matches.

Learning and improving all relevant goalkeeper techniques should be the primary objective of goalkeeper training regardless of age or ability level. As basic techniques and tactics are so specialized, regular and individual training has clear advantages.

Skill exercises (catching high balls, balls from side) should become more difficult and complex.
Don't jump quickly from exercise to exercise or from concept to concept. Focus on repetitions of movement and sequences, executed as correctly as possible.
A proper demonstration of each technique with focused corrections is important. If necessary, ask a goalkeeper or a goalkeeper coach for help, also sit down and watch a professional soccer game, such as on Fox Soccer Channel.

Goalkeepers face a variety of special situations and challenges for which goalkeeper training has to prepare them: unexpected close range shots and shots from a distance, crosses from wings, decision making (rush opposing strike or stand ground). Goalkeepers often act as a "substitute sweeper" so they need outfield skills as well.

Goalkeepers need regular training to prepare them for these demands, but the role of goalkeeping in training can often be worlds apart from match play. By receiving specific regular training they will be prepared and able to overcome these obstacles.