Most goalkeepers will tell you that their biggest weakness is dealing with crosses. How do we prepare our goalkeeper to be confident to deal with any high ball situation that might occur? I use following session to help build a goalkeepers confidence with crosses. This  is a common crossing session for me when developing keepers since it uses everyone whether it’s dealing with the cross itself or striking balls to improve distribution. This session can be altered to address a variety of crossing situations.

Activity One – Warm Up: Technical Practice

Organization

  • 3 to 4 keepers
  • 2 goals 12 yards apart
  • 2 x 6 yard areas to be marked out (use one in penalty area and mark second out so goals face each other)

How it Works

  • Have to GK’s working and two serving (one in each goal and one either side serving)
  • Server 1 plays to GK1 then S2 plays to GK2 (GK’s then face in swinging and out swinging crosses)
  • Activity is then repeated by GK’s taking crosses from opposite side. Take 8 to 10 crosses from each side and then switch GK’s with servers.

Coaching Points

  • Start Position/Stance
  • Assessing flight/Approach
  • Decision Making – Attack/Stay/Recovery Lines/Communication Keepers or Away
  • Take off – Ball from GK’s left (right knee up for protection)
                      Ball from GK’s right (left knee up for protection)
  • Hand Shape (catch in W)
  • Distribution to opposite server (look for accuracy/quality)

Activity Two

Organization

  • As above
  • 1 server (coach)
  • Server now delivers ball into either GK1 or GK2 by putting it into their own 6yrd box.
  • GK3 & 4 now passive strikers (movement no contact)
  • On catching the ball GK distributes back to server
  • GK’s take about 8-10 serves and then switch with GK’s 3 & 4. Then GK’s rotate back in work in opposite goal so that they take different type of serve. Then work from opposite side.

Coaching Points

  • Technical Issues from Activity One
  • Movement – Correct line to attack ball avoiding traffic
  • Concentration
  • Recovery Lines

Activity Three

  • Organization
  • As in activity 3 but now GK’s 3 & 4 act as strikers to try and win ball.
  • GK who is working and does not have the ball served to them can become 3rd attacker.
  • Rotate GK’s as in previous activity and work both sides.

Coaching Points

  • As in previous activities
  • Recovery lines to deal with second ball (shot, header, volley, half volley)

Activity Four – Dealing with crosses outside the 6 yard box

Organization

  • 2 goals 18yards apart. Second 6yard area to be marked out. This simulates the goalkeeper now having his 6 yard area to deal with along with an additional 6 yard area zone for which they can now have balls to deal with.
  • Have two GK’s working, one in each goal. Have GK’s 3 & 4 as active players looking to score. Can also add “non working” GK as 3rd attacker.
  • Activity works by server (coach) calling which GK is to deal with serve into non 6yard area.
  • So if server calls GK1 they now have to make the decision whether to come for or hold their position.
  • Progression- Rotate goalkeepers after 8-10 serves, work GK’s in both goals and then work from opposite side.

Coaching Points

  • As in previous three activities
  • Start Position – Aggressive (server can vary between striking stationary and moving ball)
  • Decision – Attack or Stay
  • Recovery and re-adjustment to deal with second ball
  • Mind Set – Positive

Aron Hyde is currently coaching out in Seattle, WA as a coach for Emerald City FC and Goalkeeper coach for Kent Youth Soccer Association. Aron is also the goalkeeper coach for Seattle Univeristy Womens program and is involved in Washington State Olympic Development Program. Aron recently completed his USSF B license and offers various training throughout the year. For information about upcoming camps and clinics please email aronhyde@hotmail.com for more details.