A Break Down and Suggestions On How To Take Goalkicks
Approach: Ball Contact: Follow Through: Practice makes permanent. Practice with both feet. Through repitition and your attention to the mechanics the body will become more comfortable with the movement.
Practice makes permanent. Practice with both feet. Through repitition and your attention to the mechanics the body will become more comfortable with the movement.
One of the area’s that I find to be a weaker area in goalkeeping for our youth goalkeepers is the ability to strike balls with either foot and the ability to adequately deal with back passes. Often time when I conduct clinics or camps, I find that the goalkeepers just aren’t comfortable striking balls over distance or keeping possession for their team under pressure. This is an area in goalkeeping that I feel is overlooked by head coaches and goalkeeper coaches. In the following article, I have come up with a few ideas and exercises that can help goalkeepers improve their ability to play balls with their feet and deal properly with back passes.
1) Play in 4v4 and small-sided games as much as possible. This is a basic activity you can do as a goalkeeper that is as close to actually being in a full game and using your feet like a field player. Any chance you get to jump in small-sided games with the rest of your team will help improve your field skills. Depending on how the game is set up, you will most likely be playing in smaller spaces with increased pressure and less time on the ball. This will challenge you to play quicker and more accurately and thus improve your foot skills. Concentrate in this setting on having your head up and looking before you receive the ball, the quality of your first touch away from pressure, the pace and accuracy of your pass, and supporting your pass immediately. 4v4 or 5v5 is always a fun and simple way to improve your field skills!
2) Grab another goalkeeper or field player and strike longer balls over a zone to each other. This can be set up by simply dropping 2 lines of cones down about 25-30 yards away from each other. Each of you should stand behind the line of cones and face each other. You can start off hitting a stationary ball and focusing on dropping a ball into your teammates’ hands(or off their chest if they are a field player) in the next zone. The ball should be in the air and clear the zone. Focus on the angle that you approach the ball, hitting through the center of the ball, leaning back, getting underneath the ball, and following through straight at your teammate. This will improve your goal kicks and technical ability.
Once you are consistently hitting good stationary balls, you can do the same exercise, but the ball must be moving. Roll the ball from your hands and hit a moving ball. This will replicate a back pass and be more challenging. Lastly, try to connect with your partner as many passes as you can in 1 minute. Adding the pressure of time and having to hit a moving ball will make this exercise more challenging and game-like. Then move on to doing the same thing with your left foot.
3) Juggling a soccer ball on your own or with a partner. This simple exercise can be done before or after practice. Juggling is a good way to build comfort on the ball and improve your first touch and ability to receive balls. Start off by using your feet only where you have 1 bounce before each touch. Focus on taking little touches with your laces of your foot, hitting through the center of the ball, keeping the ball straight off your foot, and building comfort on the ball with little touches. Then, move on to juggling with any body part without a bounce- keep the ball up in the air with your juggling ability. Another way to challenge yourself if to see if you can strike the ball a little bit higher in the air above your head, then control it with your feet or thighs as it is coming down, then pop it back up again. Repeat this over and over again…small little touches, one big touch up high, and settle with your control and first touch. Lastly, juggle with your other goalkeeper or another teammate. Start off by taking two touches, one to control and one to play back a pass to your teammate. Keep the ball up in the air between the two of you. Next, take 4 touches, 3 to control, and 1 to play to your teammate. Use all body parts this time.
Juggling is a fun and easy way to build comfort on the ball and improve receiving balls.
There are many different aspects that help you become the best goalkeeper you can be. Having great footskills- the ability to receive back passes and be able to strike a ball accurately and quickly is important for any goalkeeper, especially at the higher levels of the game. Don’t neglect this area of goalkeeping and find time in your training regimen to add exercises like the ones above. Have fun!
The Dave Bucciero Goalkeeper Camp will take place on the campus of Boston University. For more information, please go to www.davebucciero.com. (Note from keeperstop.com - great day camp for keepers in and around Boston)
During the last 20 years, we have seen the goalkeeper position evolve and change in many ways. Recent rule changes have changed the role of the goalkeeper and forced goalkeepers to play more balls with their feet in the run of play. It is not uncommon to see a match where a goalkeeper has to deal with more backpasses then shots. We have also seen a tactical change in goalkeeping during the last 20 years. More and more coaches are looking for the “sweeper-keeper” and encouraging goalkeepers to not only play off their line aggressively, but begin attacks by playing balls with their feet. If a goalkeeper is technically sufficient at playing shorter and longer passes, this can be a big advantage for any team. Here are a few ideas on how to improve in this area.
1. With a partner, begin warming up by playing passes back and forth in a 20x10 grid. Focus on playing accurately and quickly in 1 and 2 touches. Make sure you use both legs (receiving and passing). Focus on pushing your first touch in front and to the side of your kicking leg. Make sure your pass is played with enough pace but can be controlled as well. Try to keep your head up as that ball is coming in, and if you can meet the ball, go get it! See how many passes you can connect with your partner in under 1 minute. See if you can beat that score every time you do that exercise! Remember, it is important to play quickly but accurately too.
2. 2 server’s, plus a goalkeeper in goal. 2 servers stand at the outside of the penalty box toward the sideline. 1 ball. A keeper starts exercise in goal by calling for ball and demanding it back. Server then plays back to keeper, who then changes the point of attack with first touch, and finds other server on the other side of the penalty box. It is important for the keeper to meet the ball if he/she can, keep that first touch in front and to the side of the kicking leg, try to keep your head up as that ball is coming in and take a quick look at the other server. Finally, the pass from the keeper should be hit with enough pace and ultimately played slightly in front of the target facing forward (just like an outside back). Once the keeper plays the ball, he/she should follow the pass to show support of the pass. The exercise continues with the server who received the pass playing a ball back to the keeper, who then does the same thing going the other way. This can be done with 5/6 repetitions, but remember that this drill can get fatiguing.
3. Now, from this same exercise, add 3/4 pressuring players from the top of the penalty box, and 2 targets that stand near the center circle, but slightly toward the flanks. Once ball is played in from the one side of the field, 1 attacker tries to win the ball and place pressure on the keeper. The keeper must decide to change point of attack if he/she can, or play a 1-time ball high and wide if under pressure (toward target near center circle.) It is important here that the keeper makes the right decision with the ball. If in doubt, be safe and play ball high and wide. The worst thing that can happen here is for the keeper to lose the ball under pressure to an attacker going to goal. Remember that the keeper needs to meet the ball if possible, and takes the first touch away from pressure if deciding to play in 2 touches. This exercise is very realistic to the game and the pressuring players should press the goalkeepers at different angles and force the keeper to different sides of the field. It is important that the keeper learns to clear balls with their weaker leg too. There will be times when you have to use your weaker leg so get used to kicking with it!
4. To add to this exercise, you could also change the area where the backpasses and pressure are coming from. This is realistic to the game and keepers must feel confident dealing with any type of backpass played from any area.
Those are just a few ideas on how you can improve your technique of dealing with backpasses. Remember to keep working hard to become a better goalkeeper!
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