About The Author: Tony DiCicco is the current Technical Director of SoccerPlus Goalkeeper School – www.goalkeeper.com. Coach DiCicco is former Head Coach, USA Women – ’96 Olympic Gold Medal; ’99 World Cup Championship; ’08 U20 World Cup Championship. Also goalkeeper coach for the USA Women and U20 Men at World Cups.   He is currently, the Director of Goalkeeping for the National Soccer Coaches Association

At SoccerPlus Goalkeeper School we work on the goalkeeper being a critical member of the attack as well as defending the goal.  A goalkeeper that can help keep possession and distribute the ball effectively creates another threat for the opposing team. Train with the best to be the best at SPGS. For information on SoccerPlus Goalkeeper School, call 1-800-keeper1 or go to www.soccerplus.org.  

First, notice I didn’t title this article “building out of the back”. Building possession out of the back using the keeper is certainly part of this article but not the whole picture. The goalkeeper needs to be part of the constructive possession out of the back building into an attack on the opponent’s goal and the goalkeeper needs to be able to play into advanced positions quickly for possession and for creating counter-attack “quick strike” opportunities their team.

The following exercises are suggestions for both these scenarios. Remember, it is important to practice building out of the back with the team and goalkeeper for them to be comfortable dealing with pressure close to their own goal and also to help them know when the risk is not worth the gain and to play into more advanced areas. The coach should slowly introduce the build concepts into his or her team’s games so that the players don’t feel like they have been thrown into the deep end and the build the goalie's confidence.

Remember, giving up goals because you are trying to build out of the back isn’t the problem (make sure you let the parents know what you are working on) the challenge is not to destroy your individual players and the team’s collective confidence with possession from deep positions before they are ready.

Goalkeeper and Team Warm-up:

Use a passing grid – set up to mimic back defenders and midfielders positioning when building out of the back incorporating the goalie.

Review the full PDF with the goalkeeper drills, team training, and coaching points.