Ok, so one of the most common questions we get all time is:
“What can i do to work on being more aggressive, vocal and confident in the goal as a soccer goalkeeper?”
“I’m am always afraid when i have to come off my line, run at or into some one and take the ball on a breakaway, or a corner kick or even call off a defender to get to the ball. This causes me to hesitate and make wrong decisions. Are there any drills i can do to become a more aggressive keeper. I want to become a goalie who is not afraid to run out, challenge for the ball and possibly have contact with afield player to get the ball. I think I may be afraid of getting injured and that is why i’m afraid to run out.”
Goalkeeping is all about confidence, and the only way to get it is to accept the fact that you cannot stop every single ball. It is never just the goalkeeper’s fault. The ball has to travel pass the entire team to get to the keeper, so the responsibility has to be shared with the rest of the team. The more you play the better and more confident you will get. Goalkeeping has a lot to do with getting into a flow and rhythm. The more you handle the ball, regardless if it is with your hands or feet, the more touches, the more saves you make the more confident you get. We see plenty of times a goalie just stand all game with hardly any touches on the ball because his/her team is dominating the game and then one shot that gets through or one bad hop and the ball is in the back of the net. Everyone blames the keeper for his/her lack or concentration but maybe if his or her team would pass the ball back to him/her and get him/her some touches that keeper may have been able to make that save. You need to work on your speed and reflexes. Be quick but also be smart, observe good keepers and learn from them.
At the end of the day confidence comes from within. The goalkeeper coach should be the one to build his goalkeeper’s confidence like the Just4keepers coaches do as part of the curriculum.! Getting more vocal is all up to the goalkeeper. At the younger ages it is more rare to find a keeper that is very vocal and commends his/her defense. As the keepers get older and with constant practice and repetition they begin to expand their verbal communication with their teammates. The keeper has the best vision of the entire field as he is the last player. He has to control and help his team as the situation dictates it. By taking and make his players aware of the situation he also makes his position easier to play. He is the eyes of the team. A good drill is a small sided game. 5v5.. It is a more quick paced game and it works the goalkeeper.
Some good exercises are 1v1 exercises against a striker, which forces you to come out and attack the ball handler. Remember while practicing 1v1 to match the pace of the attacker, choose the angle correctly and be patient. Practice defending against corners/crosses which helps with your decision making on which balls to go up for and which to stay back. Lastly another good exercise is a small sided game. 5v5 .It is a more quick paced game and it works the goalkeeper. Do not forget the just4keepers goalkeeper wars which is a great, challenging exercise that most definitely challenges the keeper’s decision making and promotes aggressiveness. The only way to get better is through practice to the point of decision making being instinctive.