Communication is a key factor in a successful goalkeepers skill set. He must be able to organize his defense and communication what he wants and sees to his team. Loud, clear instructions of danger will help your teammates with decision making and keep you focused during periods of inactivity.

The goalkeeper has the best view of the field and therefore is in the best position to communicate about weak side runs and unmarked players. The communication to defenders needs to be specific as well. Just shouting “Far side runner” doesn’t tell WHO should be picking up the runner. Many times players will point at the runner, but no one goes to pick him up. Be specific and directive!! “Steven, pick up far side runner!” is a much better command…our goalkeeper training in Virginia helps players learn when and what to say to their teammates to help their team. Like all skills, it doesn’t come easy for some even though they may be the loudest on the playground or around the house!

This communication is very important when a player has their back to the field and has pressure on his back. The goalkeeper needs to become the defneders eyes and help be the outlet to relieve that pressure, but needs to hear from the goalkeeper to play “back to keeper”.  Or, if the ball is played back over the defense, you need to make clear your intentions on that ball.. “Away”, “Keeper” or “Play back” are good commands….once the goalkeeper makes a”keeper” call, the defender should not attempt to gather the ball, but the keeper should also not hesitate on attacking the ball as well.

If the keeper calls for the ball back, the keeper should be in the proper position and distance for the defender to make the back pass successful and not dangerous. The keeper also can help a defender determine where to force the attacking player or when to close down the space….

Be in good staring position, in a good position to be a supporting pass NOT a bystander and tell your teammates what you see when they can’t. As a goalkeeper, you don’t want your mates saying “What’s that you say?”