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Solo goalkeeping training

Solo goalkeeper drills – Tips to practice on your own

Sharpening your goalkeeping skills is very difficult if you play for a small team or haven’t got a team. While modern goalkeepers must train on the same basic skills than the rest of the team (first touch, passing, shooting, etc.), goalkeepers have very different needs than the rest of the players. In this post we discuss solo goalkeeper drills that you can use to train on your own.

Usually we finish our posts with one video, in this case we are sharing a number of them, so please keep scrolling down so you don’t miss any of our tips.

Footwork and warming up

Good footwork is key for any goalkeeper. This is a skill that you can practice alone, all you need is some kind of markers that you place in the ground. You can buy a set of cones and an agility ladder for a few dollars.

Start out with simple drills such as a mini shuttle or a weave in/out and juggling to warm-up. The video below starts with footwork exercises that are great to improve your feet speed and coordination. In addition, it also demonstrates a few diving drills that you can practice alone.

One drill that is not demonstrated in this video is the three ball weave. Set two markers far apart from each other, about the size of a real goal. Start with three balls in the middle between the markers. Pickup the ball in the middle and move it outside of the right ball. Pick up again the ball that is now in the middle and move it outside the ball on the left. The outside balls will separate more and more from each other as you repeat the sequence. Move between balls shuffling your feet sideways. Once the outside balls reach the markers, revert the progression until all three balls are in the middle again. This is a good exercise to warm up all your body and improve your footwork.

Footwork and warming up – Preseason excercises

Practicing around the house – Hand eye coordination

Goalkeepers must have good reflexes and great hand eye coordination. Fortunately, these skills can be trained in a variety of ways, including indoor exercises that you can do at home.

A great way of practicing indoors is to use a reaction ball. A reaction ball is just an odd shaped ‘ball’ that bounces in a random pattern, so it is much harder to track and catch. The random pattern makes it a great tool for improving your hand-eye coordination and reflexes. Reaction balls are commonly used for training in other sports such as hockey, softball and cricket players, but it is also a very valuable tool for football goalkeepers. In matter of fact, the video that illustrates this section is from a hockey goalkeeper coach.

Goalkeeping training indoors – Hand eye coordination

Practicing with a wall

As discussed in a previous post, practicing with a wall is a great way for field players to improve their first touch, passing and shooting technique. Goalkeepers can also take advantage of training with a wall. In modern football, goalkeepers have to be as good with their feet as field players.

In addition to training with your feet, you can use a wall to train skills unique to the goalkeeper role. For example, you can train ball handling with a wall. A basic drill is to rebound the ball repeatedly and catch it from different positions. You can practice hand service and catching, and even diving. This is a great method of building a variety of sequences. However, make sure that you practice in an enclosed area so the ball doesn’t go far if you don’t catch it.

Goalkeeping training with a wall and high fence

Rebounders

If you can afford it and have space at home, a rebounder is a great piece of equipment. A rebounder will help you execute the same solo goalkeeper drills you did with the wall and more. Rebounders are also a very good piece of equipment to have for field players.

Rebounder like Crazy Catch have two nets: a net that sends the ball back in a predictable direction and a second net that return the ball in unpredictable directions. The unpredictable net makes it the ideal equipment to train your reaction and diving skills on your own.

Not only rebounders are an excellent tool for training, they save you money in the long run. Practicing with a wall at home wears balls quickly and can damage a wall.

Goalkeeping training with rebounders

Equipment

As discussed, you don’t need much to practice solo goalkeeper drills. However, having the right equipment can boost your training. We curated below a list of the accessories mentioned in this post. I hope you find them useful.

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5 attributes every goalkeeper must have - Football Techniques says August 21, 2020

[…] Reacting to shots from close distance is the most common way of training, but you can also work with tennis balls, ping-pong balls, all these different things being fired at you at a quick pace. You have to practice on it often and regularly. You can improve your reflexes at home on daily basis by using a reaction ball (see our training solo post). […]

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