Goalkeeper training on your own

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In Belgium and maybe in your region too, we are moving towards the rule where children have to choose from one hobby. Maybe you’re not allowed to go to your favourite goalkeeper school anymore, or your club doesn’t give goalkeeper training anymore to avoid increasing the bubbles unnecessarily, or it’s just not allowed anymore by the city where you’re active. A question we get all the time here at Prostar goalkeeping is ‘How can I train as a goalkeeper on my own?’ Or ‘How can I train during a lockdown?

We’ve put together this guide to help you make the most of the time you have to become the best goalkeeper you can be!

Firstly, if you’re wondering if you can develop as a goalkeeper on your own, the answer is a very simple and positive yes!

Of course it is better to have a coach or a friend to help you, but there is an almost infinite number of things you can do yourself that will have a big impact the next time you are on the pitch.

The first thing to remember is that goalkeeping is not just about diving through the air and making a fingertip save – although it is a lot of fun. Goalkeepers need good footwork, accurate distribution, exceptional ball handling, agility and strength, among other things, and you can work on all of these without needing anyone else!

Improve your footwork

The best goalkeepers in the world have exceptional footwork, they move quickly and precisely while never taking their eyes off the game. This is definitely something you can work on without needing anyone else.

All you need to start improving your footwork are a few cones (or some other kind of marker – even bottles or flowerpots can be used!) and a piece of ground to work on – it doesn’t even have to be grass.

The first thing you can do to improve your footwork is to focus on general speed and agility, this will give you a good base from which to work and will definitely improve the speed of your footwork.

Goalkeeper footwork drills

As well as improving the speed of your footwork it is also important to work on a more natural movement pattern for goalkeepers.

Although it is not the most exciting or easiest way to do this. You can even do the exercises for better footwork near a wall/re-bounder, for example. After all, you are the person the ball has to come back to

You can find lots of footwork exercises for goalkeepers by searching on YouTube or Google, so pick a few that you like and work hard to perfect them.

Be sure to vary a little with the different types of kicking techniques that are out there. Do not always take a goal kick, often you will get a return ball and have to push the ball out of your feet and then make a good connection with a moving ball

You can do exactly the same accuracy and distance exercises for kicking out of your hands and of course you can practise throwing out (sling throw), but why stop with these two and why not try new techniques? Instead of a high long punt, why not practise the volley kick for a low quick pass to your wingers?

Even with a bag full of balls, I warn that it can get a bit tedious chasing the balls you kick around the pitch on your own, but there is no reason why you can’t do a round of 10 kicks or throws at the beginning and end of your training session and you will be surprised how much you improve after a few sessions.

Working on your kicking technique

Distribution is probably the easiest thing to work on as a goalkeeper without anyone else helping you. All you need is a ball (it’s a lot easier if you have more than one) and a place to kick it, a football field is obviously the best because you have enough space to practice freely.

Many goalkeepers generally don’t work on their kicking technique, but football has evolved, a good goalkeeper has to be able to play football if he wants to make it in today’s game. So if you have no one to help you develop, this is a great opportunity to work on your kicking technique.

We are always shocked when we see how many goalkeepers there are who cannot take a goal kick or worse, who let their defenders take the goal kicks for them.

Don’t just focus on kicking the ball as far as you can, mark areas on the pitch you are trying to aim at and practise getting as close as possible.

Be sure to vary a little with the different types of kicking techniques that are out there. Do not always take a goal kick, often you will get a return ball and have to push the ball out of your feet and then make a good connection with a moving ball

You can do exactly the same accuracy and distance exercises for kicking out of your hands and of course you can practise throwing out (sling throw), but why stop with these two and why not try new techniques? Instead of a high long punt, why not practise the volley kick for a low quick pass to your wingers?

Even with a bag full of balls, I warn that it can get a bit tedious chasing the balls you kick around the pitch on your own, but there is no reason why you can’t do a round of 10 kicks or throws at the beginning and end of your training session and you will be surprised how much you improve after a few sessions.

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