Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

A quick thinking goalie can start counter attacks

By David Clarke
David ClarkeGoalkeepers can distribute the ball from the back to get the team moving forward. They should be able to look around and communicate with the players in front of them, to play the ball into space and launch an attack.

Especially when the opposition have just been on the attack from say a corner, they often react slowly to getting back if the goalkeeper gets the ball. They can then throw the ball to take advantage.

I often play this game to get my goalkeeper thinking about quick plays that can get my team reacting quicker than the opposition. Every time the team wins the ball it must go back to their goalkeeper before they launch an attack. I use it to get my goalkeepers thinking about how and where they are going to play the ball to gain advantage.

A game for goalkeepers
In this small-sided game the goalkeeper is at the heart of every move. When your goalkeeper has the ball in a match they should be looking to use throws as well as kicks to get the ball to a team mate in space. Throwing the ball can often be a better way to distribute the ball because by using the technique in the diagram, goalkeepers can catch out the opposition with quick, accurate throws.

How to play it

  • Set up a 40×20 yard area with two end zones.
  •  Play normal rules but when a team wins the ball it must go to their own goalkeeper before the team can launch an attack.
  • No backpass rule – in this game the goalkeeper must pick up backpasses and throw to a team mate.
  • When the ball goes out of play it must be restarted with the goalkeeper throwing the ball to a team mate.
  • If the goalkeeper gets the ball off an opponent they must use a throw to get the ball to a team mate.
  •  Only the goalkeepers can go in the end zones.
  • Make sure the goalkeepers use the full width of the end zones to create space.

Ten of the best goalkeeper drills


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Keeping the game moving fast on your teams gives you a leg up over the competition. Your team knows what’s coming but the other team doesn’t, putting them at a disadvantage and keeping them on their toes.

Comment by Jodi Murphy

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