Soccer goalkeepers have a unique position. One which entails highly tuned skills and great athletic ability. One of the fundamental mistakes that soccer clubs make at a grass roots level is not seriously training their young goalkeepers in the fine art of goalkeeping…It is an art form. It is possible that some trainers do not have the specialized skills to train young goalkeepers. Whatever the reason may be, training goalkeepers the fundamental skills they require to succeed at an early age should be a focal point in any team’s success.

Following are some points to remember when training the junior or youth goalkeeper, to help maximize their success in their role as a goalkeeper playing alongside their team mates:

Footwork: One of the most fundamental skills any young goalkeeper should learn revolves around footwork. Just like Muhammad Ali, goalkeepers should train to be light on their toes and move fluidly around their goal area. Great footwork helps a goalkeeper to attack the ball effectively and defend their goal more efficiently.

Angles: Understanding how to cut angles is an important skill to learn for any goalkeeper. For example, in one on one situations where a goalkeeper must stop an oncoming attacker, simple movements such as running to meet the attack utilizing momentum and footwork will help close off the attackers ability to strike on goals.

Communication: Learning how to be vocal in the goal area is a fundamental skill. Understanding how to control your defense is one of the most neglected, and often most important skills a junior goalkeeper lacks. If you do not know how to communicate with your defense, then you are just one goalkeeper in a sea of attackers. Communication is also a vital life skill, something a junior goalkeeper can take away and utilize throughout their whole lives.

The above 3 points are extremely important for the junior or youth goalkeeper to utilize for greater goalkeeping success. Obviously, there is a whole sea of knowledge a goalkeeper will come across in their playing careers. To maximize your young goalkeepers knowledge, take the time to practice these three fundamental skills at home.

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