Angled shot stopping


Double the penalty area


Balls, cones, mannequin, 2 full size goals

No. of players

Session: Up to 4 players Small-sided game: 14 players + 2 keepers

Session time

Total: 75mins, Practice angles: 40mins, Shooting: 15mins, Game: 20mins

This session is focused on angled shot-stopping. It looks at the principles of moving around the goal in order to give a keeper the best chance of reacting to danger. It’s based on an innovative concept that examines angles inside the penalty area, notably an ‘imaginary triangle’ around the six-yard box, two edges of which the keeper traverses.

The set-up forces shotstoppers to think differently about how they stand and the positions they adopt, because every week in the Barclays Premier League there are examples of keepers taking up incorrect positions. This training session aims to reinforce a real understanding of angles and distance from the goal.

What do I get the players to do?

Practice angles We set up in the penalty area, placing two angled cone gates outside the six-yard box. We position a serving keeper by each gate, with the main working keeper in goal. There are also red cones on the six-yard line, in line with each goalpost, plus yellow cones at 45 degree angles three yards outwards from each goalpost.

The main goalkeeper works around an imaginary triangle that extends diagonally from both posts to a point about four yards out, and in line with the penalty spot.

From the penalty spot, the coach serves into the main keeper, who tried to block or save the shot [1a].

The coach then half-volleys to the server on his right. As the ball is travelling, the keeper works down the angle of the triangle towards the post, and into position. The server catches the ball and serves at goal, as shown [1b].

If a saved shot goes inside the yellow cones, it’s safe. But if it falls anywhere around the red cones, the serving keeper can follow up. We repeat on both sides, and through different gates to vary angles.


• The keeper blocks the coach’s shot. As the ball falls behind the yellow cone, it is safe. If it falls near the red cone,  a server can follow up


• The coach then volleys to the server and the keeper moves along the line of the imaginary triangle to block a shot from the server


Set up as shown, with a mannequin placed centrally just inside the 18-yard line and cone gates on either side. The coach now lays a pass into a striker on the 18-yard line tight to the mannequin, who must turn either way and try to beat the keeper with a first-time shot [2a].


• In the shooting practice, the striker turns on his mannequin and shoots first-time

Next we introduce supporting midfielders – the striker holds up the ball and lays it off for a team mate to receive and move through the gate. The striker and the other supporting midfielder follow in for any rebounds [2b]. The keeper should use his positioning on the imaginary triangle to help stop the shots.


• Now a supporting midfielder must receive a lay-off and dribble through a gate, creating a wider shooting angle. The keeper must position himself to save the shot

How would you put this into a game situation?

Small-sided game

We conclude the session with a 36×44-yard game, with a goal at each end. It’s 7v7 plus keepers, played at high intensity, with players allowed to shoot from anywhere, as shown [3].


• The compacted nature of the small-sided game means keepers have to be aware of shots coming in from all areas

What are the key things to look for?

Keepers must ensure they adopt correct angles, using the imaginary triangle as a guide. We’re looking for them to get in position quickly, save well, and deflect the ball into safe areas, not back at players. In the small-sided game, the tight area means rebounds are a real threat for keepers, while players must shoot regularly, close down and find space.


  • Ball movementBall movement
  • Player movementPlayer movement
  • DribbleDribble
  • Optional movementOptional movement