This session is designed to assist goalkeeping coaches and keepers, at all levels.
It uses a keeper, a sub keeper and a goalkeeping coach.
The warm-up on match day is the culmination of the previous few days on the training ground and in the classroom, getting ready to cross the white line and deliver a performance both for the individual and the team.
I have always based the warm-up procedure as a 90-minute session, preparing for a 90-minute game. It involves technical, tactical, physical and mental components, and while the detail for Edwin Van Der Sar’s warm-up was very different to Peter Schmeichel’s, the theory and practice in preparation was the same.
This is all about being right mentally and tactically. Keepers must be confident in their technique – after all, their first task might be to receive a bouncing back pass!
Balls, cones, goals
Number of Players
Up to 4
90 minutes to kick-off
Keepers study information on the opposition strikers – all aspects such as structure of set pieces, and which foot outfield players favour. They do this using iPads and iPods.
The team meeting follows, with consultation between the outfield and goalkeeping coaches regarding defending and attacking set pieces.
60 minutes to kick-off
Individual physical preparation begins – this includes bike work, stretching, light massage and applying strapping.
45 minutes to kick-off
The goalkeeping team enters the field of play for a five-minute dynamic warm-up (1a). The working keeper practises distribution and passing. Four target areas are involved, as shown by the cones, so the keeper can increase and decrease passing range – from grounded passes to nearby targets and kicks ‘out of hands’ to distant targets. Ball familiarity and confidence is important here.
There is also a practice to the side of the penalty area – dipping volleys into the keeper’s chest (1b). These comprise six volleys from 8, 12 and 20 yards respectively. We want to see keepers demonstrating good foot movement, and enjoying the feel-good factor of stopping a succession of shots.
• The keeper receives and lays passes of different lengths to variable targets
• To the side of the area, dipping volleys are fired into the keeper’s chest from varying distances
40 minutes to kick-off
We fire six varying crosses (both inswinging and outswinging) from each side into the area in front of the goal (2). The sub keeper moves across the working keeper with a passive challenge. The types of crosses will reflect those we expect to see in the game itself. We look for an aggressive stating position by the keeper, who goes late and quick, always catching or punching.
• In the third practice, inswinging and outswinging crosses test catching and punching ability, whilst the second keeper makes a passive challenge
30 minutes to kick-off
We mark out designated areas in front of the goal (3) – different areas require different deliveries – looking again for confidence, focus and good technique, as well as the awareness of changing angles and distances. Each keeper completes one set from each side.
• In front of goal, different areas require different deliveries; Area 1: four volleys Area 2: four half volleys Area 3: two dipping volleys Area 4: four dipping volleys from different starting positions Area 5: touch and hit using sub keeper and goalkeeping coach
20 minutes to kick-off
Keeper 1 performs distribution work with the coach (4a), while keeper 2 works with outfield players on the side goal in a shooting practice (4b).
• The starting keeper performs distribution work with the coach A: three dead balls B: four back passes with both feet C: four balls kicked ‘out of the hands’
• In the shooting practice to the side the sub keeper now receives shots from strikers
15 minutes to kick-off
Keepers return to the dressing room for final preparations.
This is a functional shot stopping session that starts using just the goalkeepers and the goalkeeping coach and it then progresses into a broader session and a small-sided game with the outfield players. The integration of the outfield players makes the session more match realistic and it will enhance the goalkeeper’s decision making in game... MORE
This is a session for goalkeepers that teaches and rehearses dealing with crosses, both opposed and unopposed, and in the context of a small-sided game. The ability to manage balls crossed in from the wings is one of the most important parts of a goalkeeper’s game. It relies specifically on positioning, technique and good decision-making.... MORE
“…fantastic… I encourage all my coaches to read it,”