How to play goalie in soccer
Goalkeeping is one of the most important jobs for a player to do on a soccer field. The goalkeeper is the very last line of defence against the opposing team and it is his job not only to stop the ball from going into the net, but to organise his team defensively at all times.
The goalkeeper must be a confident individual, ready to make split second decisions and follow through with them with determination. The goalie must be fast, agile, strong and tough to be successful. Learning to catch the ball, position yourself, dive and jump and distribute are the main things you must do. Below are some tips on how you can improve as a goalkeeper.
The most important thing to master is catching the ball properly. Have a coach, or someone you know throw the ball at you at different heights and angles and at different speeds. Learn to watch the ball all the way into your hands. If the ball is above you, you should catch it with your palms facing the ball. If the ball is coming at you between your chest and knees, you should cradle the ball with your palms facing the sky. If the ball is rolling to you, you should put one knee on the ground between the ball and the goal and scoop it up with your hands.
Next, positioning is of critical importance. Run a few drills which involve free kicks and corners and learn where you should stand to face each threat. Learn the angles for different free kicks and the different corner kicks you will face. The positioning of a goalkeeper at these times is critical to a team’s defence.
Once you have practiced positioning and handling, you should move on to agility. How will you stop a shot headed for the top corner if you cannot reach it? Agility is important as a goalkeeper needs to dive to save certain shots and jump to catch the ball during a corner kick, a lofted pass or a lob shot. This is easy enough to practice with one other person. Simply have the ball kicked at you at different heights and to your left and right so you can practice. A goalie needs to be as comfortable in the air as he is on the ground.
Distribution is another important attribute for a goalkeeper to have. Once you have saved a shot or thwarted a corner kick, you must begin your team’s attack. You should be able to kick the ball and throw the ball any distance with great accuracy. Again this is easy enough to practice. Simply set up targets all over the pitch and try to throw or kick the ball as close as you can. Great distribution will improve your team’s chance of scoring a goal and is of vital importance.
Remember also to be confident. You are the organiser of your teams defence, make sure your defenders know this. You need to position them during free kicks and corners and help them out if they are out of position. You should also be confident about every decision you make, as a moment’s hesitation could cost you dearly.