We regularly receive questions from our readers and one that we seem to be getting repeatedly relates to ways of training alone as a goalkeeper. Soccer players sometimes find themselves in situations where they want to train but do not have anyone to workout with. For this reason we have taken some time out to put together a couple of tips that will guide you when engaging in goalkeeper training on your own.
These guidelines will help you sharpen your goalkeeping skills in order to make a greater impact when you’re on the field. Before delving into the content it is important to know that goalkeeping is not just about diving and making saves, it is a pivotal position that requires several skills such as good footwork, accuracy, great ball handling, distribution strength and agility. So, when training, you have to ensure that your solo workouts sharpen all these skills as you strive to become a well-rounded goalkeeper.
Enhancing Your Footwork
All the elite goalkeepers in top flight soccer need to have good footwork. This enables them to move from one point to another quickly and with dexterity without losing focus. This is a skill that can be sharpened as you learn how to practice goalkeeping alone.
Before you begin any drill you’ll need some cones or any kind of makers (even sticks or stones will work!) that you can place on the ground.
You can start out with simple drills such as the Mini Shuttle or the Weave In/Out which are highlighted here. This video also shows a couple of basic goalkeeper drills to do alone.
You could also borrow some tactics from NFL players who do plenty of footwork drills for enhanced agility and speed.
This is one of the most overlooked skills that is important for any good goalkeeper. The good news is that improving your distribution is one of the easiest goalkeeper drills to improve and work on at home. The only gear that you need is a ball (of course it would be better if you had multiple balls) and a small area to kick and throw it.
A while back it was common to see defenders taking goal kicks for goalkeepers. This was proof that a lot of goalkeepers did not trust their kicking skills which is part of their overall distribution proficiency.
Kicking is an important aspect and every goalie should work on lobbing the ball with accuracy and sufficient power. Kicking drills consist of a layered process that includes mental focus, approach/run up, plant foot/kicking foot and lastly, ball contact.
Basic principles of these aspects of kicking training for goalkeepers can be seen in this step-by-step guide. Once you perfect your kicking you will be able to not only take good goal kicks but also have a pin point delivery after receiving back passes.
Distance and accuracy exercises should also be done for throwing and kicking from out of your hand. Also try long punts and sidewinders which are great for rapid ball delivery to wingers.
It could get rather tedious chasing after balls that you have kicked or thrown but this is part of the process of goalkeeper training alone.
Goalkeeper Distribution Practice Drills
This video features a couple of distribution drills that you could practice on your own.
Improving Good Ball Handling
Every time I have a chat with players who want to know how to practice goalkeeping alone, they tend to miss out on the fact that ball handling exercises can be done without any assistance.
It may not be easy to go through the simulations without help but using a vertical surface such as a wall can enable you to practice several drills on your own. This is one of those training drills where you get exactly what you put in.
What I mean by this is that if you play gently you will not be able to achieve significant improvement while playing in an actual game. The more intense the exercise the greater the results.
A basic wall-assisted ball handling drill is to rebound the ball repeatedly and catch it from different positions. This will enable you to practice hand service and catching. This is a great method of building a credible catalog of ball handling sequences.
Solo Goalkeeper Strength Training
Check out this video to see just how you can do some intense soccer goalie drills by yourself. If you’re lucky enough to have a rebounder net it would make the drills more dynamic, but these are great for starting out.
Notice the intensity this keeper puts into these drills to work on his individual ball handling skills, strength and diving.
Working on Explosive Strength
As a goalkeeper there are moments when you need sudden bursts of power especially when diving or making aerial catches. The best way of training to build explosive strength is by engaging in plyometrics (‘plyos’), simply known as jump training.
These exercises are ideal for goalkeepers because they help in strengthening the muscles that are used in exerting maximum force. This can increase your power and speed-strength over time.
The good thing about this kind of training is that you can easily do these goalkeeper training drills by yourself. You also do not necessarily require elaborate or expensive equipment.
Some of the common exercises include leg hops, Hurdle Hopping, bounds, Depth jumps, box jumps and many more which can be seen in this detailed guide.
You could also try some plyometric exercises that help enhance upper body strength. This will help build explosive power which is also useful for ball handling. See how to do plyometric drills in the video below.
I definitely hope that you have enjoyed this post and more importantly, learned a couple of ideas that will help you to start doing soccer goalie drills by yourself. The highlighted exercises will undoubtedly help you enhance your goalkeeping skills even without anyone to assist you.
If you enjoyed this article then be sure to read our selection of goalkeeper training drills which focus on the wider aspects of goalkeeper team training.
Have your Say
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We'd love to hear from you about any of the following:
- How do you do soccer goalie drills by yourself?
- What are your favourite solo goalkeeper drills?
- Do you prefer goalkeeper training alone or with others?
- How often do you train on your own?