Soccer Skills:

Tips for Coaching a Successful Goalie for Youth Soccer

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A Youth Soccer Goalie - (Photo: Flickr.com)

Goalie is the most important position for your soccer team, and having a good goalkeeper can often be the difference for your team.  Hope Solo displayed this during the Olympics, making a brilliant diving save to preserve the lead late in the gold medal match.  If your team is blessed with a talented goalie, there is a good bet that your team will be successful and is likely to keep games close regardless of the talent of the field players.

Goalies are often described as slightly crazed.  What people mean by that is the burning desire to always get a hold of the ball in the penalty area.  A true goalie must have that drive and intensity to always win the ball, even if it means diving into an opponent or lunging into the air to punch away an incoming cross or corner.  This mentality needs to be professed to your player.  Make sure that he or she understands that they must be ruthless and attack the ball.

Another thing to profess to your goalie is to be vocal.  The goalie is in a position where they can see the entire field so they essentially are your soccer team’s leader.  Therefore they need to direct the players on the field, especially the defenders.  Make sure your goalie is comfortable shouting orders at players, especially during set piece moments.  The goalie needs to order players around, determine who marks which post, and help line up the wall during free kicks.  Doing these tasks efficiently can be critical at preventing silly goals from set pieces.

Therefore, be sure to instill a vocal leadership into your goalie, and make sure the rest of the team understands that he or she will be making these calls.  This is all part of establishing a successful team.

Another item to focus on for training your keeper is positioning.  Reflexes and diving should come naturally for most, but knowing where they should stand in the goal is vital for being in the right spot to make the save.  Spend time with your goalie to help them learn where they should be depending on where the ball is on the field.  Having your goalie in the right spot helps to shrink the goal for opponents and lessens their chances of scoring.  Otherwise, if your keeper is way out of position, they could be leaving a wide-open hole to allow goals in.

In conclusion, be sure to spend some quality time training your goalie.  Many people treat this position as a relative afterthought, but it is very important for your team to succeed.  Make sure to keep up their self-confidence and provide some of these valuable tips in order for them to make the big saves and win your team more games.

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Nicholas Spiller resides in LA where he dreams of musical super-stardom on his bass guitar. He also writes for Sportspiller.com and is an avid Arsenal fan!

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