The Only Goalkeeper Warm-Up Blueprint That You Need
The following are steps to take to ensure confidence in your goalkeeper prior to the start of the game.
Remember, there are three specific components for a successful warm-up.
The first and most important thing is that your goalkeeper is in a confident and relaxed state. This can be achieved through positive reinforcement, and putting them
in situations where they will be successful.
The body has to be ready to perform the movements required of a high level goalkeeper. (footwork, catching, diving etc)
It is my belief that all game coaches should have a basic understanding of the technical aspect of goalkeeping (i.e. body behind the ball, body set square to the shot etc.) . That being said; you should warm up your goalkeeper with activities that are realistic to the movements you expect in a game, all while using basic technique.
Note: Do not correct the goalkeeper on technique prior to the game. That will only freak out the goalkeeper and eliminate the most important component - Component # 1.
Here's a simple framework for a successful warm-up. Please remember that due to the level of your goalkeeper (exp. age, etc). you may have to alter your warm-up to guarantee maximum effect.
Note: Remember, every goalkeeper is different! What may work for one goalkeeper, may not work for another. It is your job to have open communication with the goalkeeper, to ensure that they get the most of their warm-up.
Warm Up Blueprint
Getting your goalkeeper to move his/her feet on a consistent basis. (jogging, side shuffling, cross-over steps, sprinting etc). This can be done with the ball or without the ball.
2. Ball handling
Keep it simple. Volleys to the hands, scooping the ball off the ground, balls into the "basket" (chest) , catching high balls. Note: please make your high balls realistic to the level of your goalkeeper. U-9's do not need a ball fifty feet in the air.
3. Hitting the ground comfortably, collapse diving
Once again, this does not have to be elaborate, this can be as simple as soft toss into space, and goalkeeper steps laterally to collapse.
4. Cross balls and shots (still building confidence)
The goal here is to have the goalkeeper become comfortable with moving inside the 18. All the mechanics of steps 1 through 3 should come into play.
5. Harder shots from angles
Now you’re implementing the mechanics of 1 through 3, and the tactical awareness of 4, to simulate game realistic shots, and reaction/set time.
6. Goalkicks, punts, and passbacks
The final stage of the warm-up should allow for the goalkeeper to get their bearings, slow down and mentally prepare for the game while staying active. A good choice for this is distribution as they are no longer in a pressure situation, yet they are still doing something "game related".
All in all it should take 35 minutes for a good warm-up. Incorporation of the team is optional but not recommended for youngsters.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What if I don't have that much time?
A. You can have the goalkeeper warm-up prior off the field. This way they are ready to go once game begins.
Q. What if I don't have a goal?
A. The Majority of the warm-up does not incorporate the goal. Once the goal becomes available then use. You can also set up cones like a goal in the meantime. Remember the goalkeeper does not "play" in the goal. They play in the goal box. A goal is simply an area they are trying to protect.
Q. What about younger players?
A. I would focus on ballhandling, footwork and getting to the ground.
Q. What about my team? I want them to take shots on goal.
A. Have them do their shooting when the goalkeeper is out of goal working on their distribution.
Q. But I need a goalkeeper in goal don't I?
A. That's a misconception. You can have a field player stand in goal, a parent, another coach, even a barrier. All that is being done is ruining the Goalkeeper’s confidence by having them consistently hammered.
Q. So are you saying never use your team with the goalkeeper?
A. No that's not what I'm saying. Incorporate your field players into the warm-up (swinging in crosses, hitting moving balls, shots up top from distance etc). The difference is that they are part of the warm up. Have them focus on getting the shot on frame rather than scoring. As the warm up builds they can start shooting farther away from the keepers’ range eventually culminating in game "speed" .
About the Author:
Michael Magid has 17 years experience in goalkeeper training and goalkeeper coaching. He is an excellent teacher of the goalkeeping position and he works hard at being a student of the game constantly making his own skills more advanced. His education has stemmed from some of the world’s greatest goalkeeper specialists. Prior to our club; Michael was the goalkeeping director at Real Socal, an assistant coach for Everton FC’s North American Program, a player/coach for the USL’s SFV Quakes, and a staff coach for Region IV ODP.
Additionally; Michael has coached collegiately by acting as a goalkeeper trainer/ camp staff at universities such as SMC, Cal Poly SLO, and UCLA. Michael holds several prestigious licenses in goalkeeping, and sports performance from Federations such as the USSF, NSCAA, NCCPT, AAAISMA, and others.
Contact: Michael Magid of the LA Goalkeeping Academy