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Goalkeeper Tips - Make the Save

Edwin van der Sar of Manchester United
AP Photo

A goalkeeper usually has to make at least one key save during a soccer match to help their team win.  And the team must get this save from their goalkeeper when they most need it - say when there's a defensive mistake or a counter attack and it's really all up to the goalkeeper to stop the shot.

The keeper needs to bail their team out with a big save at least once if not twice. Sure, they have to make all the routine stops and grabs, but the team needs that one save to preserve the win. The keeper has to come up big for the team...A defender might miss hit a ball or lose an attacking player when they make a run, and the keeper has to read the play and make up for that mistake.  Let's take a look at some goalkeeper videos below.

Update: What's the best goalkeeping DVD around, it's the Coerver Goalkeeping Essentials DVD, this is an excellent instructional DVD for beginner keepers or more experienced keepers - all levels of keepers will learn something from the DVD.

Edwin van der Sar of Manchester United

Take a look at this Edwin van der Sar highlight video. The Dutch and Manchester United keeper will go down as perhaps the one of the best goalkeepers in the English Premier League.


Learn more tips at: goalkeeper fundamentals.

Making the big save is what's expected from the goalkeeper. It's just the way things seem to go in soccer.   No matter what, a team might be dominating a game but the opposing team will still get that one chance. That one chance on goal. And that's why a goalie has to always be ready.

Now, even more than before, a goalkeeper has to be sharp with his or her feet, too.  First touch is crucial, and the ball has to be controlled out in front of the keeper so they can quickly line up where they want to kick the ball as a forward chases them down.  

Also, goalkeepers are the first line of the attack in soccer.  From taking goal kicks to punting the ball to a forward or midfielder, the keeper starts the offensive attack. 

How do you improve your accuracy on goal kicks and punts?  Easy.  By repeatedly practicing this on the soccer field. It's that simple - get out on the field and strike the ball to a player lining up at the half line or making a run towards the one of the sidelines. Of course making sure you striking the ball correctly, keepers should drive the ball when they're taking goal kicks.

Then, a keeper also has to be sharp with their throws.  Often, goalies nowadays can throw the ball almost to half field. If your having trouble throwing the ball far enough see what you can do to strenthen your arm in the gym.

But what does a keeper really bring to the pitch.  All these things are important but a keeper needs to bring an energy, a confidence, and leadership.  The goalie sees the whole field from the back.  The keeper is the eyes and ears of the team.  Lifting the team up when they are not playing up to their potential and directing players when they need to get in to position.  Above all, a keeper has to instill a confidence in the team. The best goalkeepers have an energy about them but are at the same time calm.  Give the team the will to win.  The spirit to keep going even when they're behind or to maintain a lead if their winning.  

Here are some tips to help goalkeepers feel comfortable with the ball both in their hands and at their feet.

  1. Ball familiarity – juggle the ball with your hands, forearms, writs, and then fists up in the air.
  2. Add goalkeeper to the possession game – work on your touch with both feet.
  3. Work on the Coerver daily footwork routine.
  4. Tap the ball between your feet – improve touch. Work on control and confidence with the ball.
  5. Join an indoor soccer team and play out in the field.
  6. Team up with a partner, perhaps a forward who needs to work on their shooting and crossing.

Must Watch: this amazing save by Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the MLS Cup final.


Goalkeeper Videos To Watch

More Goalkeeper Information:

Watch Kasey Keller, Brad Friedel, Kuszczak, or Buffon - watch great goalkeepers and copy their play.

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