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Coaching Soccer Goalkeepers

An icon of a soccer goalkeeper making a save.

I came across a very interesting interview with Raphael Schaefer, former professional goalkeeper and licensed goalkeeper coach for German second division club Nuremberg. Here is a summary of some key questions and answers.

Which basic characteristics must a goalkeeper have?

RS: that depends on age. Below U14 keepers should have natural flexibility, the courage to dive, and jumping ability.

How important is height?

RS: Height is important for professional teams. At U14-U19 it is less important because height deficiency can be compensated with technique and jumping power. At this level stopping balls and performing within the team is more important.

What are your priorities in goalkeeper training?

RS: Mastering the goalkeeping basics. 90% of goalie work is still using the hands. 10% is using the feet.

How do you integrate goalie training with team training?

RS: I coordinate the training with the coaches of all age groups to plan training sessions. We also review the past week’s performance of the keepers with video analysis to direct the efforts. We also record all training sessions so we can provide specific feedback. In our club we target to develop three keepers in each age group with the goal of leading the best to our professional squad.

For goalkeeper training drills and practices, check out our Soccer Goalkeeping Drills & Practice Plans

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