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Coaching Drills Goalkeepers
Specific training for keepers. There are 91 comments on this articlex91
Planet Field Hockey
Planet Field Hockey
June 27, 2001 4.5 out of 5
Jools Autret
> Page Views 79642

As a player before and as a keeper today I always felt they were forgotten during trainings. As a coach now I understand why. When you?re on your own it is difficult to look after the keeper because he has and needs a specific training. It has nothing to do with tactics. A keeper needs to be technical, skilful. A keeper needs to be sharp, fast and he needs a lot of reflexes. However, a reflex has to be practised! A reflex is not just a gesture you make by chance. It is (and must be) something repeated a lot of times to become a  reflex.

This year I had two keepers from time to time (and apart from myself). But I based the following exercises on my own experience and on exercises I have done myself with a trainer.


A keeper must run to warm up, stretch a bit, especially shoulders. I had two dislocations the last two years.

Exercise one: 

The first exercise is a usual one, a player with the ball, the keeper has to kick the ball back to the player.


Exercise two:

The second exercise is slightly more difficult. The trainer will place some cones to oblige the keeper to make good clearances and sharp ones. The player will have three different possibilities one in the centre and two on each side of the keeper, there the keeper will have to dive to clear and save the ball which cannot go between the cone and the post it must be cleared beyond the cones. For the rest of the cones, the ball will have to be cleared between the cones.

The player can start with the legs and then he can lift the ball, higher and higher.

Exercise three:

The player takes 15 balls which he places all around the D. The cones are at the same place, with the same use. The player will hit the ball as quickly as possible and will try to shoot towards the keeper. Like in the precedent exercise, the player can lift the ball and as there are 15 balls he can change whenever he wants. The player can also hit softly and then much harder.

 Exercise 4:

 In exercise 4, the player needs tennis balls and/or golf balls. The GK kneels down, in the middle. Balls are sent on the right and on the left. GK has to dive to clear them and back to his position, 20 balls may be used. The feeder will send the ball with the hands to place the ball more easily.

Exercise 5:

Same exercise, however this time the keeper will stand up and clear the ball only with his stick and/or hand.

Exercise 6:

In this exercise, the keeper stands by the right post (or the left one...). He looks on his left as if the action were coming from that side of the D. The player stands 5 meters from the opposite post. When the keeper gives a signal, the player hits or sends the ball, either low or high, the keeper has to dive to clear the ball. This can be done on both sides.

Exercise 7:

Then the trainer can organise a 1X1 by different means. This can also be practised on the left hand side.


 Exercise 8:

 Then two players on each side, as soon as the ball has been hit another ball can be given to the second player.

  Exercise 9:

 The ball is struck by a player as hard as possible towards the keeper whose aim is to kick it into the goal.


 Exercise 10:

Here the goalkeeper faces the net. At a signal given to the keeper, he turns and a the player will send the ball wherever he wants, the keeper has to save it. An important thing to remember is that the GK has to look at the ball, not the player.

Exercise 11:

In this situation, there are four balls placed as shown, the keeper has to go towards the first one, does as if he was kicking it and back to his position. The aim is to go back to your position without looking back, without looking where you are.

Exercise 12:

 Like in exercise 9, but this time, the keeper lies down and waits for the signal to get up and save the ball, this must be done on both sides and the ball coming from different positions, not just in front of the keeper.

Exercise 13:

One of the difficulties when you play keeper (I find it difficult) is to know where to stand, especially in situations where the ball is coming from the left or the right.

of course, they can be organised in a different order. But they are basic stuff. Hope you like it!

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Comments on this article
06-28-2001  1:10 am
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I agree, keepers are forgot in training and i am inclined to print this out and give it to my coach - so that im not just stopping hits from the top of the D all training. Good stuff.... What would u think about me telling my coach how to train me? just kidding.
Erik Vreeman
06-28-2001  4:36 am
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Great go on like this.
06-28-2001  5:21 pm
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I wanted to write this because I got injured twice (once was my fault I did not warm up before we started) due to the stupidity of my coach and some players, all they see in you is a target; a challenge for themselves. They believe that if they scare you to death they are great and good players, but they don't realise that, nowadays, to have a 1x1 against the keeper is very rare and therefore the fact that they would strike it very hard would not happen. To play in goal IS dangerous, it involves the taking of a justifiable risk, however if trainers/coaches allow the rest of the team to endanger their keepers' life, then they are irresponsible or even negligent. At some point I refused to come to a training where nothing was organised for the keepers and my coach agreed to ask someone else to do it (I was very persuasive, I can be somtimes). Nick, tell your coach that he is responsible for your safety, if you feel secure during a training, you will improve and you will be willing to take more risk during games. People who think for you and think that by striking the ball the hardest they can, they will help you, well...THEY ARE WRONG. To be a keeper is a very special position to play. I always felt that you are part of a team especially when you play a great game, but you are also alone most of the time because you don't "really" teke part into the game.
Thanks for your support, there will be some more stuff.
06-29-2001  11:32 am
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As one of the strange people who play in goal and love it I had a similar problem to Jools but found the ideal solution is to give the attacker a "gentle" tap on the shins with my stick when they tried to drive a ball through me in a 1v1 situation eventually they learn that you want to be stretched to save not battered and bruised. When an attacker goes in to fligtht over your body and lands in the goal thet learn a similar lesson.
There are also great keepers drills on the obo web page.
06-30-2001  3:36 pm
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Kieran, this is a different approach but seems...physical. Another good one is to dive for the player and not the ball during a training; if you don't miss the guy, you can be sure he will remember u...
07-25-2001  4:37 pm
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This is the best site for all field hockey goaltenders. Keep up the great work. I love it!
Louis( belgium)
08-03-2001  10:10 am
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Let me start by saying: this site is AMAZING!!!!!!! Your training schedules and exersises are very good and usefull.
do you have more of this stuff???
08-06-2001  1:12 pm
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to louis from Belgique
Thanks for your support, it s reassuring to see how many people actually agree with the stuff I do nad that Hari and Andrew kindly publish on the best site about hockey!!!
08-09-2001  12:32 pm
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Hey, wow! this is cool, all through Practice all the Goalies do it stand in the Cage and block balls and practice our Corners. now i can have something better to do than just sit in the goal and smell bad. on my Team the Goalies don't even run, even though we know we should, we get out of it! this year i'm going to have to run since there are three more goalies coming in, and i want to be better than them!! Thanx a lot, i'm going to give these Goalie-drills to my coach and see what she thinks!!
08-16-2001  3:45 pm
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Thanks for your support, I wish everybody was like you!!!

These are basic stuff, there are more things to do, your coach should know about it!!!
08-17-2001  4:05 pm
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To Jools or anyone with helpful info.
I would like some advice on how to train a goalie on one on one battles. She gets psyched out when I shoot on her alone. In games or other drills she responds well. I want her to get past this. any ideas would be helpful.
08-19-2001  4:41 am
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To Elisabeth
That's a very good question, I will make a drill about it today and I will ask Andrew to publish it as soon as possible, I will send you a copy directly so that you start early!!!

Jools the nutter
08-25-2001  7:33 am
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Goalie manual

Maybe this 100 page Goalie Manual will help you.

John Picone
10-02-2001  7:56 am
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Coaching a New Keeper
My high school keeper stands up too much. Great reflexes, but doesn't dive for the ball. How do you get the GK to "throw" themselves left or right for a high or low wide shot?
10-02-2001  10:16 am
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To John
Use some tennis balls first and trhow them with your hand. Make your keeper work right and left. He or she has to gain confidence in diving, it is not an easy thing to do.
Then, as in the kicking exercise in this article, set up some aims, some balls on the ground on different parts of the D so that your keeper dives towards them, and then get up go back to his/her line to finally dive again on another ball. Then ask your players to come into the D without really playing and ask your keeper to go for the ball. Then start hitting the ball from outside still using tennis balls and then change to hockey balls either training ones or real ones. If you give me your e-mail I'll send you a diagram so that it is clearer.

Hope this helps!

:p jools the nutter:p
10-21-2001  11:51 am
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Thought your article on goalkeeping was great,
I would like some further information please
10-22-2001  5:42 pm
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10-30-2001  12:15 pm
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Finally, someone who understands that a keeper must be trained and not used for target practice!
Please can you send me some further info on how to improve my reflexes and how to encourage one of the juniors to dive to make a save.

Bernie Quayle
11-01-2001  3:11 am
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Specific training for Goalkeepers
It's nice to see that there are other keepers in the same "D" as me and I'm not the only one who stands in goal at training with a sign saying 'please hit me'. Unfortunatley the club I play for doesn't have any proper coach. Just a few of the better players in the club who take training. Which is a shame because the keepers are the most neglected players. So me and the other keepers have had to take it upon ourselves to train each other and have found your training excersises on your web site very helpfull. The lack of coaches is disappointing, especially as we, and other clubs in my area, have some very good young players,not just keepers, which in order to improve will need proper coaching and not "how to hit balls at the keeper from the top of the "D".
Can you recommend any videos, manuals or books that cover goalkeeping and/or outfield skills and training techniques. Or any coaching courses that can be taken in the UK.

11-02-2001  5:26 am
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Bernie Quayle...

I would come to train you depending where you live, I would come for a session to tell you about goal keeping.
As far as my knowledge is concerned, I believe that Hari Kant has made a video about goalkeeping, I haven't seen it but I am sure it is very good. Otherwise there are not many books about Goalkeeping, here at University we have a huge range of sports books and the ones about hockey are sometimes 20 years old. I am quite busy at the moment but I will try to send some new drills to Hari and Andrew, I have so many articles that I haven't finished...oh my god, someone help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jools the nutter:p
12-29-2001  5:25 pm
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I'm very impressed by the drills on this website adn im glad that someone is tyring to help u spoor neglected goalies! I understand that my coach cant spend much time helping me cause she has the rest of the team to coach as well. But i absolutely hate it when i'm ignored for most of the training session until she does shooting drills and at the end of training everyone is ready to go home but im just getting into it. Thats very frustrating! Ive thought about printing out this page and showing her the drills but i feel bad because i know she cant be everywhere at once. Are there any drills that i can do on my own when im waiting to be shot at?!?
Stef Walker
01-09-2002  2:40 pm
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Thanks for this site, it's the only one I can find with any GOOD tips on it. I'm 15 and currently studying P.E, as part of my course work, I have to coach someone in one particular aspect of sport. Could you give me any coaching tips? Thanx alot

01-12-2002  4:43 pm
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To be a good coach doesn't mean you are a good player. I also want to say that the good tips to have is to use clear words that everybody understands, try to address everbody when you talk to a group, ask people to ask questions, never think you know and you do better than them, I have trained people who were much better than me but I was respected because I didn't use my position as a power. I actually learned as much as I was trying to teach. I think that to be a good coach you need to be willing to help people, you need a strong personnality, the kind of people who would talk a lot on the pitch without being overbearing...Basically, you need to always remember that if you respect players, you will be respected and that if you are motivated they will be as well.
There are a lot of things to say about coaching anc coaches and I hope other people will contribute here.

brian andrews
01-16-2002  5:12 pm
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as most junior coaches are field players this info is priceless and should be widely distributed by all junior governing bodies as a matter of policy to all clubs
01-20-2002  6:00 pm
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coaching goalkeepers
i just love your site . i used to be (1980's) a field player then was converted to a goalkeeper by my coach (i was the brave or crazy one!!!). now i'm trying to coach other `keepers'. Your drills are very helpful, can you give me some advice in teaching keepers how to actually dive laterally to make effective saves? Looking forward to hearing from you nicnic
01-21-2002  11:24 am
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Diving or not diving, that is the question!!!!
Hi people,
it seems that diving is a problem, especially for female keepers as they are the ones who ask the question but I am sure some male keepers don't dare...anyway, a bit of fun is never a bad thing...

I will work on what to say in a longer article but I will just recommend here that you go on a grass pitch one day when it has been raining like hell and put your kit on and just enjoy diving in the mud...that is my first answer to the problem.
As far as efficacy is concerned, I know that with the gloves they "build" today, I personnaly have difficulties diving and I usually use an old ice-hockey glove as I find them easier to control the stick (usually an indoor one as it is much lighter).

Otherwise, just organise some exercises like in this drill for keepers I wrote, instead of running and kicking the four balls around the D, do the same but ask your keeper to dive to clear them; also, push balls alternatively on the right and left and ask your keeper to either clear them with the stick only or with both stick/lefthand; then after pushing, send balls in the air, a yard high or so and order your keeper to save them even if it is not targeted in the net. Finally, and that is where coaches make a massive mistake when training a team, why don't you organise some 1X1, keepers love it. An attacker against the keeper and talk to your keeper a lot, the ball must be followed and not the feet of the players, not his stick, just look at the ball. It will be tiring for the keeper to have 20 people coming one after another but fitness will improve and just have a rest each time the whole group has played. and start again, if you have several keepers, then make series of 1X1 or divide groups if you have a lot of players. Fitness for both the keeper and the player will improve, technique as well, a keeper on the ground is a "dead" keeper, make sure you don't dive stupidly, if you dive to ealy you have lost, if you dive to late you have lost. Don't forget you have two feet and a stick, and that if during a training nobody is looking after you, get a foot ball, get rid of the pads and practise with both your feet to dribble, and get a tennis ball and your stick and practise jungling and dribbling with one hand! then put the pads back on, get a hockey ball and try the same!!!

Here we are, I think that you have some useful info here...hope you will like it.

Lawrence [Scotland]
02-17-2002  3:40 pm
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These training drills
Hey Jools, the page is excellent!
The drills aren't just useful for em to tell my coach (i do have a specialist keeper coach but its good 2 know what i should be doing) but thy're also great cos sometimes i get asked 2 help with the younger kprs and its cool 2 have some drills that might hepl them other than how 2 kick the ball in thye first place. Keep it up, it'll be a great help to loads of kprs.
02-19-2002  6:25 am
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As a coach i am always looking to learn new drills and ideas.Thank you.
Steve the Caveman
02-27-2002  1:32 pm
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Goal Keepers of the World Unite!
Jools, loved the site, especially the drills. I've been a goalie on and off for the last 25 years, mixing it with left back (and the odd right/left wing when the opposition arrived with 10 men!!).
I'm going to start using the drills as I'm fed-up of being coached by out-field players who say I'm stupid to play in goal anyway! Especially one who's reportoire of 'shots' consists of a 'sweep' towards goal from all of 3 metres! He also claims I 'go down' far too early.I suppose he means diving but I can't help it if my spreading waistline won't defy the Laws of Gravity!! On this subject, any tips on diet and nutrition for our specialised position (pleeeease let it include Guiness!)
regards, Steve the Caveman
02-28-2002  9:56 am
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Diet and guiness...
Hi Steve,

Na, I don't think to eat and drink guiness is good for your health...If I were you, I would eat/drink a lot of vitamins before and after the game. I am not an international player, never been one, will never be one...Therefore as far as diet is concerned just one word of wisdom: "nothing suceeds like excess" but unfortunately in sports you need to find the right balance, I have stopped drinkng a lot and I have lost so much weight...But you don't have to give up guiness, just make sure you drink less of it. Fruits and vegetables are the best thing to have before or after a game or even at half time, well that's what I think anyway. Some orange juice gives me vitamins and keeps me alert during the game...hope this helps

tony irving
04-15-2002  5:24 am
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G.K. diving
Start with the G.K. kneeling up by a post.Without a ball get them to "fold" onto the ground until they are lying full stretch on the ground if possible with their head up(the eyes are then parallel with the ground).The folding progression is-
side of lower leg.
Think L.hand this covers the gap under the armpit but is also available for balls which might be lifted.
Place the G.K.on their haunches and repeat.Wen they get the hang of it they then stand up and dive for real.Then introduce a ball.
Although it is a "folding action" thre should be a drive element which comes from the inside of the foot opposite to the dive.Put cones along the back line and see what ground the G.K.covers.
MOST IMPORTANT practice getting up quickly withou exposing the top of their kees.I will expand on this if any one is interested.
Have fun.
Duncan W
04-28-2002  10:46 am
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I tend to find that Goalkeepers will dive better/further if they see a ball rolling into the far corner of their goal as it gives them something to save and motivates them to dive further.

What you have to remember is that diving is not nearly as effective if it takes four years to get back up - by which time an attacker has put in a rebound!

When you do diving drills get your keepers to get up ready for the next shot as fast as possible as this can so often be crucial.

I find it also helps if you get your younger goalkeepers to come and watch your first team goalkeeper train as it gives them something to aspire to and also lets them see roughly how it should be done. Whats that quote? "one picture paints a thousand words" Its something like that anyway! The same thing applies when you are trying to teach younger keepers a specific skill!

The drills are excellent keep them coming!
05-08-2002  12:47 pm
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Thanks Jools!
Jools, this site is amazing! Like many goalies I have spoken to, I learned to keep on the fly, not much skills training during practice. Thanks for bringing all these resources and exercises to light!

And thanks to Rene for the goalie manual link! I will definitely pass this around to the goalies I know.

This summer I will begin helping out coaching young kids, some of which are their for goalkeeping. Do you have any suggestions as to how to coach young kids (say ages 9-13) for this very specialized position?
05-15-2002  10:46 am
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the first rule is to make sure they are comfortable, talk about the risks and the good sides of being a goalkeeper, you have to work a lot on skills as well, kicking and diving have to be practised a lot...Also, emphasise on the warm ups and everything that is linked with that.

Good luck, patience is very important with kids.

Jools :p
05-19-2002  6:56 am
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Excelent job!
Wow!!!this site is wonderfull...I'm a Brazilian Keeper and I'm 15years old. please keep this on Jools.I have some problems about stop the ball and then kick it.Can anybody help me?
Your diving tips are great...thx a lot!
05-19-2002  8:45 am
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Very good question, it is, indeed, difficult to control the ball with the kind of pads you have nowadays...It is very bouncy and therefore, good forwards could take the opportunity to get the ball and score.

I think that, during trainings, as players have to shoot and stop and pass again the ball at the beginning of every training, so should you but only with your kickers. Ask a player to start pushing the ball quite slowly to be able to "master" the gesture...You have to, what I would call, "suck the ball in". To accompany the ball with your kicker in the backward direction. If you stop the ball, it will rebound, but if you try to get the kicker to slow down the pace of the ball, then you will control it.
Then ask the player to push harder and harder...Until you really are confident doing it.
Also, during trainings, if you get a game at the end, as you should do, ask players to pass the ball back, this will give you two important things:
- confidence, your fellow partners will make you participate, you will feel you are reliable and that you are part of the team, but don't be surprised if it doesn't happen during a "proper" game.


- it will allow you to learn how to "distribute" the ball, how to think quickly before kicking and where or in what direction to kick it.

Your confidence is the best thing you can work on, if your confidence is high, then you will be able to progress and get better and better...If you feel left out (as many keepers do) then you will go down and you won't be a good keeper.

thanks for your question!!!

05-24-2002  5:06 pm
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I showed it to my coach and now I'm using left and rigth kickers
06-08-2002  11:07 am
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Hey! My name is Becky, and I am goign to be a freshman in highschool this fall. Last season i was asked to play goalie for JV field hockey. I loved it. I had a shut out season. Im a small girl and i often get some funny looks when people find out im a keeper. This season, i was LOVE to play varsity. Even tho there are possible 2 goalies playing (one maybe injured) i am told that i am better then the goalie who will be playing, but she is a senior. The coach who coaches varsity says "she plays to win" and i know if she played me, i think i'd do better in goal then she did. Im sorry, i dont want to be mean i just want to play varsity so badly. Are there any tips you can give me to show this coach i am ready to play? I'll do anything. Thanks! You may e-mail me @ superbecky101@hotmail.com if you don't want to post your answers here.. thanks a lot!
06-13-2002  10:40 pm
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I think there are some good drills here, I tend to worry even in warmups where GK's return the ball to the shooter, I think in all circumstances we should be practising to make accurate wide clearances at all times so there is no 2nd and 3rd shot. Inevitably this is where a lot of goals come from. So even though it is a pain to collect the balls all the time I believe we should encourage this. Just a thought.
Ms V
06-14-2002  2:12 am
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Yes, familiar questions and complaints. As an experienced coach and exkeeper I come across this all the time, and I think the keepers in the teams i have coached have been a little bit lucky. It is hard for coaches - but there should be some real teaching of skills and drills to coaches when they get their qualifications. In Aust. at a Level 2 coaching course (a lot of state and some Aust coaches were there) there was a keeping component. As a keeper I was asked to pad up. Even at this level some of the drills were inherintly incorrect - so I had to correct our facilitator on what a keeper would or would not do in some circumstances.
My tips though: Don't be afraid to include the keeper without their stick, in a drill. Using their feet, running around in their gear.
Start a drill with a pass/hit to the keeper somewhere on the field, and get them to 'pass' the ball to a player within the drill. ie don't use the coach as the 'pass'.
Instead of using a box drill with defenders in them as a dribbling and dragging skill for getting around the defender, replace the defender with a keeper, and widen the box. Perhaps put a few boxes with keepers in a row (We nick named this "The Gauntlet" from Gladiator)
Get the keepers to hit, throw to each other in the drills in the article, so as to coach themselves whilst the coach is coaching the field players.
Be inovative in involving the keepers in your normal drills and make the training fun for them!
Great work guys - keep it up!!
06-17-2002  4:12 am
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i always say good coach will keep a additional coach to lookafter goalkeeper.
come on india pls do same.
rajinder you need additional coach to help indian goalkeepers.
06-28-2002  9:08 am
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hey jools, good stuff
Also, nice one to everyone else for their contributions - if anything its good to know that neglect of keepers in training situations is universal.
As a keeper, i pretty much agree with everything you have said drill-wise, and have taken on board many of your suggestions. Having been a keeper for almost all of my time playing hockey (since i was about 9 yrs old), it pleasing to know that people are developing new ideas to keep GK's stimulated and involved. Personally, i find the hardest thing is trying to perfect my keeping in terms of technique. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of advice for simple but necessary details like balance, positioning, and actual playing of the ball. My biggest problem at the moment is getting short corners blown against me for lifting - if i am at full stretch to save a shot with my kickers, i have trouble keeping the ball down. The umpires say the have to give the short, and no-one seems to be able help me out. Any ideas?
07-01-2002  5:45 pm
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I would say that you need to go towards the ball, try to be over it with your head, to "master" the ball...This is not easy when running or fencing towards it, but the best way, in my opinion, is to, instead of kicking it, to stop it. To put your foot firmly on the ground. The ball should not be lifted...As far as umpires are concerned...they must take into account several things: is the ball coming towards you lifted or not; is the ball ou kicked that dangerous and finally is the ground enabling the ball to be lifted...finally some common sense would usually help...

Hope this will help you

07-06-2002  8:29 am
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Top site! Can you help me though? Eight months ago, I was in a training session accident when I took my helmet off after instructing the players to stop shooting to attend to a problem with my kit. One player had another shot after not hearing and hit me in the face. I had a broken cheekbone and eyesocket. Thankfully, my face now is almost back as it was before, but my goalkeeping is not, I have lost all confidence, even with wearing a visor. Im only 17 and I need to gain my confidence back to progress. Please help!
07-06-2002  11:01 pm
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Stupid manners are dangerous
Hi Nicky,

I can understand how you feel, i got injured twice and I dislocated my shoulder on both occasions...All I can say is that it will take time whatever you do. The best thing is to start from scratch...It's a tough thing to do but that's the best way. You will need to learn again what you already know, your approach will be different though as you will need to force yourself but DO NOT put yourself at risk, take your time and DO NOT accept people who would urge you to do things, or shout at you to do this or that, this is YOUR choice to play again and therefore YOUR decision to diven, kick, tackle, stop or else...you are the one who decides, DO NOT let anyone tell you that you're a chicken or that you're scared or even that you're crap!!! If that happens, tell those people to put the pads on, take three yards and hit the ball as hard as you can to show them they can be scared too, or you can even scare them during a training by getting them all the time...This may sound harsh, but en eye for an eye may be a good answer. If that doesn't change anything, then ask for a specific training...
I will finish by saying that your coah is incompetent, the first thing to learn or to teach is that when one strikes the ball, especially during a training, one has to look up, to make sure nobody is in front or may be hurt, this is also very important to enable people to look for options.
I hope you will recover quickly and that my advice will be helpful.

Good luck

07-11-2002  8:51 pm
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thanks for the useful tips jools, they're fantastic. I am a 15yo girl who is playing for a state leage one side in australia. i've only been keeping for three years, and have never had any proper goalie training. Could you give me any tips on practising sliding and when to do it etc? thanks, sally
08-01-2002  9:52 am
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i am 14 and i am tierd of coaches that think good traning for a keeper is top of the D smashers at you or close up hits. and the drils on the site are verygood i mean very good. i feel like giving them to my coach.
08-22-2002  12:58 pm
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I am a JV coach. I have a keeper that is having difficulty controlling the ball. Frequently, the ball is popped up high as it is rebounded. Any suggestions as to how to help her control the ball and keep it lower?
Pamela (Canada)
08-23-2002  8:39 pm
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Kepper Clinics
I am a 21 yr old keper and play in Nova Scotia, Canada. I have had limited coaching and would like to improve my game dramatically. If anyone knows of any clinics that I may be able to go to, or places to play in the summer, even if it is in Europe, i would love to hear from you. i am dedicated to the sport, but in Canada it is a sorry place for coaching if you are not in central canada. Thanks for your help. This is a wonderful sight.
09-10-2002  1:25 pm
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Pamela - clinics
Have you looked into SuperCamp? check out: http://www.usfieldhockey.com/super/super.htm
Not familiar with clinics in europe, however, i know this one in the US is for a variety of ages...
good luck!
10-08-2002  6:52 pm
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I've just been offered to coach the goalkeepers at my uni.I did it at my high school but I feel as the standard is higher I believe it will be a lot different and more challenging. Iam kinda being thrown in the deep end with this so I'm pretty nervous, I've made myself familar with the drills on your site(10/10) but is there any advice you could give for first time coaches i.e paticular drills or for coaching two keepers at the same time.
Cheers and keep this incredible site going.
10-09-2002  11:05 am
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What to dooooooooooo?
well, make them work together is a good thing to do, especially to control the ball...the question about how to keep the ball low, keepers have to be "over" the ball and go towards it, if it goes up it is because he is leaning backward...but to go back to Franckus' question, just ask them to really show what they are able to do, especially diving and other stuff, a training is very important and they have to realise how lucky they are to have you. So tell them to put every effort in trainings without being stupid. Also insist on warming up; this is so important, I had two injuries because I didn't warm up properly and I really regret it now!!!:mad:

Now; all the stuff I put on here is easy to do, and you can adapt a training to every session, meaning, you can spend one entire training on one of these points. But you can also find some new ideas by combining different exercises...For example dribbling with one hand, or dribbling with pads on and a foot ball, or playing "tennis" with the other keeper and just the kickers...see I just thought of those ideas, you certainly will find some other ideas!!!

Thanks for the comments!!!

Ms V
10-10-2002  12:06 am
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Which State are you in in Aust? You should try contacting your State body, who should have a goal keeping program during the Christmas School holidays. They have different levels of expertise at these camps. If you are in Sydney, please click on my profile, and I may be able to help...
10-28-2002  10:33 am
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tony irving said he had a drill for learning how to get up without exposing your knees as a man with two knee operations behind him this is a skill I would really like to learn and practice. If anyone else has tips or drills I'd love to see them.
It's great to see that keepers are getting better training than hit it very hard from the top of the D and see if they break. My fitness and injury rate has improved since our coach started doing drills like the ones above. Keep up the good work!
10-30-2002  12:09 pm
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GK Coaching
I've been fortunate to be coached by GK coaches in the UK for the later part of my career and am now a GK coach myself.
The issue in a typical club coaching session tends to be that of time.
The GK is a specialist position demanding completely different skills from those of field players - and there is typically at least an 8:1 ratio of field players to GKs in a typical training session, so if there is no specialist coach or assistant available, the coach has a problem.
One approach to consider is negotiating with your coach so that at least once every session you are able to practice a specific skill - even if this is worked into field player drills.
Then once every 3-4 sessions see if you can ask for a significant part of the session which is devoted to exercises which develop your GK skills and at which several field players work with you - with the understanding that the focus is on the GK.
It requires communication, but also an understanding of the possibilities - which is why the article posted here is so useful - it makes you think.
The clubs I work with are fortunate, as they can afford a lead (and sometimes an assistant) coach, plus me! GK's then get specific sessions every week before joining the rest of the team sessions.
For more GK coaching ideas, English Hockey have published a coaching manual on CD Rom, written by John Hurst and Helen Birch - it's excellent and covers many aspects of coaching. It's available online at http://www.hockeycentre.com
(search in the video/cd section)
luis verduzco (México)
11-29-2002  11:46 pm
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goalkeeping is great
i've been a keepr for 17 year, i've trained at the national team in 1989-1992, now i'm 40 and still playing, and i believe that we goalies are special people, not everybody can be a keeper, specialy the field players ha ha ha.
i agree with all of you, we goalies are forgoten, the team remebers you when you had a great game, but they don't remember, that players win games, goalies win championships, every good team is based on a good goalie.
this is a great place for goalies
keep on goaling until your body let you
01-24-2003  3:01 pm
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thanks a bunch
hey, I have never played field hockey really before, a couple times in gym class but never on a team, and this year i opted for goalie...i'm worried about letting my team down because i'm just getting used to the skills. Thanks for this great page, i have a better idea what i have to do now! THANKS!
04-18-2003  9:04 pm
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i love this site. on my school team our keepers already do half these drills, i never knew they were actually recommended! i did find some that seem to be useful and i will defenitly try them. on my indoor club team we actually don't get that much attention...but thanx for all the advice
Trev (new zealand)
07-28-2003  5:26 am
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Goal keeping
I have been a gk for 33 years and are now getting a second wind hitting 40 and still loving the position, and have just started coaching some keepers after watching coaches putting gks in the goal and having players smack balls at them.
the worst time for a keeper to get hurt or injured is at practice with the
players at the top of the D because theres allways one that has no idea of timing & fires one in as another shoots.
Goalies are different they must be able to read the play, antisapate &
forsee potential possibilities, comunicate with their fellow players,able
to make instant disisions, some before you realise them, & be agressive (controlled) & allways protect the goal & do not forget to strech those muscles & have fun.
08-17-2003  10:14 am
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a really good article my coach told me to get some GK drills these are the best i've seen yet
08-28-2003  8:53 pm
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A way to learn how to dive is first to learn how to fall in a controlled manor. Then you can progress with using power to get to the corner. Make sure that your left hand stays in front of your body, so that you don`t fall on your back, but stay on your side. One more thing, I think that it is importend that you don`t use golf/tennisballs until you are at a high level. Focus first on the basics, then progress with difficulty.
Graeme Cooke
09-21-2003  5:45 pm
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I my self am a keeper and this year have been selected for are 1st XI but as we have lost a senior keeper coaching has decreased but i now hope to try out these drills with myself and our other keepers

visit www.eastantrim.co.uk the best hockey site on the net
09-27-2003  4:40 am
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This the best !!!
This is the best hockey site on the net !!!!

Amanda Mordavsky
10-13-2003  12:32 pm
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Keeper training
I've been a keeper for more years than I'd like to admit, and whilst still playing competitive hockey, I've also taken on the task of coaching some uni keepers. Unfortunately, it looks like they've never had any coaching before, and I need some very, very basic skills to correct several years of bad habits...any suggestions? Thanks!
10-25-2003  7:52 pm
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Diving and Splits
my team says i'm a good goal keeper.. i play for warwick in the US...maybe you've heard of it. the one thing is.. i can't seem to throw a split or dive in a game. i know how to do them.. i just can't do them in games. i practice them with my coach all the time. do u have any suggestions on how i could be more relaxed and throw a dive?
11-02-2003  11:01 am
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new drill
I have another drill much like one of yours, would like some feedback. You set up 3 cones in an ark about 10-15 yards from the keeper, who has to stay on one cone in the middle. A player stands on each of the other 3 cones. There are two balls. When the balls are played the keeper has to kick the ball to the player who has not got the ball, or who has just passed it.


x x

11-18-2003  6:33 am
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Keeper Coaching
Hi Jools,

As a Forward in hockey i am one of those players that in training like to fire the balls at goal all night long and see if i can hit the keeper. As i know that the keepers get very bored of this i have taken apun myself to now become the Goal Keeper coach for my club and i take 4 keepers for training on a diffrent night (so i still get to fire balls at them on Club training night). I have printed out your diffrent coaching drills and have been searching the net for more with no luck. Could you please send me some via e-mail (mavs_234@yahoo.co.uk) some more coaching techniques and drills so i can then pass on your knowledge to the 4 youngsters that i train. It would be of great help.

11-18-2003  12:41 pm
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i think a keeper should have there won training routine

using stick skills is one thing i think keepers should do it sounds daft but diving and using there stick at the same time is a good way of clearing the ball
11-25-2003  9:06 am
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Stick Clearance
Im a goalkeeper in Hong Kong, aged 15. I have been playing 4 yrs ago, I know the drills above are good and I think fitness is a big challenge against all goalkeeper. Luckily, my coach knows how to train a goalkeeper, im very fortunate. I think using a stick to clear is not a good idea, it should just be a spare tool. The surface area of the stick is a lot less than anything else, the chance of strucking the ball and clear it is lower. Also, I am left handed so it is a problem for me to use my stick to hit and clear properly.
11-25-2003  9:06 am
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Stick Clearance
Im a goalkeeper in Hong Kong, aged 15. I have been playing 4 yrs ago, I know the drills above are good and I think fitness is a big challenge against all goalkeeper. Luckily, my coach knows how to train a goalkeeper, im very fortunate. I think using a stick to clear is not a good idea, it should just be a spare tool. The surface area of the stick is a lot less than anything else, the chance of strucking the ball and clear it is lower. Also, I am left handed so it is a problem for me to use my stick to hit and clear properly.
11-26-2003  12:04 pm
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drills for keepers
Hi Jaime,

all I can tell you is that the best thing to do is to adapt what you already have. you could play 1x1 or 2x1 or actions coming from one side and getting in the centre. I am sure you can find ideas, those drills are very basic.
You could also ask your player to start on the floor, get up as quickly as possible and clear the ball to then go back to the first position. Footwork is also something to work on, gloves too...see, just a few seconds to help you and I have several ideas ;)

Hope this will help you

Mark Kirk(level 1 Hockey Coach)
01-23-2004  8:44 am
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The way I learned how to dive is through being a football keeper, but when it came to hockey it was alot harder for me to do as you have further to fall alot of the time. So what I did was get a couple of bed matresses, got my keepers' kit and dived on them. Just be careful that they're not too bouncy otherwise you can hurt yourself bouncing off them.
Kerry James (Yateley HC)
03-05-2004  8:40 am
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Having just complained to my coach that keeper training and coaching was a bit naff (i used another word), he promised to do something about it. I agree that coaches do sometimes neglect the need of their keepers and at most times a traffic cone in the middle of the goal would be better in most training situations (e.g. players smashing the ball at you from the top of the D). Anyhow this week my coach "beasted" me with shot-flick training (moving from one side of goal to another to receive the shot-flick combo's). The training was simple - it practised my clearance (wide), my shot stopping with feet and hand, and also my reflexes as the shot-flicks were coming in at quite a tempo. I found this site - and it really is excellent - I'm gonna print this off and give it to my coach. Oh, he worked me so hard - I threw up too. The rest of the blokes loved that! Anyway, great site. The comments on the stick clearances - I beleive that the stick is an extension of the right arm (i.e. more surface area) and should be used when diving, 1v1s, flicks :-) etc etc. I only use it to clear IF I am on the floor and cannot use my feet. I also use the stick clearance when outside my D, on a 1v1 and the ball is moving away from the attacker but he/she is catching it. I dive to get there first and clear with stick (does that make sense). Cheers all, and as the OBO saying goes "Keepers are great people!".
06-08-2004  9:19 am
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bursary wanted
hey, I am from South Africa. I would like to come to Australia next year and play for you. I play a good game of hockey and would like to know how I go about doing things. Great site.
Aren Gissing
06-12-2004  7:52 am
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FIxing Problems
hey jools i need some drills on 1 no 1ns because im getting screwed over in games and i cant take it anymore and i also need some help because ive gotten really good with high balls but ive lost the ability i used to have with lower balls i need some drills please my email is Arengissing_hockeyplaya@hotmail.com if you could send info asap it would be very much appreciated
07-20-2004  12:49 am
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I have stuggled through out the years with coaches and teams that don't understand how to train a keeper. I have resorted to just not turning up to training because have balls hit at me as hard as possible from the dot is not my idea of a good time. The only injuries I have ever received while in the box was at training and in warm up. On of those was because my coach made me lie down in front of the box during warm up so the forwards could practice getting rebounds of my pads. Great idea in Div 1 , after receiving a direct hit to the elbow I ended my warm up :-)
I have recently been asked by a younger keeper what drills she could do to increase her confidence and speed around the 'D'. This site has been brilliant for helping her out.
08-16-2004  11:01 am
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I am a goalie (and I LOVE IT), but when my team starts practices the coach always expects me and the other goalies to stop our warm ups and stretching so that the other players can take shots on us. We never get a chance to do any drills to help us, and these drills have been helping a lot! THIS SITE IS GREAT!!! Thanks!!!
08-16-2004  5:40 pm
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Try this site...just for goalees
Hi All

Check out this site [url]www.pandahockey.com[/url]

It has hundreds of members and is about to get a mjor face lift and I know over time will answer all your questions.

You will find out more about from the site too

Try it and....play nicely!

Panda :cool:
08-20-2004  7:57 pm
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Sorry everybody
Hi all !!!

sorry, I have been away for a while, I have been injured during a tournament in Holland and I dislocated my shoulder for the third time...I havent had the chance to do much about hockey lately but I will try to find new stuff for you guys, dont hesitate to send me e-mails directly [email]autret0479@wanadoo.fr[/email]

take care and May the hockey force be with you !!!

08-22-2004  1:36 pm
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I know that you have quite the experience with dislocated shoulders. I dislocated my shoulder about a year ago and have been back playing for about 6 months, the only problem is I am terrified to dive. I dislocated my shoulder when I dove for a ball and landed on my shoulder instead of my hip. When I have tried to dive I will feel a dull ache in my shoulder. Do you still dive? What can I do to overcome my fear? What do you do for your shoulder to keep yourself in playing condition? Any routines? and lastly what was your recovery period for your last two dislocations? I sometimes feel like I was kept from playing when I could have been cleared. This is the best site I have seen for goal keepers. While I was out for our season last year my coach asked me to be the goalie coach since we have never had one. I used your drills to coach and the goal keeper have improved drastically. They were sure surprised when they weren't standing around during practices. Thanks for making this site and keeping it up!
La Toya
11-27-2004  11:36 am
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i don't know a lot about hockey. i just started learning about the sport, i got an assignmnet on goalkeeping and that is how i ended up on this website page. this information has helped me a lot and also gives me the drive to get more involved in the game. it is well structured and informative. i am training for the school team and i wish to excell as much as possible in this sport.
12-06-2004  8:05 pm
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Hey Jools im currently teaching a small group of golies for a state talent squad. The group consists of both male and females aged 13-16. The majority of the group have got going down on corners pretty well sorted but are having trouble with sliding, can you or anyone else suggest possible drills or a good way to teech the basics for sliding?
Ms V
12-07-2004  2:37 pm
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I can suggest focusing on kicking the ball with their leg. More often I have had problems trying to get the keeper to understand how to go down on a corner rather than slide, as this is a natural progression. I have had great success teaching these techniques (including Toni Cronk! current Aust keeper).

1. Going down on corners. Two points to remember. Have the torso go down at eth same time as the legs. The other is kick that bottom leg out - as is a kick. If you have trouble, stand behind the keeper, and as they are about to kick out and lay down, (in full gear and on soft grass of you can) pull out their left leg towards you. They then fall to the ground. Work on the two noted items, getting 'flat' and kicking out.

2. From there, utilise the feeling they have from the kick (from step 1.), and utilise a slow moving player, and ask them to kick the ball out from under them. This will enable them to not only slide, but in time learn to kickt eh ball out of the circle with force. They will learn over time about not taking out the player as well as the ball, and only getting the ball. More than not, the player will actually get out of the way though. I prefer to have a slow moving player than a stationary ball so they can actually meet the ball and not fall short. Again, once they get the feeling, they will learn better technique.

Hope that helps, I know it helped Toni when she was 14!
01-12-2005  8:45 am
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For Grace
Hi Grace,

I have given up playing hockey, I now umpire, my doctor, a surgeon and my physio told me to stop playing GK as my shoulder went out for the third time because if I do it again I'll have to be operated on and that I dont want !
However, all I can tell you is that it takes quite a while before you feel confident to dive again, I would suggest that you warm up as much as you can and you have to practise a bit everytime you can, use weights as well to strengthen your shoulder and time will work for you.

02-22-2005  12:22 pm
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How to warm up a goalie
How do you warm up your goalies? Here is something that I have done for years and the rational for why I do this as a wram up routine. I'm interested in others views, comments, and suggested improvements.

Mind set and mental training are critical for goalkeeping. Forwards like to blast drag ficks into the roof of the neeting before a game becasue it boosts their confidence and sets them in the right frame of mind for the game (SCORE!!!). Similarly for the short corner unit/team having some very smooth drills come off before a game boost confidence! SO IF THIS IS SO TRUE FOR THE FORWARDS WHY DON'T MORE COACHES APPLY THIS TO GOALIES?

1. Warm up exercises with the team
2. Stretch
3. Get gear on and do some more stretches to get your gear fitted snugly
4. Have someone push some balls at you for kicking parctice. The aim is very much to have the ball pushed at low speeds to allow you to get your eye in (add power if desited)
5. Start to have some of the pushes lifted, however, still towards you to warm up your hands
6. Push some of the balls wider to get the lunge and split saves warmed up
7. Do some short corner drills with your defense team. ATTACKERS SHOULD AIM TO HIT THE GOALIE NOT SCORE! Remember this is about building confidence for the goalie, the defensive unit, and the TEAM! (the short corner attacking team probably should finish off their practice with the rocketed drag flicks into the roof of the net -without your goalie!)
8. Come together for the team talk.....
Jess (US)
03-08-2005  7:04 pm
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I read some of the posts regarding injuries. I think, especially with female goalies that hip strength and flexibility is crucial. I have heard of too many D1 goalies retiring due to hip injury!

Coaches need to remember that goalies need to train differently than the rest of the team!
Liz (Wales)
04-09-2005  6:26 am
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I think that in traing i am always there to have balls pelted at me so the rest of the players can practice their striking. And as the majority of the balls are more often than not lifted I end up getting struck in the hip, even with all my padding on it still hurts so now,I am going to show my coach this page and make sure I get them done.

I think that every single coach needs to remeber that goalies are there to be saving goals but they need to have specialist training compared to the rest of the team!
Stef (US)
06-05-2005  8:38 pm
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These are really great excersise... It's definetely what we need because our coached tend to forget us during practice. We're kind of just what they need everyone once in awhile. But is it just me, or does long distance running seem a bit much for goalies? I can understand sprint work but we don't need high endurance.
Alicia (Canada)
07-27-2005  12:30 pm
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I agree with the whole target practice thing. I have the same problem in ice hockey. I need some help for at the beginning of the field hockey season, transitioning back into field hockey movements rather than ice hockey movements. Any ideas?
Luke (NZ)
08-03-2005  11:24 pm
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HI, Im a 16 year old goalie and I totally agree with what you are all saying about just being targets, it sucks, but im definately going to show these drills to my coach and then hopefully things will improve. I have 2 questions, firstly is that i have been told that to be a better goalie I need to learn to do the splits, does anyone have any ideas for how to go about learning this? Also our team has started doing a fitness training thing for an hour in the morning, but all we ever do is running, I mean sure its good for you but surely there must be some other exercise that gets you fit? If anyone has any ideas e.g. a game or something that is more interesting than just running I would really appreciate them.
08-22-2005  2:47 pm
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I played goalie for 4 years in high school and I just graduated this past year. I never really got any great training from my coach because she didn't know how to coach a goalie. However she is the best coach i have ever had, so i would like to help her out. I have now taken it upon myself to help her by coaching the new beginning goalies and the varisty goalies from my old team. I found all of your drills really helpful and I was wondering if you happen to have any more drills to help beginning goalies since I have three of them. Anything would be appreciated. Thanks so much. I know exactly how it feels to just be a target and sometimes not even feeling like you are part of the team. All of the comments were great. my email is lcwalker@ucdavis.edu. Good luck with all of the requests. You seem like a wonderful coach.
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