Soccer Goalie Speed and Agility
Soccer coaches and players have recently been sending in a high volume of requests for drills that emphasize goalkeeper training and the speed and lateral agility goalies need for a strong defense. In response, the video below offers a set of high intensity goalkeeper drills that can be executed a few times a week and worked into a regular soccer training program.
These goalkeeper drills will depend on the engagement and involvement of the coach role just as much as the role of the soccer player, so teams and partners should keep that in mind as they pair off and begin the goalkeeper training process.
The equipment required for these drills is very simple. Soccer players will need only a ball, a set of Kbands for each participant, a partner or coach, and a demarcated area that will serve as a goal. The Kbands straps should be securely attached around the player’s upper legs just above the knee and the band with the appropriate level of resistance should be selected from the kit (each set of Kbands come with four bands that offer four different levels of tension) and clipped to the straps. When the bands are in place, soccer players should stretch and warm up properly to make sure they’re prepared for the explosive movements and sudden direction changes involved in the this drill.
Goalkeeper Drills: Executing the Drill
To begin this set of goalkeeper training drills, the soccer player should stand in front of the goal at the center of an imaginary rectangle about two yards deep and five yards wide. This drill is based on the four-cone concept demonstrated in earlier video sessions in which the player moves rapidly back and forth between a set of four agility training cones according to the directions of a partner. But in this case, the designated area will cover the zone in front of the goal and the coach or partner will send the player in a direction that mimics the motion of a soccer ball during a scoring attempt. The player will always face forward and the coach will need to be fast, aggressive, and very clear with the expected direction changes.
When the soccer player is ready to move, the coach will simultaneously point in a chosen direction and give the player a clear command. For example, the coach will say “Shuffle”, and will point in a lateral direction. The soccer player will then shuffle to the side quickly as if to block a shot from that direction. The directions can include anything the coach chooses, but in this demonstration they’re stated as follows:
1. Shuffle: The soccer player should move laterally in the direction indicated.
2. Sprint: The soccer player should sprint forward from his current position.
3. Backpedal: The soccer player should backpedal in the straight or diagonal direction indicated.
4. Jump: The coach will point to the sky and the soccer player will jump vertically as if defending the goal with his head.
Again, the coach must be very clear, loud and vocal during this entire set of goalkeeping drills. This will ensure that the direction changes are fast and sharp. The clearer the directions, the faster the soccer player will move. The faster the player moves, the more his heart rate will stay elevated as he works hard against the resistance of the bands. This will help him develop agility, coordination, and strength in the hip flexors and core. All of these contribute to fast reflexes and quicker response times on the field.
The coach should give clear, continuous directions for about 12 full seconds. At the end of a 12 second series, the coach will toss or pass the ball toward the net close to the soccer player. The player will lunge to intercept the ball and the drill will end for a rest period of about a minute to a minute and a half. Both participants should continue the goalkeeper drills for several reps of 12 seconds each, broken by sufficient rest breaks.
This time cycle is designed to develop explosivity and quick reflexes. For different sets of goals, the rep ranges can be adjusted slightly. For example, if soccer players and coaches are working on building endurance rather than speed and reflexes, the twelve second period can be extended to 20 seconds. But in this demonstration, explosivity is the primary goal.
For more advanced players, the difficulty of the drill can be increased by extending the targeted area. Soccer coaches can stand far back from the goal and widen the distances that the player must cover in each direction. For extra difficulty, the coach can end the drill by taking a shot at the goal. But regardless of the level of difficulty, the intensity of the drill, or the emphasis on reflexes versus endurance, a few aspects of technique will stay consistent. For example, during the lateral shuffles, the soccer player must learn to stay low to the ground and keep a wide stance. The feet should not collide during the motion, but the player should still maintain speed.
Goalkeeper Drills: Final Notes
Each of these sets of goalkeeper drills should be performed with resistance, which means the bands should be in place the entire time. These goalkeeper training drills are not designed to increase sprint speed on the straightaway, but are rather targeted to strength and power in the lateral motion. If the drills are generating the necessary tension, soccer players should feel the burn in their hip flexors, core and glutes. Soccer players will experience more focused results if they work to level up, meaning they increase the difficulty of the drills as their skills improve. As these goalkeeper drills get easier, players and coaches can widen the sprint zone, increase the speed of the direction changes, and mix the drill with shots on the goal.
For more soccer drills like these and more information about the benefits of the Kbands resistance training equipment, soccer players and coaches can explore the soccer section of the Kbands website at Kbands Training.com.
Soccer Training Equipment