As a kid, nobody wants to be the goalie because it’s boring – you don’t get to run around kicking the ball along side your best friends, and you can never score! Fast-forward a few years, and the keeper becomes one of the most important and difficult positions on a soccer team.
Let’s go through the two best ways to properly utilize your goalie:
- Talk, talk, talk! Your keeper will have eyes on the ball at all times, and talking will help both of you. Remember that you must be loud for players to hear, and use different tones to decipher the situation you are in.
Have your goalie tell you when there’s a ‘man-on’, when you should ‘push-up’, or to ‘mark-up’. They should be very vocal, yelling ‘keeper’ when they are going to take possession of the ball. Your keeper should be instructing you where to go at corners, and should be able to organize a defensive wall when needed.
Now it’s your turn to help them – the ‘team’ thing works both ways. Let them know where opposing players are in relation to the net, and be vocal when you are taking a ball close to the net.
- Your goalie is a body on the field, so use them! Pass to them when needed, and let them be a part of the play. A quick give-and-go becomes very beneficial when you need to get the ball around an opposing player by your net. Your keeper can also come in handy when you need to clear the ball out of your half.
Just remember – if you deliberately pass the ball to your keeper, the ‘pass-back’ rule comes into play. They are not allowed to use their hands, even in the box, if this occurs. Ensure that all passes back to your keeper are controlled, and make sure that they expect it. There’s absolutely nothing worse than scoring on your own net!