Soccer Goalkeeper Tips – Step up Your Game!

Some people may consider being a soccer goalkeeper “an easy task” because goalies are not running much and they are “watching” the game; and perhaps they intervene in the game once or twice. However, this soccer position is so critical and I would even consider a goalkeeper to be the most important player on a team! Nowadays, goalies need to be fit and possess some footwork skills to stand out among other goalkeepers.

The world of soccer has witnessed amazing goalkeepers and the most recent ones have displayed great skills, not only with their hands but also with their feet. Among the top soccer goalies we have: Iker Casillas, Gianluigi Buffon, Manuel Neuer, and Thibaut Courtois.

I will share some soccer goalkeeper tips to help young goalies step up their game. Some areas that I will be covering include: Be alert throughout the game, communication on the field, timing your moves and displacement, and more tips.

Be Alert!

  1. Get in the Game! Careful with the long passes
  2. Watch the opposite side (If the opponent is attacking through the left side, keep an eye on the right side)
  3. As your team steps up, move up with them staying inside “the 18”
  4. Always on your toes. That will help react a second faster!

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Organize your team!

  1. YOU SEE EVERYTHING! talk to your teammates
  2. Let them know when they need to get on someone (opponent)
  3. On a corner kick, get two players covering your front post and back post
  4. On a free kick, if needed, ask for a wall and LET THEM KNOW how many you want
  5. Be a leader! You are not always involved in the game – GET INVOLVED by encouraging your teammates!

**The timing is critical**

Whether you are coming out of your three posts to face a striker or just going for a ball up in the air, the times is the most critical component to become a good soccer goalkeeper.

Use your judgment and consider the following before making a move. Especially, if it involves moving away from your line/goal.

  1. Am I going to get to the ball first?
  2. If I don’t get to the ball first, is a teammate close enough to help me out and cover the goal?
  3. Should I REALLY go for the ball or is a teammate closer than me?
  4. What other options do I have? Can my teammate take care of the situation?

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>The Best and The Worst<

As a goalkeeper, you can go from being the SUPERHERO to being the VILLAIN in no time. This is a soccer position where mistakes are considered a loss and great performances are not as rewarding as a great performance of a striker. It may not sound fair but that’s the nature of this position.

However, when it comes to penalty kick during playoffs time, there is no way a goalkeeper can be the “VILLAIN”; if a goalkeeper can save ONE penalty kick, then he is THE HERO and the feeling is great!

Regardless of your performance, remember that mistakes will occur and hard work always pays off. No matter what the score is, always reflect on your best and worst moments on the game and improve from there.

Learn from the Pros!

Have you seen your favorite soccer goalkeeper in action recently? What was the coolest thing he/she did? Share your answers below 🙂

Whether is your standing position, side-to-side movement, your reaction time, covering your post, or footwork, watch and learn from the Pros! As goalkeeper, you need to make a decision in seconds and the more experience you have (playing or watching others), the better decisions you will make.

Watching professional soccer goalies can help you realize what you need to work on to step up your game. During practice, make sure that you are pushing yourself, even if the practice is not directly related to you. When playing time comes, apply everything that you learned from this post.

Share any other tips that you have! Thank you for the support 🙂

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18 thoughts on “Soccer Goalkeeper Tips – Step up Your Game!

  1. You’re right that the goalkeeper is often made out to be the hero or the bad guy. It’s really the whole team working together but if you miss, it’s on you. Hopefully your teammates back you up and make your job easier. If not, you have to be on top of your game and pull the slack. 

    • That’s right. It’s a lot of sacrifice and like you said, you can be the hero or the bad guy in seconds! However, the entire team should always support one another, especially the goalkeeper when things don’t go as planned for him/her.

  2. Very well written article. Awesome goalkeeping tips. It is true From a goal keepers position they really can see areas where team players could step it up. Being part of a team is such a good experience.  Always good to read a well thought out well written post thanks for sharing. keep up the good work

  3. Great tips, Vic! Although I’m probably getting ahead of myself – I am researching learning to play soccer for my daughter:) You make some good points about the job of the goalkeeper though. From an outsider perspective I always thought it was probably one of the more skilful positions in the team. Do you have any tips for my daughter, a wannabe goalie?

    • Hi Erica, I think that you are doing a great job by researching about soccer for your daughter. On top of the tips that I share in this post, I think that she must not afraid of the ball and/or contact. I consider a goalkeeper to be 70% of a team. As long as she is not afraid of the ball, then she can learn everything else to become the best goalkeeper that she can be! BEST of luck!

  4. Hey 

    I do like to watch soccer, and believe the goal keeper has the hardest job on the field. He must stay alert at all times, and be the bird in the sky for his team.

     I just haven’t played since grade school so I have just a few questions about when you said when the opponents are attacking the left side to watch the right side. What does this mean, and how does this work when playing defense?

    I do not have a favorite goalie because I like the premier league and I don’t follow one team I just love the gameplay!


    • A goalkeeper and defenders should be aware of the entire field at all times. If the opponents are attacking the left side, they could cross the ball and find a teammate on the other side of the field (right). That’s why all defenders should look over their shoulders to make sure that there are no opponents unmarked.

      Thank you for stopping by!

  5. I kinda see why they would be considered villains. Cool site and I love how simple and straight forward your advice is. This is so helpful and informative. Thank you so much for the article. I know so many soccer moms and they will love this isite. I will make sure to forward this to them.

  6. I would never say being a goalie is easy. It’s possibly the most stressful spot in the game. You’re the last defense against a goal. There’s a lot ot be said for being able to move freely like other players, too. Again, you’ve given some amazing tips for soccer players and if they use them, they’lll be able to play even better. 

  7. I always watch soccer with my dad! I totally agree with you! I was a goalkeeper (although I’m a girl) during my secondary school during school holiday, I was too eager to catch the ball and I caught it with my face! That was seriously painful! Now I always watch my son playing soccer with his grandpa. Do you have any specific soccer shoes recommendation for kids?

  8. These tips for goalkeepers are great. People tend to overlook goalkeepers as they are only important for certain parts of the game.  But is is totally up to the goalkeeper to protect the othe team from scoring. 

    I like the tip to stay alert, as I have seen many goalkeepers fall asleep on the job. They start daydreaming when nothing much is happening and next thing the ball is coming at him at a speed.  It is in these moments  that he can move from super hero to villain in an instance.

  9. great intuition and knowledge sharing on goalkeeping tips.I learned that by mastering a skill .It requires time ,so i think to be good on skillset of being goalkeeper, practicing and training is the key.The more you play the greater you are doing something .are you playing as goalkeeper while you are playing?Is this your career or just a hobby?

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