Website Manager



The goalkeeper adopts specific positioning before each save. The question is whether the positioning is good or not. The goalkeeper can make a good save even with poor positioning, but clearly the task is easier if the positioning is appropriate.

Goalkeeper off their line

The goalkeeper being off their line provides space between the goalkeeper and the goal.  If the save carries the goalkeeper backwards, or the ball is parried slightly backwards, being off the line may prevent a goal.

Just as important, being off the line allows the goalkeeper to cut the shooting angle.

The goalkeeper must also adjust their position side to side in the goal based on where the ball is.  As a general rule, draw a line from the center of the goal to the ball.  The keeper should be straddling this line.

Set Position / Ready

As the game has developed over the years, speed of movement has become a key component. Players’ actions are quicker and so is the game as a whole and movement of the ball. As a consequence of this development, one of the key guiding principles of goalkeeping which has emerged and become of the utmost importance is, that the goalkeeper should be in a good set/ready position to either move or intercept the ball as quickly and efficiently as possible at any given moment during match play. The goalkeeper’s set/ready position will change depending on the position and situation of the ball on the pitch. However, there are key components which remain common in almost all situations: the head, hands and feet. Many young goalkeepers struggle with balance; they fall back onto their heels and their head sways from side to side, backwards and forwards, restricting their ability to move or dive effectively and efficiently as the ball is being played. The goalkeeper should always be on the balls of his feet (body weight forward) with both feet in contact with the ground a shoulder width apart to give stability. If the feet are too far apart movement is restricted and if they are too close balance is affected.

Weight and Balance
The head is relatively heavy and should always be as steady as possible, in the middle of the body and slightly forward and with eyes fixed on the ball when possible.  The keepers weight should be centered between their feet to keep them balanced.

When the opposition has the ball within shooting range, the hands should be in the optimal position to make contact with the ball as quickly as possible, to either catch or deflect. By positioning the hands in the middle of the body, in an open relaxed manner, with arms bent at the elbow, the goalkeeper can quickly adjust to deal with all types of shots, low or high.

To intercept shots, the knees should be slightly bent (holding the body in an upright shape to fill as much of the goal as possible from an attacker’s view point) but allowing the main leg muscles to operate effectively.

Making Saves

• The goalkeeper should have his arms apart (shoulder width) and have his weight slightly on his toes,

• The goalkeeper takes the ball with arms stretched, elbows in.  The keeper should keep their body behind the ball.  If the ball slips through their hands, it will hit their body.

 • The position of the hands and fingers is very important.   Hands will be rounded to match the shape of the ball.  Fingers and thumb form a triangle or “W” behind the ball.  (see photo).


Tactical Behavior

This behavior is characterized by the series of decisions the goalkeeper makes to constantly adapt to the situation in order to implement an effective technical maneuver.  The goalkeeper takes up a position depending on the match situation, intervenes in accordance with the trajectory of the ball and then distributes the ball depending on his team-mates’ positions.

One of the most important tactical decisions a goalkeeper has to make, and one of the most frequent, is what to do when the ball is in their hands.  While we are all impressed with a powerful punt, powerful punts rarely result in an attacking opportunity for our team, instead gifting possession to the opposition.

Just like a field player, when the goalkeeper has the ball, it is their job to find a teammate so that we can maintain possession and organize an attack.  This can be accomplished most effectively with a rolled ball, thrown ball, or even putting the ball on the ground and playing with their feet.  

Role in the Team
The goalkeeper can help the team beyond just stopping shots.  

When we are in possession, our players need to be able to play attacking balls, horizontal passes, or pass backwards for support.  For our defenders, the goalkeeper should always be a passing option.  The goalkeeper isn't a passing option while they are standing in their goal.  The goalkeeper should move with the team in possession to provide the supporting option.

When our team is defending, as the ball nears our goal, the keeper has to be prepared for shots.  However, when the ball is on the other half, while a shot on goal is not a concern, a ball played behind our defense for a breakaway is a very real concern.

The goalkeeper playing off their line (The Sweeper Keeper) can clear these balls before the breakaway happens.


Goalkeeper Basics

What is included here is by no means everything an effective keeper needs to know, but this will give parents an idea of what it means to be a keeper and what keepers should be doing in games.  This will help you have an understanding of what your keeper needs to do to be successful, some of what we are teaching them and hopefully allow you to have productive conversations with your keeper.


Warner/ASG - est. 1989
1680 Metropolitan Circle 
Tallahassee, Florida 32308

Phone: 850-386-3866
Email: [email protected]

Copyright © 2020 Warner Soccer  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In