The soccer goalkeeper, more than anyone else on the soccer field, must be able to make split-second decisions that will affect the outcome of the game. This section will touch on some of the decisions a keeper will be faced with and the factors that should enter into their decision.
Goalkeepers are often nervous about penalty kicks, but the pressure is really on the shooter. Saving penalties is an art, not a science, but here are some pointers to be a better penalty kick keeper.
Because the margin of error is so thin, goalkeepers must have the mental constitution to handle the pressure and shake off mistakes. This section outlines some ways for a soccer coach to keep things positive for their goalkeepers and help them along even when things aren't going well.
The Laws of the Game of soccer state only that the goalkeeper must wear a color distinguishing them from their teammates. Most goalkeepers also wear gloves and other specialized clothes. This section discusses goalkeeper's gear, particularly what to look for in goalkeeping gloves and how to take care of them.
To play any game, you need to know the rules. This section comments on the Laws of the Game of soccer that relate to goalkeeping.
So, how do I go about teaching all this stuff to my goalkeepers? Here are sample training sessions I've used for coaching youth goalkeepers, covering all the topics presented on this site, plus a few additional miscellaneous training sessions.
To help your keeper fully develop sound techniques, you need practice that help reinforce them. Here are some good links I have found with drills, games, other soccer goalkeeping advice and general soccer coaching information.
In association football, the goalkeeper occupies a position that represents the last line of defence between the opponent's offence and his own team's goal. The primary role of the goalkeeper is to defend his team's goal and prevent the opposition from scoring a goal. The goalkeeper is the only player who is permitted to touch the ball with his hands or arms in open play (within his own penalty area). Each team is required to have a goalkeeper on the field at all times during a match. If a goalkeeper is forced to leave the field due to injury or being sent off, another player must occupy the post, even if the team has no substitute goalkeeper available and/or has used up its allotted substitutions. Goalkeeper is often abbreviated GK in lineup cards, match reports, and TV captions. The terms keeper and goalie are also commonly used. This position is colloquially referred as 'custodian' or 'the man between the posts' (or 'sticks').
Goalkeepers on average have the longest playing career of any position in football, often playing into their early 40s.