Being in the right place at the right time is the most important part of the goalkeeping art.
You can help your goalie understand the basics of positioning by explaining these three key techniques.
1. Your goalkeeper must know where the goal is. This sounds obvious, I know. But ‘keepers can’t do their job unless they know exactly where the posts are relative to their own position. Make sure they glance behind themselves occasionally and get a fresh fix on the goal.
2. The goalkeeper should be positioned on a line between the centre of the goal and the ball. You can help very young players understand and master this by simply walking around the penalty box with a ball in your hands while they maintain the correct position. Once they have got the hang of it, play the games below to reinforce the technique.
3. The goalkeeper should be able to save a shot aimed at either post. This requires the goalkeeper to be in the right place relative to the centre of the goal and the ball, and also to be off the goal line.
Young players often stay rooted to the spot as an attacker advances. If you can get them to narrow the angle by moving out to meet the attacker, they will stop a lot of goals.
This is not just a good idea because they can save shots aimed at either post, but because their very presence will make many young attackers shoot too early and wide.
Soccer coaching note: If the shot is coming from a very narrow angle (from an attacker near to the end line), your goalie needs to be positioned so that the post is just behind him, not in front.
This will prevent the goalkeeper diverting shots aimed at the near post into his own net.