goalkeepingGoalkeeping is a very specialist skill for the only player on the pitch allowed to use his hands. This includes shot stopping, taking high balls and crosses, distribution and communication.

The Arsenal coach George Graham was famous for making a football team that let in very few goals, he said about the goal keeper ” The goalkeeper is the jewel in the crown and getting at him should be almost impossible. It’s the biggest sin in football to make him do any work”. So what does the goalkeeper do when he has to do some work?

A good goalkeeper needs a good understanding of the game, they can see the whole pitch and so are a very good source of information to the rest of the team.

They need to be able to communicate this information to their team well. If the goalkeeper can provide the correct instruction to the team in front of him, he may not need to make a save throughout a game. Often goalkeepers will be their team captains for this reason.


Goalkeepers need to have good positioning and the ability to adjust body position quickly to any situation.

Learning correct diving technique is required to make those spectacular saves without hurting yourself.

Speed, agility, timing, awareness, good technique, good communication are all things you can expect from your goalkeeper.

Check out the video to the right to see the pro’s in action.

There are some great resources on the internet for learning the skills of a goalkeeper :

The FA’s Goalkeeping Development Programme is a very good source of training material for goalkeepers.

Here Jeff Benjamin has a GoalKeeping website.

Ray Clemence gives his goalkeeping tips

The video below is an excellent coaching resource and a good place to start with the basics of footwork and diving.


Now you have an idea of some basic footwork and diving skills, click here to see how David James deals with a “one on one” situation.

The goalkeeper should be able to take goal kicks. Here is a great video (below) giving lots of good information as to improving your kicking.


Watching a pro’s example is always good too.

Below is a great guide on how to save penalties. Watch and listen Kevin Hannah carefully (through the music) he provides some very useful tips on saving penalties.


We’ll leave with some compilations of the best in the business at the moment:

Manuel Neuer’s one man show against Porto

Petr Cech’s early career

A collection of some great saves from all over the world

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