A Goalkeepers job Is Simple – ‘Keep the Ball out of the NET’

The main job of a Goalkeeper is to keep the ball out of the net, if you can consistently do this your job is pretty much done !

I do appreciate that being a Goalkeeper has evolved over the past 20 year with the introduction of the back pass rule and more emphasis on distribution, these are a VERY important part of a Goalkeepers make up, BUT i go back to my first point, IF you keep the ball out of the net your job is done

I enjoyed a period of 18 years as a Professional Goalkeeper in England & Ireland and i am now a Professional Goalkeeper Coach in Dublin. I have experienced pretty much everything a Goalkeeper can experience, but one of the most puzzling aspects of my time as a Professional Goalkeeper was the Goalkeeper Coaching i received at times. I started my career when there were no Goalkeeper Coaches and ended my career when we had Goalkeeper physiologists, so again i have seen it all.

matt gregg

One Goalkeeper Trainer i can remember really confused me, during training and matches i used to make saves, come for crosses etc, some of these saves i thought were very good and so did my team mates, sometimes top or bottom corners, but this coach would always comment you did not move your feet correctly there, your hands were not in the correct position when you were set. These comments began to confuse me, as we then used to work on these aspects during our Goalkeeper Training Sessions. So when it came to matches all i was thinking about is – ARE my hands in the correct position – ARE my feet moving how i was told during Goalkeeper Sessions – ARE my legs moving as i was told during Training !

CONFUSING !!!!

By the time all this had gone through my mind it was to late and i had made a mistake, during this period of my career i made more  mistakes than i ever made. I soon decided that i would again go with my instincts and try to do the MOST important job i was in the team to do KEEP THE BALL OUT OF THE NET.

EVERY Goalkeeper is different, there is no right OR wrong way to play as a Goalkeeper, sorry if i am boring you again but it goes back to keeping the ball out of  the net, however you do this does not matter at the end of the game, as long as it is done.

To me as a Goalkeeper Coach in Dublin, i try to keep it simple and work with a young Goalkeepers technique and develop three specific things:

1. Second barriers behind the ball,

2. Shape (make sure a goalkeeper is set on his toes and attacks the ball with a forward motion)

3. Speed around the Goal.

The one thing i will tell a goalkeeper before he/she plays is keep your mind clear and concentrate on saving the ball

If you stick to these simple principles you will see young Goalkeepers begin to develop and progress after only 4 – 6 weeks Goalkeeper Training, I have helped coach more than 40 Goalkeepers to become Professional Goalkeepers. I have also helped develop 1000s of young keepers to higher standard than when they began sessions at Just4Keepers

Darren ireland game

During the principles above in training sessions a Goalkeeper will naturally work on moving his feet around the goal, handling techniques, positioning & much more, BUT all Goalkeepers will develop a technique that is natural to them, not what a hand book says and attempts to turn Goalkeepers into Robots.

So my advice to ALL Goalkeepers from 7 year olds to professionals is KEEP IT SIMPLE

Please feel free to contact me if you ever need any advice on Goalkeeping, as i said above i have been through pretty much everything a Goalkeeper has seen

Matt Gregg

Just4Keepers Ireland