Goalkeeping has changed a lot over the years. What’s required of a goalkeeper now spans far beyond just keeping the ball out the the net. I still remember the days when a ball was passed back by a defender and I could pick it up! Then it could be thrown into the keeper from the touchlines, and now it’s all about the feet.

Passbacks are a massive part of today’s game. Keepers are constantly being required to deal with balls passed to theirĀ feet. Sometime it’s under pressure and others its a tough one to control. In all cases a goalkeeper in todays game must have a strong first touch and the ability to distribute from feet.

Having a goalkeeper who’s confident playing with their feet can drastically help your team. If a player is in trouble it can be solved easily with a pass to the keeper. In order for this to work there will be many mistakes, but keep encouraging your players to pass back. Over time confidence will grow and your team will benefit from this simple solution.

The hardest hurdle I come across is that goalkeepers don’t always feel comfortable with their feet. They don’t want the ball passed to them and if it is they hit it as hard as they can up the field. Sometimes that’s the correct decision, but most of the time the team wants to keep possession. So how do you teach a goalkeeper to be comfortable with their feet?

The answer is actually very simple. Allow them to train with the team. Not as a goalkeeper, but as a player. Don’t stick them in goal every training session. Let them express themselves as a field player. Teach your keeper to dribble, to receive a pass, to turn, to open up, and to pass in various ways over various distances. Spending the time developing your keepers the same as any other player is the key to being a successful goalkeeper in today’s game.