16 Soccer Goalkeeper Tips For Beginners To Improve

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Although the goalie position may seem simple since all you have to do is prevent every ball from entering the goal, however, there are a few soccer goalkeeper tips you need to know to improve your game.

This article will primarily focus on the 16 best goalkeeping tips that every goalie has to learn and implement right now.

You are also going to know the common mistakes the majority of goalkeepers make. This means you will be in a prime position to avoid them during your next game.

Let’s get started.

Soccer Goalkeeper Tips For Beginners

Here are the 16 soccer goalkeeper tips you need to improve your game:

1-You Have To Know How To Cover Your Angles Properly

One of the most fundamental things to know as a goalie is to be able to cover your angles the right way.

Remember, the goal post area is about 8 yards long and 8 feet high. This means there is enough space for the striker to target any side and beat you.

By knowing this, what are you going to do? Well, you have to play it smart.

Here is what you have to know: the more you go out, the more the opposing player won’t see the net.

soccer goalkeeper tips - Goalie reducing the angles

Every time a player is running to face you, do not stay in your cages. Instead, come out to reduce the angle. Plus, the more you come out to the player, the more he will be confused and won’t know what to do with the ball.

In this case, the player has two options: He can either try to curl the ball with accuracy, or he will merely shoot it at you and miss.

This means you have the advantage and it is just a matter of how you are going to stop the shot.

Also, the opposing forward could try to chip the ball if you are too far from your post area. In this case, try to be on your feet to be able to run back in your net as quickly as possible when this happens.

2-Know How To Properly Catch A Ball

One of the basic things to learn as a goalkeeper is your ability to catch a soccer ball.

You are a goalie, meaning, you are the only player allowed to use your arms in a team. This has to be your strength on the pitch.

So, make sure to train this skill every day.

Some of the catches you should be trained in executing are the chest catch, the scoop catch, the full extension dive and the cross catch.

3-Work On Your Distribution

You have to make sure to work on your distribution all the time. This includes goal-kick and passing.

A goalie’s job is not just limited to catching the ball. You also have to improve your game on the feet.

If you are not good enough with the ball on your feet, the opposition will know that and will always pressure you whenever you have the ball.

For example, during the 2022 Champion’s League knockout stage between Real Madrid vs PSG, Gianluigi Donnarumma made a huge mistake that allowed Benzema to score a goal.

So, it is important to work on your feet as much as possible.

4-Communicate With Your Defenders

As a goalkeeper, you have to communicate with your defenders all the time on the pitch.

The goalie is the last man behind the defenders. So, the goalie sees everything.

For example, during a counter-attack, the goalie is in a good position to talk to his defenders and tell them if there is a forgotten opposing player on their back.

We often see professional defenders forgetting opposing players on their backs and the goalie doesn’t say anything. And, of course, this costs them some goals.

Hence it’s important to communicate with your defenders.

5- Learn To Properly Cover A Corner Kick

Learning to cover a corner kick is as important as covering your angles.

Most teams tend to look for a kick when they don’t easily get into the opposition box. This can be a free-kick or a corner.

This is what Atletico Madrid or the majority of Primer League teams do most of the time.

If a team has tall players with good heading ability, they will always look for a corner kick to use to their advantage.

To properly cover a corner kick, you first need to ask one of your defenders to cover the inside post(located on the side where the corner is given).

For example, if a corner is given to your left, ask your defender to cover your left post.

soccer goalkeeper tips - A corner kick

Then, you have to stand in the middle of the small box.

Finally, make sure to eliminate any threat by catching or punching the ball when it arrives near you.

==>> You can also read my article on how to defend a corner kick here.

6-Do Not Hesitate

Hesitation has made several goalies fail their duel with strikers.

As a goalie, you always want to follow the first decision that comes to your mind.

For instance, if a long pass is given to the opposing striker and you want to go get it before him, go for it. If you hesitate a lot, the player will score a goal. A lot of things can happen in one second of hesitation.

You can also be in a situation where the opposing player is running to face you on a one-on-one. In this case, you need to make a fast decision whether you should go or wait.


One of the most important goalie skills is to be able to anticipate.

As a goalie, you have to read the game and analyse every situation.

For example, if a player is about to cross a ball, you should analyse the situation and be ready to prevent the other player from receiving that ball.

It doesn’t matter whether you freeze or clear it. The most important thing is to eliminate the threat.

8-Do not Release The Ball on The Opposition Feet

If a player shoots and you can not catch the ball, it might be a good idea to release it.

However, do not vomit it on the opposition players. Instead, try to deflect it so it goes away from your penalty box.

9-Practice Diving Technique

Diving correctly is critical for goalies to make dramatic saves.

When diving, lead with your hands in the direction you’re moving. Keep your eyes on the ball and scoop or catch the ball as you make contact with the ground. Land on the shoulder of your non-dominant hand and keep your dominant hand ready to collect the ball.

Roll your body to disperse impact and quickly regain footing to recover.

10-Work on Quick Footwork

Sharp side-to-side movement and explosive leaping ability allow keepers to react quickly and cover more ground.

Set up cones and practice shuffle movements laterally across your goal. Do plyometric box jumps and bounding exercises to build leaping power and height on dive saves.

These drills will sharpen your reflexes and athleticism.

11-Perfect Your Ready Stance

soccer goalkeeper tips for beginners - goalkeeper standing in goal and about to make save

Adopting a proper ready stance is the foundation for goalkeeping success. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.

Put your weight on the balls of your feet to be light and ready to explode in any direction. Hold your gloves up in front of your chest, elbows tucked at your sides.

This athletic stance keeps you poised to spring into action.

12-Learn to Parry Long Range Shots

When facing blistering long-distance shots, parrying the ball is often better than trying to catch it.

In this technique, you direct the ball away from danger using your fingers, fists, or palms depending on the shot height.

With your hands firm and elbows tucked, guide the ball wide of your goal by deflecting it just enough off its original trajectory.

13-Master the Wall Technique

On direct free kicks close to the goal, set up a defensive wall with your teammates. Position yourself on the far post from the kicker and set the wall up on the near post side.

Shuffle side-to-side to view the kicker between your wall players. Carefully watch the shot all the way and react quickly if it curls around your wall.

14-Claim Crosses Decisively

On crosses into the box, call out your intentions early and commit fully. Shout “Keeper’s ball!” then aggressively move to the flight path of the incoming cross. Leap upward with strong hand positioning to catch the ball cleanly.

This confidence-claiming cross will discourage opponents from challenging you.

15-Organize Your Defense

From your vantage point, you can recognize disorganization in the defense that needs correction.

If the offside trap fails or defenders are out of position, take charge and bark out instructions to realign the backline or have midfielders provide cover.

Your organization and leadership from the back keep your defense coordinated.

16-Accurately Read 1 v 1 Situation

When strikers break in alone on goal, read their speed, body position, weak foot, and other cues to judge their likely shooting move.

Stay patient and force them to commit first. Time your attack on their touch to close down at the right moment to smother chances.

The more accurately you read 1 v 1 attacks, the more breakaways you’ll shut down.

These additional drills and techniques will build your skills in key areas like athleticism, positioning, distribution, leadership, and ball stopping.

Final Word

This article was all about the 16 best soccer goalkeeper tips every goalie should learn.

Becoming an elite goalkeeper takes dedication, practice, and knowledge of the position. Implementing these 16 soccer goalkeeping tips will give you the skills needed to take your game to the next level.

Master the fundamentals like angles, catching, distribution, and communication. Hone your reflexes, athleticism, and decision-making under pressure. Study other top keepers to learn new techniques and mental approaches.

With a strong work ethic and focus on continuous improvement, you can become a true difference-maker for your team between the posts.

Believe in your abilities and don’t be afraid to put in the hard work it takes to be a shut-down, game-changing keeper.

The more you practice these goalkeeping tips, the more confidence and ability you will develop over time.

I hope you have gained value from this article.

If you have any questions, consider leaving them in the comment section below and I will get back to you ASAP.

You can also read: Why do goalies wear different uniforms?

6 thoughts on “16 Soccer Goalkeeper Tips For Beginners To Improve”

  1. Thanks a lot for sharing such a great piece of article! I found it a good helpful write-up with a good sound and explanation. Here I got a number of concepts that is definitely helpful for every soccer goalkeeping enthusiast. Please keep sharing more updates!

  2. I would much rather be one of the regular footballers than the goal keeper. I think the stress and expectation must be tremendous, especially on international goal keepers and especially during a penalty shoot out.

    I think besides learning all the skills you pointed out, the psychology aspect I think is a big aspect they also need to master to ensure that stress does not get the better of them. They need to be able to stay relaxed and focused, remembering the skills they have learned instead of being overwhelmed by the moment.

    • HI, I agree that it’s more stressful for goalies during the penalty shoot out.

      Thanks for also mentioning stress. This is an important component that every goalie should handle. If a goalie doesn’t manage to handle the stress, a lot of mistakes can happen.

  3. Loved reading your post, in fact as I was reading your post it reminded me of my younger days when I used to actively play football every weekend. I still remember an incident wherein I jumped to catch the ball and as I landed on the ground I couldn’t hold on to the ball and it rolled on to the nets. The best tip I have ever received is ‘keep a hold on the ball’


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