I have decided to put together a Goalkeepers Coaches Guide to Pre Season. There are many reasons behind this. I hope to compare and share ideas with other coaches about how they prepare for pre season training with there Goalkeepers. I also think getting this guide down will help me develop as a Goalkeeper coach by sharing and discussing ideas.

Planning Pre season

Need to know checklist

  • Time and dates available for training
  • Venue size and space and Surfaces
  • Kit and equipment
  • Goalkeeper Knowledge
  • Goalkeeping topics for training

Time and dates available for training.

This is crucial to making sure you can prepare your Goalkeepers for the season ahead. This will tell you how many training sessions and games you will have in your pre season program and allow you to build your Goalkeepers pre season program around this.

For example you may have x5 training sessions before your first pre season game. This will allow you to work on all the Goalkeeping topics and have you Goalkeepers in good shape come the first pre season game.

Some teams may have more training sessions and some will have less. Its good to get the dates down in the diary so you can visually see how many session are available and build the program accordingly.

Venue size and space and Surfaces

The information used in the heading above is mega to allow you to prepare your Goalkeepers correctly.

If you are only restricted to a small area and have minimal equipment then this will make thing difficult but not impossible. You will just need to be very creative with training.

Try and make time to discuss this with the team manager and coaches and create a Goalkeeping area. You should have this area for x amount of time. Now this area can be small to work on footwork for example but you will need a large area to work on crossing and distribution effectively.

The different surfaces have a huge impact on how I train my Goalkeepers in pre season. If the ground is still solid I try to avoid too much diving because this can cause injury. If you are working on 3G pitches you have an advantage as this is soft all year round the only problem can be the pitch getting too hot when we have hot days.

Kit and Equipment

You do not need to have all the equipment under the sun to develop your Goalkeepers. But having certain piece of equipment will help. I like to have the same equipment for pre season as I use in the Season.

  • Decent number of footballs.
  • Full size Goal for adults and appropriate goal or poles for juniors
  • Number of different coloured cones
  • Hurdels
  • 1/3 of a football pitch ideally.

You can always looks to include other equipment such as manikins, tackle bags, medican balls and any other equipment you feel will be beneficial.

Goalkeeper Knowledge

By Goalkeeper Knowledge I mean what do you know about your Goalkeepers. Are they the same Goalkeeper / Goalkeepers from last season or do you have new faces on trial or signing.

You will need to know how they perform in training in terms of performance levels. How far can you push them? Do they want to be pushed? Do they pick up injuries often? Do they need to lose or gain weight? What are they fitness levels? What are there strengths and weaknesses. You really need to look to build the complete picture of your Goalkeepers.

Goalkeeping topics for training

To see change you need to be able to record the activity you will be working on with your Goalkeepers. You cannot expect your Goalkeeper to do something effective if you are not covering this in training.

I like to look at all of the above information and then look to put a Goalkeeper pre season training plan together for them.

Topics I look to cover are;

  • Handling and footwork
  • Speed of movement / Coordination
  • Fitness
  • Distribution
  • Diving saves
  • Shot stopping
  • Crossing
  • Jumping
  • Game related situations
  • Team related training

The first session back I like to do light work and introduce the Goalkeepers back into training. This will involve lots of catches and different types of movements, diving, distribution, shot stopping and plenty of stretching. While the session is going on its a good time to catch up with the Goalkeepers and find out what they have been doing in the off season. Some will of been doing a little work and other will have done nothing.

While the first session is taking place its a good time to observe the Goalkeepers and see where they are at.

After the first session and observation of you Goalkeepers you will now have a good idea of what will need to be worked on.

This will then allow you to choose your topics and look to plan your program for the rest of Goalkeeper pre season program.

Thank you for reading any feedback is welcome please get in touch by emailing