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Training Tips for Goalkeeper Fitness

written by: Sylvie Colette • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 1/15/2011

Goalkeeper fitness and training tips should focus on the specific movements that a goalkeeper would use during a match. The goalkeeper position is much different than the role of their teammates.

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    A goalkeeper is the last line of defense. The position requires impeccable agility, explosiveness, and a solid knowledge of the game. Not only should a goalkeeper be good in his position, he also needs to be able to direct his teammates since he have the clearest view of the entire field. Goalkeeper fitness and training tips should be specifically offered to any player who desires to have a turn in the box.

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    Medicine Ball Training

    Medicine balls are an important part of goalkeeper fitness and training. Tips to using a medicine ball include warm ups and strengthening exercises. Use in both training and pre game warm up activities.
    Have the goalie bounce and catch a 5 pound medicine ball. Warm up by catching it when it comes up to the waist, then start bouncing the ball to the right or left, requiring diving before it hits the ground a second time.
    Pregame warm-ups should be done with a partner tossing a medicine ball back and forth. Change up the direction and height to keep the goalkeeper guessing. Throwing the ball in a windmill motion over hand will help stretch and warm up the goalkeeper's shoulders and hands.
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    Plyometrics

    Quick recoveries are very important during a game. A goalkeeper who dives for a ball needs to be able to bounce back to their feet immediately. Prepare for quick recoveries with jump rope training, as well as the actual movement of going to the ground and then jumping back up repeatedly.

    While long running sessions are not the most important aspect of training for a keeper, it is important to have explosive speed that can be gained through plyometric training. Jump height is another skill that should be worked on, so that the goalkeeper can reach shots that are taken at the top of the box.

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    Passes and Power

    Goalkeeper fitness and training tips would not be complete without sessions dealing with footskills. Goalkeepers should work with their teammates when practicing precision passing. Getting the ball to the target is an important aspect of being a goalkeeper, it is not enough to just kick and hope for the best. Emphasis should be placed on leg strength in order to provide a powerful kick. Goalkeepers should be able to pass to a particular teammate 40 yards away.

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    Exercise to Avoid

    Lifting heavy weights should be avoided when working on improving your goalkeeper fitness level. While lifting weights can increase your strength, they can also decrease the necessary quickness a goalkeeper needs to perform their position to the best of their ability.

    Ignoring goalkeeper fitness and training tips can result in injury. It is a mistake to think that goalkeepers can skip training since they are not on the field. The skills necessary to prepare a keeper for their position should be taken just as seriously as training a high scoring forward, building the endurance of a midfielder or creating a brick wall of a defender.

    Goalkeepers require specific training and should be afforded the time to pursue their own exercises during practice sessions.