Category Archives: NSCAA Goalie Academy Level 1

Breakaway Basics for Goalies (SCCC 2016, Raber)


  • Begin with still ball on the ground with goalie behind and ward in front
  • Forward fakes a shot
  • Goalie collects ball
  • Keep ball on ground
  • Elbows slightly bent for strength
  • Top arm in front of head for protection (if actual forward kicks through, she kicks arm and not face)
  • Next, goalies have player maybe 10 yards away
  • Goalies begin with ball and roll ball to player
  • Goalies follow ball, staying low, and staying big
  • Next, field players maybe 20 yards from goal with coach as server
  • Coach serves ball toward goalie and field player chases ball
  • Begin with easy balls for goalie to collect; not breakaways 
  • Progress with tighter and tighter balls
  • Keepers should be calling out Keeper
  • Angle and weight should be varied
  • Next, serves come from the side, almost parallel to the goal mouth
  • Progression: add a group on the opposite side; goalie makes the save and distributes to the opposite side

Goalie Warm-up (SCCC 2016, Raber)


  • 2 cones 3-5 yes apart for each keeper
  • Keepers use footwork to do a figure 8 around and through cones
  • At end of figure 8 server serves easy ball on ground to keeper
  • Progresses through different services and increasing difficulty
  • Printed drill in middle
  • Only using two goalies instead of three (four available) 
  • Keepers choosing which cone to go to and moving around each other with footwork

Goalie Positioning and Angle Play (SCCC 2016, Raber)


  • As ball moves up and down the field in the field’s thirds, goalie should adjust positioning in the 18 by thirds: ball in of sine third, keeper high in the 18; ball at midfield, keeper at penalty spot (or thereabouts); ball in defensive third, keeper at 6 (or thereabouts)
  • Practice: 5 field players spread around field
  • 5 players pass across the field 
  • Keeper adjusts position as the ball moves

Fun Goal Free-for-All (SCCC 2016, DiCicco)

  • Two full sized goals 30-40 yards apart
  • Server on the side at midfield
  • Three field players in middle
  • Goalie in each goal
  • Server serves ball;  whoever gets it attacks either goal while other two defend 
  • Once shot is taken, another serve comes in
  • Moves very quickly and seems fun, though a limited number of players are involved; would have to rotate three in the middle frequently; TD just suggested splitting the groups so one does this while the other half plays keep away elsewhere

3 v 3 + 3 v 3 (SCCC 2016, DiCicco)


  • 3 v 3 in middle to goal 
  • 1 and 1 in each corner and at top
  • Both teams can attack with a switch in possession so only team with possession’s players on the outside are involved
  • When possession changes, new team has to clear (take it back in basketball terms) before attacking
  • Outside players can distribute or shoot
  • This can have either a midfield focus or a goalie focus

Goalie Reflex and Footwork Work (SCCC 2016, Raber)

  • she didn’t get to this in the session but seems a useful activity for goalies 
  • (and can possibly be worked into a station rotation in practice: field players have a few stations, one of which is this)



Goalie Warm-up (SCCC 2016, Raber)

  • A progression of receiving the ball around three cones
  • Goalies can also add in punching as a progression
  • This can easily be used with field players as a whole team warm-up
  • Field players progress through receiving as goalies progress through catching


  • Handwriting translation:
  • Emphasize body position: shoulder should be square around back cone
  • Scooping to and through to avoid head contact and protect the ball
  • Then transition to ready position (for catching)


  • Handwriting translation:
  • No backpedaling 
  • Half turn and run while still seeing (keeping an eye on) the ball
  • Pause at back cone to get feet set (before approaching next cone) 


  • Handwriting Translation:
  • Next progression: players cross each other at top cones; must look forward but also avoid each other
  • Then balls in the air (with no cross over front or back; goalies only move vertically, from back cone to same front cone)