Dead-Ball kicking – goal kicks, improving the distance and technique.

Young goalkeepers are rarely good with their feet, especially when they start out. So we usually spend some time on “kicking” as well as “positional” footwork. In this section we approached “dead-ball kicking’ as one would do in a goal kick.

Many goalkeepers have problems with goal kicks. Not just younger keepers. Subject to the size and strength of the keeper, it then boils down to a combination of kicking technique and mental attitude.

For beginner keepers, we like the following structure or routine. It won’t work for everyone, but it will give the young keeper a template to build their own routine.

  • Choose your target for the ball – left or right hand side of halfway line.
  • Place the ball on the side of the 6 yard box which makes kicking to your desired. If you’re lick to the left, put the ball on the left of the 6 to make it easier. This doesn’t prevent you from aiming a kick from the right of the 6 towards the left hand side – just easier to achieve.
  • Place the ball like its your grandmother’s fragile vase. You break it you suffer. Think about the ground – are there divots where the ball can fall into a hole?. Is the ground firm around the ball, where your “standing foot” will land. Above all, take it seriously.
  • Take a few steps back away from the ball, and one to the side, away from the line of the ball.
  • The move quickly towards the ball to make the kick
  • Try to land your “standing foot” – NOT the kicking foot – about a shoulders distance from the ball. In other words, about the distance between your shoulders. If your standing foot is too close to the ball you may kick it – ouch!
  • Place your standing foot about in line with the ball. If your too far in front of the ball, or too far behind the ball, you’ll mis-kick. Try it, but prepare to fall over and be laughed at!
  • Follow through with the “swing” of your foot.
  • If you’ve seen golfers, they carry on swinging the club well after they’ve hit the ball. 
  • You’re doing the same. It will give more power and help balance your body – try not to fall over!.

This won’t work for every keeper. But it will give the young keeper a template from which to build their own routine. Every keeper makes a bad goal-kick. The secret is not to let it get into your head.  

Above all, don’t expect to get this straight away – persevere. And when you do a “bad kick” follow the procedure for the next one, having already forgotten the last one. 

Pause a few seconds and take a breath. You can do this!

like your grandmothers favorite vase…
turn away from the ball and take some steps back
take one step to the side to give yourself some “angle”
take care when placing the “standing foot”
drive through the ball and “follow through” with the swing.

In this drill we practice by kicking the ball from about 3 yards from goal, into the net – saves chasing the ball all night! The keeper should aim to hit the net hard and high – about 4 foot off the ground or higher. Each keeper take a kick in rotation. After 2 goes each, stop and coach each keeper with positive comment. Don’t forget, its mainly in the head – confidence is everything.

Tips for coaches – Confidence Cohesion Technique

Any coach can utilize these drills with their keeper. The objectives are the same – enhance footwork, follow the ball better with the eyes, and judge the flight of the ball.

A coach can use any one of the drills independently, and involve multiple players, especially attackers, to sharpen their skills too.

Employ 1v1 in your regular practice sessions – this will help your strikers as much as your keeper, and keep it “real” for the keeper.

Try to encourage the keeper to use these skills – their footwork, their eyes and reflexes, and be brave to make the judgement calls and decisions that will come up regularly in games.