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Youth Soccer Goalie Drills


Innovative keeper warm-ups and low level drills.  Here you will also find intermediate and advanced drills to challenge middle school players and even drills that can be used for the High School level.




Equipment: 1 large goal and 1 ball.


Grades: 2nd-12th ( Below 5th grade take away the drop kick)  The other warm-ups you simply can increase the speed of the ball as the age is increased.


  • Punch to ground and catch.


  • Toss up in the air to yourself, jump in the air and catch over head.


  • Same drill but raise knee of one leg to protect your body.


  • In a sit position, sit side to side while holding the ball.  Place one hand on top of the ball and one hand behind.


  • Same drill, but have a partner toss the ball to each side as you fall on your shoulder from a sit position.


  • Get in a squat position and have your partner toss side to side as you make a small dive to each side.


  • Shuffle right and left from post to post as a partner tosses the ball chest level.


  • Same drill, but this time the ball may be thrown, rolled or bounced.


  • Short drop kicks from 15 yards out, just enough to challenge your keeper, but not as hard as a normal shot.





Equipment: 1 large goal, 2 soccer balls and 4 dome cones.


Grades: 4th-12th





  • Keeper starts in the center of the goal.


  • 4 cones are placed in a square formation 3 feet apart.  The coach or partner will toss a ball inside the set of cones. The keeper must dive on the ball.


  • Another partner will be waiting on the far post side to take a shot and the keeper must make the save.


  • TIP: Timing is the key.  The partner taking the far post shot, must time it so it’s a challenge and not completely out of range.




  • Once again the keeper starts in the center of the goal.


  • The coach will drop kick a short shot at the near post.


  • After the keeper make the save, they will jump over a hurdle on their way to the other post and make a diving save for a shot timed by another partner.





  • Place 3 cones 3 feet apart 6 yards in front of the goal.  The keeper will start next to one of the cones with their back to the goal.


  • The keeper will shuffle in and out of the cones, keeping their back to the goal.  When they reach the end they will jump a small hurdle.


  • Once the keeper reaches the last hurdle they will save a short shot by the partner or coach.


  • Once they make the save, they will run to the far post and attempt to catch a tennis ball that is thrown at the goal.




Equipment: 4 Soccer balls 


  • You can have the keeper start by laying down in front of the goal, but it’s not necessary to have a goal for this drill.


  • Place 2 balls in different locations on the 6 yard line and another 2 balls 12 yards out.


  • The keeper will dive on one ball, back peddle to the goal line and repeat the process 3 times before taking a breather. 


  • Option: After the 4th dive, a coach or partner can kick a shot at the goal and the keeper must make the save.




Equipment: 2 flags, 2 balls and a partner.


  • This is called the shadow drill.


  • Separate the flags by 8 yards.  


  • Place 1 ball next to each flag.


  • Two keepers will face each other standing in center of the flags.


  • The leader will try to fake out the shadow player and dive on whichever ball they choose before the shadow.





Equipment: 1 large goal and 1 ball per player.


Grades: 3rd-12th


  • Place 10 shooters an age appropriate distance from the goal.  For example:  I would place by middle school players 18-20 yards from the goal.


  • Each shooter will be given a number from 1-10, but they will mix up their order.


  • The keeper in goal , will be unaware of the numbers of each shooter.


  • The keeper will shout out number 1, and that player will shoot, then number 2 and so on.


  • TIP: As the keeper becomes aware of who has what number, you can move the players around and/or change their numbers.




Equipment: 1 ball per player.


Grades: 4th-12th


  • All shooters will make a circle around the keeper. 


  • Once again the circle should be age appropriate.  


  • One at time the shooters will shoot directly at the keeper and the keeper will attempt to catch the shot.





Equipment: 2 cones and a few soccer balls.


Grades: 2nd-12th


  • Place the keeper in between 2 cones 5-10 yards apart depending on the age.  You can always make adjustments after we you watch a few go’s.


  • One at a time, a attacker will try to dribble thru the two cones and the keeper will attempt to dive on the ball.


  • Note: The attackers must dribble thru the cones.  No shooting.





Equipment: 2 large goals and a few balls.


Grades: 4th-12th


  • This drill is best played with two keepers, but one will still work.


  • Place a second goal with a keeper in it, either on the right or left side line.


  • One attacker at a time will dribble toward the goal.  Mid-field is a good starting point.


  • The attacker can either shoot at the goal on the goal line or shoot at the goal on the side line.


  • If the attacker shoots at the goal on the goal line, the keeper simply attempts the save.  If the attacker shoots at the goal on the sideline, the keeper yells away.


  • Note: Put your other keeper in the side goal, so they can get reps in.







  • Make two lines of attackers with their back to the goal.


  • Place two cones, approximately 40 yards or more from the goal depending on your age group.


  • Kick the ball between the two cones.  As soon as your players see the kick, they will race in a 1 v 1 to win the ball and shoot at the keeper.


  • We all know breakaways are a huge advantage for the attacker, but since they’re fighting for the ball, it will help the keeper to some extent.


  • Keeper TIPS: Take chances, wait for mistakes before coming out, cut off the near post if the attackers veer to one side.


  • Option: You can make the attackers lay down, before the ball is kicked.




Equipment: 2 large goals, 1 ball and pinnies or wrist bands


Grades: 4th-12th


  • This game is best played with a 4 v 4 or 5 v 5.


  • Place 2 large goals only 30-40 yards apart.


  • The object of this game is to give the keepers a lot of action in goal.


  • It will also give your players many opportunities to shoot under pressure.


  • The keepers are allowed to throw or kick the ball into the goal of the other keeper.



Not a drill, but a few tips for your keepers on penalty kicks.


  • We all know the shooter has a huge advantage, but there’s a few things the keeper can do to make it a little more difficult for the shooter.
  • Read the shooter. Watch their eyes. Know if they favor the right or left foot to shoot.
  • Stay light on your feet.
  • Many times, shooters that come straight on,will shoot to your their left.
  • When they come in on the side, they’ll usually shoot to opposite side.
  • Anticipate when you think you know where the ball is going and don’t second guess yourself.
  • The keeper is supposed to stay on the goal line, but try to come off as soon as you can.  It’s tough for the ref to catch.  You’re not allowed to come off before the shot, but any jump you can get on the shooter will help.
  • Note: It’s always possible the shooter could do the opposite of some of the tips, just given but hopefully these tips can take away few goals.





Equipment: 1 large goal and 3 cones.


Grades: 3rd-12th


  • Simply set up 3 separate lines to shoot at your keep from left, center and right.


  • Make sure distance is age appropriate.  


  • The distance should be close enough to challenge the keeper, but so close that all the shots are going in.




Equipment: A few balls, 1 cone and 1 large goal per group.


Grades: 3rd-12th


  • Coach or teammate tosses the ball from both sides and with shooters back to the goal.


  • Shooter must settle as quickly as possible with the least amount of touches and shoot.





Equipment: 6 cones and 2 soccer flags.


Grades: 4th-12th


  • Place your keeper between two flags approximately 5 yards apart.


  • Set up two groups on each side of the keeper, with an age appropriate distance away.


  • Both groups will line up behind the designated cone.  5 yards in front of the cone will be 2 cones 3 feet apart.


  • The first player in line, must dribble thru the 2 cones and attempt to shoot the ball thru the 2 flags where the keeper is standing.


  • Both lines will alternate their turn to shoot, so the keeper must keep turning and facing the other group after each shot.


  • VARIATION: After the shooter dribble thru the 2 cones, add 1 more cone in front of them.  They must cut right or left of the cone with 1 touch and shoot to simulate a defender.


Shooting The Cross

Equipment: 10 cones, 1 corner flag and 1 large goal.


Grades: 4th-12th


  • When your team is shooting the cross, you’ll want them to shoot it away from the keeper.  This will make it tougher for the keeper to get involved on the cross and hopefully be forced to make a save.


  • Set up 3 cones about 25 yards out from the goal.  Your team will make 1 line behind each cone.


  • The left wing will go far post. The center forward will go near post and the right wing will cross the ball from the right side.


  • Place row of 7 cones running parallel to the sideline.  The cones should force the player attacking as close as they can get to the goal line before they cross.


  • If the player crossing the ball doesn’t follow instructions and they cross straight or toward the keeper, instruct your keeper to catch or punch the cross.


  • VARIATION: To increase difficulty by having the players overlap and/or pass before crossing.  For example: Maybe your right wing passes to your center forward and you right wing goes far post, left wing goes near post and center forward crosses the ball.


  • CLICK HERE if you’re interested in an excellent overlap drill.  My team does this drill before all of their games.





Equipment: 10 cones and 1 large goal.


Grades: 2nd-12th


  • Set up one keeper in Goal.


  • Start the drill from your mid-line.


  • Place two rows of 5 cones about 2 feet apart.  Just enough to hop over each cone.


  • The coach or another player, will stand between both rows of cones and roll or kick a ball out on the field.


  • As soon as the first player in line see the ball is kicked, they will hop over each cone and attempt to win the ball for a shot.


  • The attacker may dribble as close as the prefer to the goal.  This will be good for the keeper to adjust to a breakaway situation. 




Equipment: 1 large goal and 2 poly spots.


Grades: 4th-12th


  • Set up 4 lines. 1 line of defenders next to each post, behind the goal line. 2 lines of attackers 18 yards out behind a poly spot.


  • Lines will alternate so there is only 1 line shooting at a time.


  • The 1st defender will pass the ball to the attacker.


  • As soon as the ball is passed, the defender will attempt to steal or keep their body in front of the shot.


  • The attacker receiving the ball, is allowed  1 touch and then they must shoot.


Goalie Wars (My favorite Keeper Drill)



Equipment: 2 large goals, soccer balls and poly spots.


Grades: 4th-12th


CLICK HERE to see a video of this game.


  • The size of the goal can increase for your older players, but even for your 4th graders you want to have a goal at least 10′ wide.


  • Place the goals 30 yards apart with a 20 yard width and a keeper in each goal.


  • The goalies must stay on their side of the mid-line that place 15 yards up with poly spots.  


  • The game begins with one goalie attempting to kick or punt the ball into the goal of the other keeper without passing the mid-line.


  • If a save is made, the keeper has the option to throw the ball into the goal of the other keeper, but the ball must be caught not just stopped.


  • If the ball is not caught, the keeper must kick or punt.


  • Keepers have 6 seconds to get rid of the ball.


  • If the ball is hit out of bounds by a keeper, the other keeper will gain possession.


  • If you have 4 keepers this drill is ideal to feed the out of bounds balls back to the keepers in play.


  • OPTION: You can play a 2 v 2 and rotate keepers when a ball goes out of bounds.


  • Hopefully you have extra coaches to keep this drill moving if you don’t have 4 keepers.


  • If you only have 2 keepers, the game can still be played, but it will slow down at moments when the ball goes out of bounds.


  • TIP: You should always have at least 2 keepers on your team.  You never know when an injury could occur.


  • This game is best played for 2 minutes with a 1 minute break when playing 1 v 1. 2 v 2 can be played with 4 minute rounds.  This is a good workout for your keepers. THEY WILL BE TIRED!


  • Obviously the keeper with the most goals will win the game.


  • VARIATION: This game can be set up with 4 goal goals/4 keepers playing at the same time in a square formation.  With this variation the game is played by the same rules except the keepers can attempt to score on any of the other 3 keepers at any time. 




I hope you found these drills helpful. Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.

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