A 1v1 Goalkeeping Game

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s featured activity is a 1 v 1 game working on many aspects of goalkeeping.

When I started training keepers I worked with one keeper at a time. Much of the time was spent on technique, fitness and shot blocking but I struggled trying to figure out how to get them more game related training without bringing in a couple of teams. The solution ended up being quite simple, bring in two field players. Since most of the training was done prior to team training, we simply asked two players to come early to help out...and they had such a great time that gradually more and more players would come early to join in.

Start with a keeper in goal and a few balls at the top of the D. One player starts with a ball inside the D and the other player is just inside the 18 ready to defend.


The player with the ball is attacking the goal and the other player defends.

The game is a simple 1 v 1 “make it/take it” game (the terminology comes from me having been a bad basketball player when I was younger and playing half court games where if you score you get the ball back).

The attacking player tries to score and the defending player tries to prevent them from scoring. If the attacking player scores, he sprints back, grabs another ball and starts again.


If the defending player wins the ball, he must dribble the ball to the outside of the 18 (any direction except over the end line) and then he becomes the attacking player.


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While this might seem like a game primarily for the field players, the keeper is constantly working on communication (“force him outside”),positioning (since every moment is a potential scoring opportunity), shot blocking, distribution (when the keeper makes a save he must play the ball to the most recent defender for him to take the ball out of the 18 and become the attacker), focus and more.

Play the game to a certain score (first one to 5 wins) or for a time period.

The keeper will get a LOT out of this game as will the field players and done properly, everyone will have a blast

Have a great day!


By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

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