December 09 , 2006

How many times have I stood in the goal behind a keeper during training and said over and over again that they must communicate, they must inform, they must direct the team in front of them. Communication is important for every player on the pitch and even more so for the keeper. When the keeper has made a decision, it is important that the defenders know what it is, as soon as possible. As I've said many times the keeper is the only person that faces the pitch all the time which means they are positioned to see the development of the play. Strong reasoning for the keeper to be a general on the pitch organizing thier team.

With the best view of the team, the keeper MUST communicate loud and specific directions to organize the defenders and stop attacks on goal before they can happen. With this in mind you have to remember that communication is more than just the keeper barking out instruction but also requires the field players to listen and understand.


When communicating you should always be loud and repetitive to ensure the field players hear and understand you. When yelling instructions you should be as specific as possible and always work from the ball. By this I mean you should focus on the player with the ball and arrange the closer defenders first. Make sure your teammates acknowledge that they have heard the instruction, which also means you must be specific. NOBODY, except the keeper should call "keeper" at any time. If you do not call keeper or issue instruction your teammates have to take responsibility for getting to the ball.

The two basic calls that must be issued clearly and quickly are "keeper" and "away". When you call "keeper" it tells everyone that you are making a play for the ball and tells your defenders to get out of the way as well as makes attackers think twice about going for the ball. When you call "away" it tells your defenders that they must take responsibility to get to the ball as you are not going after it.

In order to communicate effectively with your teammates the keeper should be a student of the game. The keeper must know the defensive set up of thier team and how the defenders are required to play. They must know the role of the first defender, second defender, third defender so that they are able to make adjustments during play.


This subject of communication is one that is very important and I could probably go on for another ten pages. Keep in mind that there has to be a balance between being informative and helpful and just yelling too much so that your teammates tune you out. Keepers are not cheerleaders or there to criticize thier teammates, they should only give important information that is timely.

Remember, if you call "keeper" you must get to the ball. If you do not get there and your teammates begin to doubt you your job as a keeper will become eve harder than it already is.

Although this chat seems to be random thoughts thrown on the page I just tried to get as much information as possible in here. If there is anything you want more specific information about, just send me an email and I will get the information to you.


That's it for now, keep the comments and questions coming. Until next week's chat.


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Last Updated December09, 2006