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Pre Game Warm Up

by Chris Ducar, SoccerPlus Goalkeeper School,  

Get Hot!

A warm up routine that will get your keeper ready to perform

A minimum of 30 minutes should be devoted to physically and mentally preparing your goalkeeper for an upcoming match.

The following warm up is one that I feel prepares the keeper for almost every type of save that they will see in a game.

Warm up for the warm up:

bulletLight jogging and skipping across the field. Stretch after going down and back a few times.

With the ball

One server, one keeper. 25 seconds in duration Moderate speed


bulletServer rolls ball about a step and a half away from the keeper. Keeper must shuffle to get behind the ball, scoop ball into the basket and give back to server who serves to the opposite side.
bulletBalls can be served on the ground or in the air, but be consistent and let the keeper know what type you will be serving.
bulletThat keeper stretches while the other trains.


bulletServer drops ball to the side
bulletKeeper must come forward and catch the ball before it hits the ground a second time.


bulletKeeper starting on the goal line
bulletServer holds ball arms length away and the keeper saves ball in the side contour and finishes in a collapse dive.
bulletToss ball back to server from the ground and repeat to the other side.
bulletKeeper is finished when they cross the top of the 18
bulletBackpedal to the goal line and other keeper trains while first stretches

Shot Saving

In goal

bulletCoach or server at or around the top of the 18 with a few balls.
bulletTwo touch shooting rhythm that is right at the keeper.
bulletServe balls that are in the control zone
bulletAs keeper is successful, increase the pace of the shot.
bulletNote: The warm up can be challenging but do not forget that the purpose is to get the keeper mentally prepared for the match and repeatedly scoring on them will defeat that. Crosses


Serve crosses from different positions outside the 18.

bulletPay close attention to the starting position and if they are timing their catches
bulletAdd a player that is defending at a non jumping and walking pace.
bulletDepending on the level of keeper, add more game-like pressure.


bulletKeeper starts in goal
bulletBowls ball to server who is 8 yards away
bulletServer touches ball to one side, keeper saves that ball breakaway style.
bulletOnly two to three repetitions to each side as this is very tiring.

Hand Distribution

bulletKeepers throw ball back and forth in javelin or baseball style at close range (10-12 yards) and increase the distance as necessary.
bulletPay attention not only to distance but also accuracy.

Foot distribution

Keeper should take a number of each of the following before the game starts:

bulletGoal kicks
bulletVolley (punt)
bulletHalf Volley (drop kick)

Please tailor the preceding exercises to fit the needs and level of your keeper. Ex. U10Ős are probably not going to see too many flank services so eliminate or modify the crossing section.

As the whistle blows, your goalkeeper should feel that they are on top of the world and ready to make a positive difference in the game.