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Goalkeeper Communication and Organisation

Being able to communicate well is vitally important for any goalkeeper, it can show a presence and fill your team with confidence. It is also a great well to help stay concentrated and focused on the game. The common statement from managers to goalkeepers is “you can see all the game from back there, help your team out by telling them where they need to be and what’s around them” But from experience I know this can be a daunting task, from finding the right words to say, worrying about saying the wrong thing or simply not having the confidence to talk and shout on the pitch.

Below I have put together some top tips on how to implement communication into your game as a goalkeeper. Just through simple commands and bits of organisation you can impress a lot of people from managers, coaches, fans or scouts watching on.

1 – Start simple – To boost your confidence and get used to communicating on the pitch keep it simple. Praising defenders is a great way to start. If your defender makes a great block and the ball goes out for a corner saying well done to them and a quick high 5 will soon boost that confidence, you don’t even need to shout for that one!

2 – Encourage the team as a whole – Shouting “come on lads!” before the game can work really well. Not only is it a message to your team but when the other team hear the oppositions goalkeeper shouting it can get them thinking “jeez their goalkeeper is up for it, we might have a job on scoring past them today” Clapping to encourage team mates also works well.

3 – Don’t worry about saying the wrong thing – Saying the wrong thing is actually more helpful than saying nothing at all. We all know defenders have a tendency to switch off and lose concentration. A shout from the goalkeeper can switch them back on, if it happens to be the wrong thing at least you got the defender to think and got them back in the zone.

4 – Short and sharp info – The game moves so quickly we don’t have time to give long winded messages out. It is also really hard to shout a sentence for your defender to hear you so keep it snappy.

5 – Tone of voice – Loud enough to be heard, clear enough to be understood and calm enough not to panic anyone.

6 – Examples of simple commands and info and when to use them –

Keepers! – If you’re coming to collect the ball

Away! – If you want your defenders to deal with the ballcommunication photo

Man on! – If your player is being closed down quickly

Time! – If your player has the ball with time and space around them

Move up!/Step!/Get out!/Squeeze! – If your team have been defending and the ball has been cleared, this command will move your team higher up the pitch.

Set me! – Offering the option for a pass back

Pick up, stay tight to your man! – Defending a set piece

I hope you all find these tips useful, they certainly helped me and made me realise just how important communicating to your team mates is.

Next week I will be blogging about organisation from set plays including how to set a wall up for free kicks so please check back soon.