The position of goalkeeper is crucial to the success of a soccer team. As goalie, you not only are responsible for preventing the other team from scoring but also for supporting and assisting your own teammates. A successful goalkeeper is responsive, fearless and physically fit. These attributes do not occur naturally. You must be willing to put in the time and effort to improve your goalkeeping abilities to be the best possible asset to your teammates.
Practice communicating with your teammates. A good goalkeeper watches the action and lets his teammates know when to shoot, which players are open and when he has control of the ball. Assign specific commands to each situation and practice using them with your teammates during practices and scrimmages.
Work alongside your teammates to build up your basic soccer skills. A goalkeeper still needs to know how to dribble, pass and kick as there are many situations where he will need to clear the ball.
Practice your catching and throwing the ball with your coaches and teammates. A good goalkeeper must be willing to dive for balls, so practice diving so you are prepared to do so when the time comes. During a game, try to catch the ball as much as possible as it gives you the most control over what to do with it.
Play reflex games and exercises to increase your response time. Have a coach or teammate yell out right or left, then throw the ball on the corresponding side of the net. After a few minutes, switch the commands so that the ball is thrown on the opposite side of the command. Reflex exercises help you focus on the ball, which is important during a game.
Practice kicks, throws and headbutts with a focus on improving your distance. During a game, you want to get the ball as far away from your goal as possible, so learning how to gain distance with every move available to you is important. Practice gaining distance using a medicine ball, which is much heavier, to improve your strength.
Develop a fitness and eating regimen with your coaches to maintain your physical fitness. Your workout should focus on both cardiovascular and strength training as both are crucial to the success of a goalkeeper.