Four ways to get more and better keeper training in your team practice. Three are for coaches... or for keepers to ask their coaches about. The last is for the keepers... to tell their coaches to let them try.
- Let keepers participate in field player games as goalkeepers. It doesn't work for everything, but it will in many games. Playing keepaway? The goalkeeper receives and distributes with the hands. Place a time restriction on them as necessary; allow them to take the ball off the opponent's foot with their hands if you like.
- In games with goals and keepers, restart after any stoppage with the coach (or an attacker) taking a shot at the keeper, who distributes after the save.
- Play numbers up on attack in games with keepers, rather than always playing even numbers. You can put more players on the "attacking" team, if there's only one goal, or use neutral players to always put the attack a player or two up. This will increase the number of opportunities the keeper gets to make a save.
- Goalkeepers should stretch their range during practice. How else are they going to find out what their limits are? This applies particularly for things like crosses and breakaways--the time to be daring and aggressive is in training, then dial it back a bit for the match.
Coaches: can you implement the first three, and allow your keeper to do #4? Goalkeepers: ask your coach if they can help you by doing the first three, and make sure they know you are going to try #4.