ESF’s Guide to 5 a Side Goalkeeping For U7 and U8 Teams

This week, in our latest post, we thought we would put the spotlight on all the young goalkeepers out there who are playing in the Under 7 and Under 8 age sections. They say a good GK is responsible for up to 50% of the team’s success. Now, that number is open to interpretation but the fact remains it’s one of the most important positions on the pitch, so listen up!

As a goalie, you’re the team’s last hope which obviously comes with a fair bit of pressure. Save a last minute penalty, you’re the hero! Get it wrong, you’re in for a tough time in the dressing room.

However, don’t panic! With our complete guide to 5 a side goalkeeping you’ll have all the tips and tricks to keep a record number of team sheets and be the dressing room hero.

Our Goalkeeping Tips and Tricks

    1. Stay Alert

The main point to try and keep in mind when on a five-a-side pitch is to remember that an attack can come at any time. Your team may be in possession but with the pace at which the smaller game is played you need to stay alert at all times. The smaller pitch means your goal is under threat from anywhere so stay sharp. Keep on your toes at all times, if you’re caught on your heels you may struggle to react and make that crucial save.

    1. Be Brave!

To be a good goalie in five-a-side football takes a lot of courage! Often, the opposing team will shoot low, hard and from point blank range and you’ll have to be brave to make a key save. If your opponents sense they’re up against a cautious keeper they will shoot from everywhere and anywhere! Therefore, bravery is a must for any aspiring goal keeper in youth football.

    1. Positioning is key

Goals on a five-a-side pitch are 12 feet wide which means, even with the longest reach, you will struggle to get down to the corners if you remain on your line. This means it’s important to get your positioning right. As a rule of thumb, try not to get beaten on your near post and if the player is on the wing he or she will probably go for the opposite corner. Players are often taught to shoot across you in training so be wary of that and try to predict what they’re going to do.

    1. Agility

The more agile or light on your feet you are as a goalie, the quicker you can react to shots on goal. Thankfully, there’s some useful drills to increase your agility like getting a player to kick the ball into the corners so you can practice getting down low to your left and right. Do 10 on each side and your teammates will be calling you ‘the wall’ in no time.

    1. Distribution

Good distribution comes from being nice and vocal, talk to your players and tell them where you want them. From there, try to give the ball along the floor if possible, rather than a bouncing ball. Also, aim to distribute the ball to his or her stronger foot. That way your team are less likely to immediately concede position and be under threat again.

Book your place at ESF today!

In the end, the best way to improve your goalkeeping skills is to practice hard and get lots of game time. Taking part in youth football tournaments is where you’ll get to play a lot of matches in a short space of time is a great way to gain experience, so we hope to see you at the ESF Festival of Football one day.

However, you’ll need to get your coach to move fast and get your team booked in! ESF at Butlins Skegness on 29 April – 2 May 2016 is already fully subscribed! We do still have availability for football teams of all abilities to join us for a great football tour at the ESF at Butlins Skegness on 22-25 April 2016. It doesn’t matter if you’re a team based in Blackpool, Southport, Sunderland or the rest of the UK you can still get involved.

Get in touch online or give us a call on 01664 566360 and we’ll answer any questions you’ve got and get you booked in. We can’t wait for you to come and impress us with your goalkeeping skills!