What is our Complete Goalkeeping philosophy?

TECHNICAL – ‘Practice Makes Permanent!’ In order to continue to develop at any age or playing level, a goalkeeper must regularly be training on their goalkeeping techniques. Making technical training as close to a real game with high repititons is a must. Goalkeepers should also be equally comfortable with the ball at their feet as with their hands!


TACTICAL – Topics in this square are gradually introduced as a goalkeeper gets older and progresses on to a full size field. Principles will be briefly explained to younger age groups however we believe this is the most under coached area of goalkeeping. Goalkeepers must be able to problem solve and think for themselves!


PHYSICAL – This aspect of goalkeeping is applied throughout every age group within a club to some degree. If a player is in the best physical condition then he or she gives themselves the best chance to develop into a quality goalkeeper.


MENTAL – Not every goalkeeper who plays soccer is going to go on to represent their country in the World Cup. However, every player involved in a well run goalkeeping program should be encouraged to have fun and express themselves, gaining valuable leadership qualities that can be used both on and off the field!

How do we teach the Complete Goalkeeping philosophy?



Our training plan above shows the progression of all the technical aspects of goalkeeping. All of the criteria is spread across the youth career of a goalkeeper with each topic being covered by the time the goalkeeper has reached the U15 age group. In order to create a solid foundation of core skills it is important not to skip stages of a technique as this can lead to poor form and bad habits which may limit a goalkeeper in their development. 

All of our Complete Goalkeeping training sessions are built around four focus areas ALL based around the topic for the session.


Physical Warm Up: Every Complete Goalkeeping training session begins with a physical warm up activity allowing goalkeepers to get physically and mentally prepared to train. Depending on the age group this could include plyometrics, co-ordination, agility, speed and/or flexibility. All of these activities are based around the training topic and mostly incorporate a ball. 


Technical Intro: This stage of the session will have goalkeepers in pairs or small groups working on getting high repititions of the technical side of the training topic. We believe in working 'SHORT and SHARP'. This means that goalkeepers work for shorter periods of time but at a higher intensity. This allows for a higher quality of training as well as keeping goalkeepers engaged during technical repititions. 


Techincal Core: At this point in the training we look to incorporate goals into our activity. (Using goals, cones, poles etc.) We want the goalkeepers to be seeing predictable situations similar to that of a game. This could be shooting from an angle, crossing with active players, 1v1's but always related to what the topic for the trainig session is. 


Game Situation: Our final stage of the training session is to put the goalkeepers into unpredicatble game situtations where they can utilize the technical aspects that they have worked on whilst also including tactical elements and situations where they must problem solve. This can be extremely difficult for a coach to do as they need to take into consideration the number of goalkeepers playing, the number of goals available and finally the space available. With this being arguably the area of the session that can be the difference between developing average and great goalkeepers we designed the Complete Goalkeeping Small Sided Game Guide entirely devoted to games for goalkeepers!

How do we build our training session's around the training plan?



Ben Kole - High School Age Group (National ODP Goalkeeper & MRL Premier)

"James has taught me all I know about goalkeeping and has pushed me to become the best goalkeeper I can be. James constantly pushes me in practices through both the most basic drills as well as ones that make me constantly think. James does not want the drills done well, he demands it. He has taught me to work hard during training but to rely on the basics of goalkeeping. He is easy to work with and is extremely flexible on finding a time to work together. I thank James for giving me the opportunity through his training to play at the highest level.”

Lauren Kozal - High School Age Group (National League & MRL Premier 1)

"I have been fortunate to have trained with James for a number of years now. My club team plays at a National League level and the techniques that James has taught me have served me and my team well. It isn't just about going trough the drills with James. He wants to ensure your approach and technique are solid. While the training can be intense, he always seems to make it fun. I highly recommend goalkeeper training from James Gilpin."