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Things to Say to Your Defenders

All right, keepers, it is time to start to talking more!  This applies to almost every goalkeeper in the club.

Here are some simple phrases you can use to communicate more effectively.

"Keeper."  Your most basic command, but it's still not being used enough in this club.  If you are coming off your line for a cross or a through ball, you MUST yell "KEEPER" very loudly... and say it early on so your defenders have time to adjust.

"Away."  If you are not coming off your line for a cross and want it to be cleared, you must yell "AWAY" to signal your defenders to clear the ball.

"Step up."  Getting your defenders to step out further will force the opposing to move up as well (in order to stay onside). Check with your individual coach to find out exactly how high your defenders should step up.  In addition to forcing the other team back, this will also enable you to step off your line more and be more aggressive in clear through passes.  This is also a very important term to use after a corner kick has been cleared out of the 18, as defenders who had been stationed on the post will need to step out very quickly.

"Force outside."  If players are attacking centrally, we'd like to see the defenders force them toward the sidelines.  This is an easy command to relay.  In addition, to "forcing outside," make sure plays don't simply dive in until they can actually win the ball.  The easiest way to convey that information is by saying:

"Contain."  This simply means that your defenders should stand up and force the attacker in one direction without 'stabbing' or 'diving in.'

"Force left."  If a forward is attacking from the very center of the field, it can be helpful to have the defender force the forward onto the weaker foot (almost always the left foot, but learn to identify those forwards who are left-footed before saying this!).

"No turn."  When attacking players receive a ball with their back to goal, make sure your defenders step up and don't allow those players to turn.

"Inside Shoulder."  Always check to see that your defenders have the ability to mark up on attacking players, especially when the ball is far away from a particular side of the field.  In general, if the ball is on one side, you want to give a quick look to the other side to check on the marking.  Specifically, if an attacking player is present, your defender should be on the attacker's shoulder closest to the goal.  This will prevent the attacker from running free toward the center of the goal.  That's what "inside shoulder" means. Also, try to give an attacking player's number if one of your defenders needs to move to that player's inside shoulder.

CALL OUT A NUMBER OF PLAYERS IF A WALL NEEDS TO BE SET.  Be loud and give this instruction immediately after a foul is committed.  The "Wall Chart" in our goalkeeper curriculum PDF (see above side page) has information on how many to have in different situations.

Make sure your defenders know what these terms mean, too, so that they can understand what you are saying.  The goalkeeper staff will add to this list every week.  Learn these for now, and we'll add to your goalkeeper vocabulary throughout the year.