Finding your Goalkeeper voice – Communication Skills

As seen in my goalkeeper spotlight on the talent that is Joe Hart, one of his greatest attributes is his communication skills. It is not just about his communication to claim the ball or tell his defenders to clear the ball, but his communication with the whole team that shows how good he is.

As keepers we are taught to shout ‘KEEPERS’ when going to claim a ball, or shout ‘AWAY’ if we need our defenders to get the ball away. Those are just the basics. Unfortunately even the basics for some of our young keepers are hard to master, as this comes down to the Psychological aspects of Communication and Decision Making. In some cases we have heard that keepers don’t even like shouting at their players for fear of offending them. So our first hurdle to overcome is a Psychological one.

Once though that they have the confidence and ‘have found their voice’, they can then start to master the communication skills that Joe Hart shows. In that they can start using communication to help the team. Such as providing their team mates instructions that provide them with information they may not see at first, as their view is what is around them, not necessarily what is happening over the pitch. That a keeper could give them the information of who they could play the ball to, if an opposition player is approaching them or perhaps to tell a team-mate to provide the player with the ball some help, etc.

“Goalkeepers who talk will give confidence to defenders and help their teammates to react to situations that they may not always be aware of” – David Coles

This shows that Goalkeepers are about more than just saving goals!


Posted on Wed 28 March 2012, in Goalkeeper Development, Goalkeepers, Psychological Development, Social Development and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hey, good article – I have been wondering for a while, what goalkeepers shout and what phrases they use! Would be great to have an article around that, on what they communicate and how.
    For instance, I’ll shout something like “Be aware left side” if I see they have a man over…or “squeeze” to push up…or literally something as clumsy as “man coming to you, on your shoulder XXX, going left line!”
    I mean, there must be a better way! What do pro goalkeepers talk, and is it still that basic or more to it?
    Also, is there a non-confusing way of saying, flick the ball with your head back to me 😀

    • Yes, from speaking to others in the game, the commands are indeed basic, as they need to be, so you can convey a short sharp message as you will in essence only have a short amount of time to get this message accross.

      With regards to your last query, maybe just shout “header it to me”… 😉

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