Defending shots from out wide

Antonio García, 05 Mar 2024


The focus in this exercise is on the goalkeeper’s decision-making, with a particular emphasis on attacking scenarios in wide areas. The goalkeeper is tasked with showing an ability to adapt to changing environments


  • Set up a 15x20m playing area.

  • Place a goal at one end of the playing area.

  • Mark out a dotted line 9m from the goal line using cones and create two 5-metre-wide zones.

  • Position a pair of attackers in each of the two central zones, approximately 1m behind the 9m line.

  • Position a pair of attackers in each of the two wide zones, approximately 1m behind the 9m line.

  • Set up with four goalkeepers: one in goal and the other three (goalkeepers 2,3 and 4) beside the goal.

  • Give goalkeepers 2,3 and 4 a ball.


  • Goalkeeper 2 rolls the ball towards one of the centrally positioned attackers, who takes a first-time shot on goal.

  • The sequence ends when the ball goes out of play, the goalkeeper gains possession or a goal is scored.

  • Once the sequence is over, the goalkeepers rotate positions, with goalkeeper 3 rolling the ball from beside the goal to the second attacker in the queue, goalkeeper 2 taking up a position in goal, goalkeeper 1 occupying a position beside the goal and goalkeeper 4 moving forward a position in the queue beside the goal.

  • If the goalkeeper gains possession of the ball, they roll it out to one of the attackers positioned in one of the two wide zones. After rolling the ball out, the goalkeeper swaps positions with a goalkeeper positioned beside the goal, who faces an attacking action in which the wide attacker has two touches in which to shoot or play a pass to the team-mate on the opposite wide channel attacking the far post.

  • The wide player receiving the goalkeeper’s roll-out cannot enter the central zone or the penalty area.


  • Place two cones (in the positions displayed in the graphic) and one attacker near to the goal line on each side of the goal. 

  • The goalkeeper has three options to choose from in terms of the recipient of the roll-out that begins the sequence: a player positioned near to the goal line, in a wide zone or a central zone.

  • Attackers choose whether to finish first-time or to pass to a team-mate, who has to finish first-time.

  • If the goalkeeper rolls the ball out to one of the players positioned near to the goal line, this player’s passing options involve one of the two players positioned centrally or a wide player on the opposite flank.

Coaching points

  • The goalkeeper should not retract their arms when facing shots.

  • The goalkeeper should maintain the basic defensive position for as long as possible.

  • The goalkeeper should cover as much of the goal as possible to make it more difficult for the opposition to score.

  • The goalkeeper should read the game and constantly adapt their position based on the attacker’s intentions.

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