Do goalkeepers deserve attention in training?


As a coach, how much can you really expect from an athlete to whom you did not give enough of ways, ideas, strategies, advises and training time to improve?

Unfortunately, the answer is “a lot” when it comes to handball goalkeepers and some of the coaches..

I speak about this topic almost on my every seminar for handball coaches! Just imagine how it must feel for most of goalkeepers who are training in clubs without a goalkeeper coach, and whose head coaches keep ignoring goalkeeper training completely?!

How would you feel if the only attention towards the improvement of your individual skills in the training would be only during those few short minutes of shooting warm up? And how about, if even during those few short minutes, you would still not get proper feedback about what and how you should do in the goal? Now multiply that with anything between 3 or 6 practices per week (as majority of teams have), then multiply that with number of weeks and months in a handball season, and you will get the summary of frustration / lack of motivation / unfairness with which many young goalkeepers are struggling in their progression path!

How are they even supposed to improve if they don’t know how or what they should do?!

How can we even expect them to improve or to learn if we don’t provide them the tools for that?

I can tell you from the first hand experience and from about 70-80 camps on a yearly basis (prior to the pandemic) in 15 different countries, that most often I hear this sentence from young goalkeepers: “My coach is not satisfied with me playing, and they keep telling me that I should save all those shots, but they never show me how I should do it and what should I practice to get better at it.”…

I mean, is this happening FOR REAL?!

How can you expect the improvement or a good performance from your athlete in something that you are not capable (or very often even not willing to learn how) to explain or show?!

I understand that handball goalkeeping is somewhat unfamiliar and complex topic for most of the coaches, especially if they have never played as goalkeepers, but does that mean you should never devote more time to try to understand and learn more about it!

How can you not be passionate about learning more and being able to help to every player or a goalkeeper in your team? How can you not work almost at all anything specific with your goalkeepers during the training, and still yell at them during or after the games if they did not save enough of shots?

How can you expect so much from goalkeepers if you don’t provide them good environment for the improvement?

On the other hand, I know a lot of team coaches who will devote at least one training weekly to put a bigger focus on their goalkeepers, they will try to help them on working on proper positioning through different shooting exercises…and that is already something!

Please, try to understand that your only coaching approach and focus on your goalkeepers can’t be to judge them or to give them a negative feedback! You need to find a way to develop your coaching skills and your understanding of goalkeeper coaching, in order to help your goalkeepers improve!

Handball goalkeeper is an individual athlete inside of a team sport. The burden (responsibility) that a goalkeeper carries is HUGE! You have to understand that! You have to support their development in some way! We all already know that a role of the goalkeeper in every team is a key to the success or failure of a team! It is well known an old saying that a good goalkeeper is worth 50% of the team. So tell me, how much and how often are you working on developing that important half of your team? Is it 50% of time? Is it at least 25% of time? 5%?..

As the head coach of a team, you took BIG RESPONSIBILITY to coach the whole team, including goalkeepers. Lack of educational materials about goalkeeping makes this little bit more challenging, I agree, but it doesn’t make it impossible! You have to find the time for work with goalkeepers during your training sessions, you have to put focus on their development at least once a week…at least once a month!!!

You need to help inspire, motivate, develop, encourage and mentally prepare all players in your team. But you know what? Your goalkeepers need that same approach as well!

To help you in all of this, I have created an online group coaching program for coaches, that is specifically targeted on work with goalkeepers beginners!



In my Level 1 video course for coaches, we will go through the most important goalkeeper technique topics:

  • Basic stance and movement in basic stance
  • The importance of body weight transition in movement in basic stance
  • Positioning and understanding angles in the goal
  • Saves of high shots from 9 meters
  • Middle step in saves of high shots, the importance of middle step
  • Saves of middle shots from 9 meters
  • Saves of low shots from 9 meters
  • The importance of middle step in saves of low shots

Besides these main topics, we will speak about the importance of learning proper basic technique in the beginning; biggest challenges that coaches need to face while working with young goalkeepers; the importance of different coaching approaches; goalkeeper specific hip flexor mobility and flexibility; goalkeeper specific coordination; cognitive training; speed of decision making and information processing.

We had the first group of coaches of this online group coaching education in March 2021. That online projects had such a great response and I have got a lot of great feedback!

In our online group, we had 16 coaches from 10 different countries.


This is the most simple (no travel needed, you can do it from the comfort of your own home) and the fastest way to learn more about goalkeeping and about how to coach/teach/inspire young goalkeepers.



This is what some of the coaches from one of my Level 1 online groups told about the online course:

“It was a great structure of the course! I wanted to know more about Vanja and her work for a long time and it wasn’t a surprise that the course was so good! Vanja focuses on the details and that makes a difference when training with youngsters. The feedback was very good during the course and the group was very dynamic and we could exchange many valuable information with other participants. We got to know other ways of thinking and training young goalkeepers. The topics were clearly explained with some extra tips and insights. And interaction with other coaches in our online group was pleasantly surprising, because I could learn from people with different views and perspectives. I wanted to learn all the details about how to teach a proper goalkeeper basic technique and I got even more than what I expected!” – T.S.


“On a scale from 1 to 10, my satisfaction with this course is 1000! Now I have much more knowledge to help my goalkeepers! I know how to work with them beyond the physical and conditioning area. I can help them read the shots and be more prepared to make the correct saves.” – I.R.



You can check out all needed info, the next launch dates for my Level 1 video course, and you can apply here:


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