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Fitness 4 Goalkeepers > Introduction

Gaolkeepers have unique fitness needs compared to the rest of the team. The biggest difference is in fuel mix fitness. Although most goalkeepers aim to keep moving and communicating to team mates, their average heart rates, distance covered, and amount of energy burned during a game is significantly lower than that of team mates. When goalkeepers are involved they tend to have to move extremely quickly, thus relying on anaerobic fitness and anaerobic energy supply rather than a high percentage of aerobic energy like their team mates.

It is fair to say that goalkeepers are power athletes. To adhere to the principle of specificity, fitness training for goalkeepers should replicate the movement patterns and metabolic demands placed on a goalkeeper during a game. The typical movements of a goalkeeper include:-

  • speed off the mark - 0-10m
  • changing direction and reacting as quickly as possible
  • Jumping with equal effort from both legs
  • Jumping laterally with more effort coming from the outside leg
  • long kicks from hand and from the ground
  • getting up quickly from the floor
  • catching and throwing the ball

Virtually all these activities are anaerobic by nature and rely heavily on strength and power, and speed and agility. A basic level of fuel mix fitness will help keepers recover from these intense bouts of movement but more often than not they will be allowed the time during a match for these energy stores to recover. Hense, the goalkeeper does not have to perform the same amount of fuel mix conditioning as out field players and drills should be short and explosive, not long and arduous.




One of the most common goals for goalkeepers is improvement in vertical leap
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