Ladders, Hurdles and Catching

Fitness is one of those important but often disliked parts of football. I know that my son is not overly keen on doing pure fitness drills so thankfully his coaches always keep it fun and mix it up with what he enjoys. This drill provides fitness, footwork and catching all in one.

Place an agility/speed ladder on one side of the goal (facing forwards) and 4 to 5 hurdles on the other side. The goalkeeper should stand in the middle of the goal just in front of the line and the coach should stand roughly 9 to 10 metres away with a supply of footballs.

The coach should call out either “Ladder” or “Hurdle” at which point the goalkeeper will complete the relevant activity. For the agility/speed ladder the goalkeeper should try and avoid touching the ladder itself and move as quickly as they can whilst keeping full control. For the hurdles the keeper should again avoid making contact with the hurdles with each jump being well formed. After completing one of the activities the goalkeeper should return to the goal line where upon the coach will serve the ball via a half volley, drop kick or throw for the goalkeeper to save.

Repeat this exercise 6 to 10 times in a single set.

Change It Up
You could introduce the following changes to increase the complexity and challenge of this drill:

  • Add a set of cones in front of the goal to deflect any low shots keeping the goalkeeper on their tows.
  • Increase the speed and alter the direction of the ball service
  • Add additional activities such as burpees, sit-ups or push ups.

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