When can children start goalkeeper training?

The goalkeeper plays a special role in soccer. Goalkeepers must make intelligent decisions in a matter of seconds, especially in stressful situations. Every goalkeeper needs a wide range of technical skills. To master these technical skills flawlessly, players must be well-trained from a young age. So, what is the right age for this?

Certainly, the right age varies from player to player. Some children may be ready for specific goalkeeper exercises a bit earlier, while others may be a bit later. However, there are general guidelines to consider in order to determine the right timing

What prerequisites does a child need for goalkeeper training?

Children vary greatly in their development during their early years. Motor skills, height, strength, and technical understanding are individually pronounced in each child. However, some qualities are generally beneficial for both girls and boys to possess before starting goalkeeper training.

Good physical prerequisites include flexibility, strength, and endurance. Additionally, the child goalkeeper should not be afraid of the ball. However, the most crucial aspect is that children who take on the goalkeeper role genuinely enjoy being a goalkeeper.

In children’s soccer, up to and including the U11 age group, the structure allows each player to take a turn in goal. This way, every player can decide for themselves if the goalkeeper position is suitable. From the U12 age group onward, a designated goalkeeper is typically chosen.

Kinder Torwart Training

A solid foundational training in football is a must for every goalkeeper.

Young goalkeepers should learn basic techniques early on, fostering a joy for movement. The earlier one begins to acquire the necessary skills, the easier it becomes in the subsequent years, as children learn most effectively during their early years.

Modern goalkeepers need to be proficient with both feet and handle the ball at the highest technical level. Every goalkeeper requires the freedom to develop their own style, making team training particularly crucial during their formative years.

Goalkeepers like Manuel Neuer, Kevin Trapp, and Marc-André ter Stegen have received excellent football education. Ter Stegen is currently the number one goalkeeper for FC Barcelona.

Are there issues when children start playing goalkeeper too early?

If children exclusively focus on goalkeeper training exercises, the development of their foot skills may be neglected. A goalkeeper nowadays needs to be capable of precise ball distribution with both feet. If children concentrate solely on goalkeeper exercises, it could hinder the development of these skills.

Regarding the differences between girls and boys:

In essence, girls and boys are trained in a similar manner. Naturally, there are some nuances to be mindful of, such as differences in technique when catching balls on the ground. The most significant distinction in goalkeeper training often lies not in the techniques but in athleticism and strength.

Girls are just as proficient as boys. They perform well both in goal and on the field, displaying good technique.

Where can children get goalkeeper training?

Every ambitious soccer club offers specialized goalkeeper exercises for young goalkeepers during children’s soccer training. For those looking to focus even more on goalkeeper skills, attending specialized goalkeeper schools is an option. Heiko’s Goalkeeper School provides individualized training for every age group, including individual training, group training, and even team training.

Regardless of the age, Heiko has tailored programs and exercises to enhance young goalkeepers.

Heiko’s Goalkeeper School

Goalkeeper Exercises for Children

Depending on the player’s age, goalkeeper exercises are adjusted to suit young athletes. In Bambini training, fundamental techniques are playfully taught, with a particular focus on catching and falling.

From the U12 age group onward, with players who already master the basics of goalkeeping, more in-depth specialized goalkeeper training is provided.

The right goalkeeper gloves for children:

Catching skills need to be developed, and for that, children and teenagers need the right goalkeeper gloves. To properly learn catching, goalkeeper gloves with a two-millimeter padding are sufficient.

This encourages young players to focus more on catching technique. Putting on the gloves should also be made easier for children. Therefore, most goalkeeper gloves for children come with a full strap.

Is finger protection useful? Heiko, youth coach at VFB STUTTGART for the U10 to U13 age groups, says a clear no.

Young players should learn the right techniques, and finger protection can be more of a hindrance. Additionally, the muscles in the fingers need to develop, for which finger protection is not suitable.

Here you can find all goalkeeper gloves for our young goalkeepers.


The most important aspect in children’s football should be the enjoyment of the game. Young players should come together to play football and develop their skills in a playful manner. Team spirit and an understanding of the Fair Play concept are easily instilled in children this way. Whether the kids prefer to become goalkeepers or field players will naturally become apparent.

With the help of good coaches, they will undoubtedly become excellent players. And we will continue to have top-notch goalkeepers in Germany. Not every young goalkeeper needs to become the next Oliver Kahn or Marc-André ter Stegen.