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King's Castle


  • Fun game to establish correct way of side diving for goalkeeping.

  • To develop the decisions involving when to dive and when to stay on the feet.


  • To start with, everyone is practicing and there is no pressure.

  • Then the "battle" begins. The King's Court system is used.

  • The top field is designated the King's Court (coach decides the top and bottom).

  • Ball must be rolled, not thrown, along the ground.

  • Goals only count if they are "clean" (must not touch the cone).

  • Service must be from a position where the attacker has his/her feet touching the goal line.

  • Each "round" goes for 2- to 3-minutes and a winner is declared (coach needs a tie breaking method) and the changes are made as follows: The winner in the King's Court retains the #1 position. The loser goes all the way to the bottom court. The other winners move up one place. The battle recommences.

  • With large groups have two or three King's Courts with 3 or 4 fields per sub-group.

  • Keep it fun and therefore downplay the "winning at all costs" attitude.


  • Set out as many goals (4-5 yards apart) as there are goalkeepers.

  • Two goalkeepers per area, one with a ball, both standing up facing one another 6-yards apart.

  • Receiving goalkeeper can come a yard forward from the line and should be encouraged to do so.

  • Balls must be rolled along the ground to the side of each keeper.

  • The keeper rolling the ball must do so from the goal-line.



  • Try by gliding to the left or right to get in line with the ball and therefore be able to scoop it up without diving.

  • If dive required most times it will be a collapsing dive - just let gravity take over.

  • Try to React to the shot rather than Anticipate.

  • As with King's Court arms should reach forward to stop ball in front of body.

  • Arms should receive at full stretch and then relax into a "crooked" arm position.

  • Upper knee should be drawn in comfortably across the body as the ball is received.

  • Lower leg should remain loosely trailing.

  • Head and upper shoulder should be drawn over and above the height of the ball.

  • "W" hand position is employed, but with ball "trapped" by the upper hand on top of the ball and lower hand behind the ball (see graphic in King's Court) and so use the so-called "Third Hand."

  • If the ball is just inside the cone, may have to drive with the leg furthest away from the ball to get the distance.


  • If you are just starting to use these Lesson Plans refer to the King’s Court progressions in the U7 Lesson Plans.

  • As they improve, move the goals back, but allow over arm throws.

  • Stipulate the goal only counts when it passes the goal line below knee height.

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