I’ve been playing for three years and all my skills have developed, all but my communication. Every team I play for has said that they look for a keeper with strong communication skills and I feel that if I can improve my communication I’ll improve my shot of making the teams I tryout for. I ask all the coaches I ever have what they want me to say, but I never get a clear answer. I was wondering what things I should be saying. I will yell at my players when I need them to mark someone or to call a ball “MINE” but other then that I’m lost.

I’m hoping to get into the Junior National Program and eventually represent Canada at the Junior Worlds in 2013 and if I can improve my communication skills it’ll help a lot.


Hi Madeline,

I wrote a tip about Team Defense that has a section on Commuincation. Below is the link:

In addition, there is a recent article in the Keeper’s Resources section that also covers a little on the topic, here is that link:

Communication is essentially organizing your defense. It’s recognizing the position of your opponents in relationship to the ball and your goal and communicating to your teammates where you want them to be and what you want them to do. In my mind, that’s Team Defense and Decision-Making.

I’d start with reading the articles and please feel free to e-mail me if you have additional questions. I’ll add that I’ve played with a number of teams over the years and my experience has taught me that there is no one style of communication. I’ve played with teams where defenders do a lot of talking around the ball and my job is basically to keep them aware of upfield forwards or what I’m doing and then I’ve played with teams where I have to take charge and organize who is on ball and who is marking who. It will all depend on your team. Communication is about results and if players aren’t doing what you ask them, then it’s time to rethink how you’re saying things.

As you work on communication, conversations about situations on the field are very useful. Walk throughs where you place a ball on the field and move opponents and have to organize where you want people to go and what you want them to do are useful. It’s good to have common terms so that your teammates are all on the same page.

As I said, there is no one style of communication. The key is recognizing danger as an attack is developing and taking that away through positioning your help,

good luck,


7 thoughts on “Communication”

  1. simply telling ur last man to step towards his back hand or forhand makes a big differnce, so u can say there is a man at ur backhand so u expect ur player to step to the left and hold the stick in a differnt manner
    communication isnt just what you say but how, you have to be very convincing talk loudly but dont scream, and be steady,
    there are many good artikels on this matter on this website.

  2. im the same i have big dreams though not as big as madaline i have trouble staying on my feet i always prefer to slide but the coach i play for doesnt like me doin so so he never puts my name down for states any help ???

  3. listen to your coach and stay on your feet more.
    as you get to higher levels the players will take advantage of you sliding too much and you’ll end up being either being lobbed or giving away PS’s and being carded.

    would recommend that the OP shouts “keepers” rather than “Mine” just to make it clear to her defence so they can get out of the way

    shouting is a hug part of a keepers game. I had a match last season where my captain told me not to shout to one of my midfielders (he wasn’t picking up his man). At halftime I went to the team and told them they had a choice, either I shout or someone else puts the pads on for the 2nd half. Was quite a quick decision from them!

  4. I’m working on a list of key words that would work for pretty much any team I play on.
    To Jag the Keeper, STAY ON YOUR FEET!!!!! I have the same problem, my first training session I learnt to slide and have used it as my primary save technique because I played on really bad teams and constantly had breakaways. I’ve been trying to stay on my feet more now that I’m on higher level teams.

  5. as a keeper you have a style, every one is diifernt.
    But when it comes to shot stopping, from the egde on the dee, lying in is the worst thing to do. You need to slide every now and then, block a shot, take out a 1 on 1 stituation, but at top levels players are able to easily play around a keeper who is going to ground. If ur coach is not a keeper himself, many things they say can be wrong, but if ur coach is an experenced man when it comes to keepers, it is sometimes best to listen, this way the coach likes you more, and you may just learn a thing or two.

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