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,