uhlsport USA
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—Ottawa Internationals S.C. web site, Ottawa, Canada

Goalkeeping Tips, Tidbits and Random Thoughts

An athlete talking to themsleves during competition is hardly a new phenomenon.... The talk does not have to be vocal. By merely thinking you are talking to yourself and sending a message.
   -- Tony DiCicco, Goalkeeper Soccer Training Manual

If you have a question, comment or rebuttal you'd like to see addressed here, send me email. I will post your mail to the blog at my discretion unless you specify otherwise.

Not as fast as you can't

One more maxim: "Go as fast as you can, not as fast as you can't".

The meaning here: you want to push yourself to the edge, but not over it. If you are attempting a skill and have trouble performing it, back off a bit until you can perform it successfully. Slow down, make the bar lower whatever you need to get some success. Once you can accomplish that, make it harder again -- speed up, raise the bar. Stay on the edge, but not so far over it that you are not longer successful.

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The difference between a goal and a save

Hmmm, is it really an aphorism if I made it up myself? Merriam Webster defines it as "a concise statement of principle; a terse formulation of a truth". I guess all those old sayings have to start somewhere! I'm sure anyone who has coached for any period of time collects these sorts of sayings just like they collect drills and games.

How about this one, from elsewhere on my site: "The difference between a goal and a save is a half-step." I often illustrate this by placing a ball just to the side of me on the ground, and reach out for it with only my hands between the ball and the goal. "This is a goal." There's nothing behind my hands; if they let me down, the ball is in the net. Then I take a small half-step so I'm directly behind the ball. "This is a save." I have an extra barrier between the ball and the goal, and make the save.


Maxim continued...

"...and a top-class goalkeeper doesn't have to make a save at all."

Communication! Goalkeepers who communicate with and organize their defense can prevent shots from being taken in the first place!


Good goalkeepers and great goalkeepers

Here is a maxim I use with my goalkeepers all the time: "A good goalkeeper makes the first save. A great goalkeeper makes the second save..."

Recovery time is key. The more quickly you can get back on your feet, the easier it will be to make the second save if there's a rebound or deflection. Peter Schmeichel is great at this. If he gives up a rebound, he is instantly on his feet again and ready to challenge the shooter.

I share this with my beginning keepers, but for more advanced players, there's a third part to the saying that I'll go into next time.


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