uhlsport USA
"Outstanding keeper instruction. This is a must for goalkeepers and coaches."
—Ottawa Internationals S.C. web site, Ottawa, Canada
GOALKEEPER COACHING
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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.

The basics come first

You'd think that one of the primary measures of a goalkeeper would be the ability to hang on to the ball. But after watching and officiating a number of games this weekend, I wonder. Many keepers train hard on all the "difficult" stuff, like diving, distribution and sliding in on breakaways, while neglecting the basics: footwork, positioning, and catching. Sure, they may not be as exciting to work on, but if you have those three things down you will make the majority of the saves.

Being able to securely catch the ball not only prevents rebounds that lead to goals, it is a safety issue as well. Once that ball pops loose, it is fair game to be challenged for by the opponents, and often the keeper is in a vulnerable position. As the AR in a U17 girls' game on Saturday, I watched a keeper go low to gather a shot that hit her in the hands and popped loose, a few feet away. The incoming striker not only gathered the ball and put it into the net, but banged into the keeper as she tried in vain to collect the loose ball. No foul, and the goal stood. The keeper was shaken up but able to continue. Had the keeper held the ball the first time, not only would there have been no goal, but any contact with the keeper would have been a certain foul, rather than incidental contact when going for a free ball.

Too many keepers, IMHO, need to work on cushioning the ball. A little hard work in this area will go a long way towards making a better goalkeeper.

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What to use to wash gloves

Many different washing agents, from specialty glove cleaners to Woolite to hand soap all work for different types and brands of gloves. I have found dish soap to work well, and baby shampoo works well for some gloves. If something seems to be damaging your gloves, stop using it and try something else. Or just use plain water, in a pinch. But keep your gloves clean.

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Welcome to coaching

" 'This is fun,' said Coach Moises, standing with arms crossed, next to Coach Mikey. 'But they arenít doing anything that I told them.'

Yeah, well, welcome to coaching."

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