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.
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However, when it comes to goalkeepers it is even more difficult to find meaningful statistics. Shots saved vs shots on goal is one obvious one, but doesn't always tell how effective a goalkeeper really is. The best goalkeepers keep their defense in shape and are well positioned themselves, so the opportunity for a shot never even presents itself.
I ran across a series of player analyses done by a company called Softsport. They did an analysis of Peter Schmeichel to see what made him one of the greatest keepers ever. They selected six attacking categories (distribution) and four defensive categories (shot stopping and cutting out passes and crosses).
It's a bit interesting, but no real insights IMHO, at least on the defensive side. "Intercepted Passes", "Shots saved", "Corner kicks saved" and "Goals against" don't really provide much of a view of a keeper's game.
One thing that caught my eye on the attacking side was that Schmeichel was credited with an average of one pass per game that led to a shot on goal. I think that's great number, and shows that every keeper ought to be looking for the chance to attack as soon as they get the ball into their hands.
I think an even better stat might be "Scoring chances created". A good attack might not lead to a direct shot on goal and still be a great scoring opportunity. Personally, I strive to set up 2-3 chances at the other end every game, by quickly finding open players in a position to counter-attack. In indoor matches, that number goes up even more, and I'm often disappointed if one or two goals a game don't come as the result of my distribution, whether it's with hands or feet.
We all know the goalkeeper is the "last line of defense", but we can never forget we're also the "first line of attack."
Andy Gray over at Soccer365. I have to say I concur.
Labels: Goalkeeping News and Analysis
My high school JV team was playing indoors and the normal keeper likes to get some field time too. So another girl volunteered to play goal for a half. This girl also plays softball, so I asked her what position. "Shortstop," she said. "Perfect!" I replied. She did an excellent job in a difficult game where we were overmatched. The only disconcerting thing was seeing her scooping up a rolling ball as if she had a baseball glove on. I must say the goalkeeping technique is a bit different....
The Guardian Unlimited's soccer pages, you may notice a regular feature called The Gallery. People do PhotoShop-ed send-ups of various soccer figures each week. Goalkeepers, of course, don't get off the hook. There are galleries of Oliver Kahn, Jens Lehman, Fabien Barthez, David James and David Seaman along with those of players, coaches, owners and even referees.
The most recent contest was a goalkeeper again, Roy Carroll. At the risk of trouncing all over professional courtesy towards my fellow goalkeeper, I submitted a Carroll spoof that I thought was quite brilliant. And the Guardian agreed! My entry won a prize!
"If Roy Carroll can't keep things inside the lines, why should I?"
(With all due respect, I'm sure I've made many more howlers than Carroll. Mine are just a little lower profile.)
Apparently that's what it looked like to Roy Carroll earlier this week.
Labels: Matchday observations
"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
"One hundred percent of the shots you don't take don't go in."
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
"It's not the will to win that matters -- everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."
—Paul "Bear" Bryant
"If you can't get out of it... get into it!"
—Hurricane Island Outward Bound slogan
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