uhlsport USA
"Outstanding keeper instruction. This is a must for goalkeepers and coaches."
—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

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World Youth Championships, W vs Diamond

Boy, the season goes fast, doesn't it? And busy. You would never imagine how much energy it takes to manage preschoolers. A coach friend of mine likens it to "herding birds." But anyway, a couple of thoughts for a long-overdue update:

After watching the beginning of the U17 Youth Championship and this summer's World Youth Championship (U20s), it's become shockingly clear why goalkeepers mature later in life. What I saw of the goalkeeping was overall poor in both competitions. The US keeper Bryant Rueckner made a real howler in the group match against Italy, letting a free kick skip unimpeded into the far side netting. Perhaps he thought it was going wide? The moral: never assume!

On average, soccer teams get older and taller as you move from front to back. Goalkeepers are often among the oldest and tallest players on a team. (I've finally hit the age where I am getting older and shorter, unfortunately.)

Diamond vs W?. Which catching grip is better? I know goalkeeper coaches who teach one, some the other. Which do you use or recommend? I am firmly in the W camp (thumbs together, fingertips pointing almost straight up), although if a keeper comes to me using the diamond (thumbs and index fingers almost touching)and is comfortable and catches well, I won't try to change them. There are a number of reasons I think the W is preferable, especially for young keepers.

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