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

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.

All contact sports present a risk of injury. Goodness knows you can turn an ankle merely stepping off the curb if you're unlucky. But it's always horrible to read headlines like this: "Goalkeeper's kidney removed after clash".

Such incidents aren't unique to soccer. The NHL's Peter Forsberg had to have his spleen removed after a hit in a playoff game a few years ago. American football player Korey Stringer collapsed and died after a preseason workout. We can do everything in our power to prevent things like this, but some risk will remain.

I strongly maintain that proper training is one of the best ways to help keep a goalkeeper from injury, although of course even the best training cant prevent everything. With proper technical training, goalkeeping is no more dangerous than playing field, in my opinion.


Tips for coaching courses

Taking a USSF or NSCAA coaching course any time soon? As posted on the and-again.com forum, here are my top five tips for passing your practical coaching session.


Most-used books

Every coach has, or ought to have, a library of books, video tapes and other resources that they draw on. Whether it's learning about new tactics, getting drill and game ideas, or trying to motivate their players, there are experts out there who have knowledge to share. Here are my top five most thumbed-through coaching books:

  • Soccer's Dynamic Shortsided Games, Caruso
    An outstanding collection of games (not drills) from top coaches at all levels.
  • Soccer Goalkeeper Training Manual, DiCicco
    A top-notch treatise on goalkeeping with info on penalties, psychology and college soccer as well as technique and tactics.
  • Coaching Women's Soccer, Stokell
    Not just for coaches of females, Stokell's book offers a different approach to training through the use of the freegame and restrictions.
  • Training Soccer Champions, Dorrance
    Again, you don't have to coach females to get a lot out of this book. The North Carolina Women's Soccer legend gives his insight into coaching psychology and a look at the "Competitive Cauldron".
  • Positive Coaching, Thompson
    An outstanding book on coaching youth applicable to any sport. The ideas in this book eventually sparked the Positive Coaching Alliance.


Watch as many games as you can

A while back I made a post about how you should watch a soccer game. But that doesn't do any good if you aren't watching any games at all. If you want to improve as a coach or player, you should watch as many soccer games as you can, either on television or live.

I've thought this for a long time, but it hit home with this brilliant post over on BigSoccer.

A problem with American players is that they don't, or can't, watch a lot of high-level soccer. As a result, they often fail to see the "big picture" of the game. Unless you get cable, you are limited to a very few games on TV, and even basic cable (ESPN and ESPN2) only gives you a few more games during the MLS season. More and more people have access to channels like Fox Soccer Channel or GolTV, but even lack of opportunities should be no excuse. You should be craving games to watch, and seeking them out wherever and whenever you can. If you think soccer is "boring" to watch, you are not seeing a big part of the game. Look for the patterns, the big-picture tactics, and—especially live—watch what happens away from the ball. Try to predict what will happen, or should happen, two to three passes from now. Then try to take what you've learned out on the field with you.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

© 2003-2008 Jeff Benjamin, all rights reserved