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, for goalkeeper training we often get the opposite. We work in isolation on technical skills, over and over, but often we forget to work the keeper back in with the team so we can coach the tactical (decision making) part of the game with a real defense and real attackers in front of them. This may be one reason goalkeepers mature later than field players: they don't always get the coaching in game-like situations that field players get.
A good coach also not only has to identify the breakdown and fix it, but realize whether a mistake is technical or tactical. To use my previous example of a keeper struggling with breakaways, I could have spend hours on timing the shooter, when to come off the line, where to be positioned, and gotten nowhere. The problem was a technical one, not tactical. Can you tell which is which?
I spent quite a bit of time this season with my HS goalkeeper working on breakaways. She is fairly tall and has long legs and has difficulty going low, especially under pressure. She can make a breakaway save fine in a controlled coaching situation, but in a game situation really struggled. Because of this, she felt she had a "mental block" against going low and sliding through a ball.
But I noticed that on a game-like breakaway, she was always standing more upright, legs straight and bent over at the waist. That body shape is a tough position to get your hands low enough and makes it difficult to start the slide. We corrected her stance by getting her butt lower to the ground, knees bent deeply and head and shoulders up. Suddenly it became much easier for her to perform correctly.
That's where a coach, particularly a keeper coach, makes their living. Can you spot the flaws that are preventing the athlete from succeeding, and can you fix them?
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