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.

Snowmobiles and canoes

Not goalkeeping related, but with the blizzard here shutting everything down for a day or so, I saw an unusual sight today. While I was out shoveling snow, a guy on a snowmobile drove past down the middle of the street.

The only thing more incongruous was almost 10 years ago when we had a flash flood, and we were paddling a canoe around in the front yard.

I live on a nice residential city street. Not the kind of place where snow machines and canoes are regular types of transportation.

Oh, and happy solstice everybody!


Indoor training options

Today, for the first time ever, I had to cancel an indoor training session! We are in the middle of a fierce blizzard and the roads are closed, so nobody can get to the arena.

But even when the weather isn't quite as severe, it can be difficult to train in the winter when there's snow on the ground, it's extremely cold, or dark out. What's a goalkeeper to do? Here are a couple of generally available and reasonably priced indoor options that you might try. Both are at facilities for rental throughout the USA, and at a price that is reasonable for one or two keepers to use for an hour or so without completely breaking the bank.

Raquetball/handball court. Even though diving isn't recommended on a hard court surface, you can get lots of great footwork and catching practice. Use the angles of the walls to get some good reaction training on oddly deflected shots. If you are with another keeper, play goalkeeper handball: Rules as per regular handball, except that rather than hitting the ball with an open hand, the player must catch the ball (with good soccer goalkeeping technique, of course!), and returning the ball may be done via throwing, punting, drop-kicking or volleying out of the hands. It will take some great footwork if you are to forsake diving... or dive away, and use correct form so you don't get too beat up on the floor (padded pants & shirts recommended!).

Baseball batting cage. Indoor batting cages run 5-6 yards wide and 18-23 yards long, which is a good space to crank shots at someone and work on catching, cushioning and footwork. Some collapsed diving can be done, particularly in cages with an astroturf -type floor (again, pants and sleeve recommended to prevent getting torn up by the rough surface if you do this). Bring a medicine ball, mini-ball, or reflex ball for an even better workout.

While the space in both of these types of facilities limits what you can do, you can still get a lot done if you're the least bit creative. And it beats sitting at home eating holiday candy like I ended up having to do tonight.


Not all booze and parrot costumes

England and Portsmouth goalkeeper David James writes in his blog that "Festive football is not all booze and parrot costumes" and that the holiday season is just as hectic for professional soccer players as for anyone else. But the love of the game starts early:

"The closest I got to football on Boxing Day [as a child] was taking the plastic baubles off our tree, lobbing them against the wall and saving them from hitting the sofa. Tap tap tap. It infuriated my mum so much she went out and bought glass ones to stop me. To this day I swear all that bauble practice helped my goalkeeping skills."


The making of a goalkepeing glove

Some insights into the design, manufacture and marketing of goalkeeping gloves in an interview with Adam Sells of Sells Goalkeeper Products.

Full disclosure: I endorse Sells gear. I wouldn't do it if I wasn't extremely happy with their products and services. If you're interested in trying them out and can't find them at retailer near you, try KeeperStop.com.


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