uhlsport USA
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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.

Unuckiest goal ever

In Brazil, playing for a futsal championship, a goalkeeper gives up what may just be the unluckiest goal ever.

I'm not normally one to ascribe things to bad luck. After all, the harder you work, the luckier you seem to be. But this one definitely has a fateful twist to it.


Optimal penalty kicks

The latest issue of the NSCAA Soccer Journal has a reprint of an article from the 1988 archives: "Psychological Stress in Penalty Kicks". The focus of the article is more on the kick taker, but an interesting stat emerges: in the 1986 World Cup, only 30% of the kicks were taken "optimally". That is, only 30% of the kicks were placed in the zone one meter from either post. Fifty percent were one to three meters from the center of the goal, and a full 20% (one of five!) were put down the center two meters of the goal.

The reason for such poorly placed kicks is often psychological stress, as noted by the title of the article. But the implication for the goalkeeper is clear: a large portion of penalty kicks might be saved simply by reacting to the ball, since they are within range of an easy dive. Reading the shooter is still beneficial, since a well-struck shot, even if not perfectly placed, can still be tough to save. Any edge in reaction a goalkeeper can glean can be critical. But perhaps you can go too soon and put yourself out of position for what would have been an easy save.

Personally, I think there is a lot of merit in this approach. I do quite well with penalties, stopping over 50% the last few years. I get a read on the shooter, but only to get a "lean" in that direction--I don't fully commit. That way I still have a chance to react to poorly hit shots, and I have saved a number of PKs in just that way. The shot ended up coming right down the middle.

Just think... if you could save 70% of your penalties this way, you'd be a hero!


The G-Code

There is a lot of myth and outright bad information out there about nutrition and training methods. Exercise science seemingly comes up with something new every day, either finding new ways to train or discarding old notions. How does a goalkeeper keep up?

Well, the folks at Keeper Skool have put together The G-Code: an e-book that specifically addresses the fitness needs of goalkeepers. Nutrition, stamina, strength, speed, explosiveness... it's all there, and specifically for goalkeepers! Worth a look. Look for a more extensive review soon.


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