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.

Risk vs reward

Risk vs reward development: are you willing to take the chance as a coach or player?

Kevin McCarra over at the Guardian writes: "Tolerance of the blunders that might once have been endured as part of the education of a goalkeeper is at a lower level than ever before. Managers simply cannot afford patience while they are so dependent on results." While you can certainly understand this at the Premiership level, the attitude is all too prevalent at the youth level as well.

And since we won't take the risk there, how in the world is a young keeper to grow and learn through mistakes? Combine that with the fact that goalkeepers get less game situation practice than field players (often far, far less), it's no wonder that many top keepers in the EPL and world-wide are 30-something.

Coaches, are you willing to help your goalkeepers by allowing them to make mistakes (mistakes that might cost you a game)? Keepers, are you willing to take those chances in order to learn (and potentially anger your coach)?

One way to fix this: use more game-situation time in practice (full goals and free play), and allow your keeper to test their limits in practice. I often tell keepers in training to be aggressive and go for everything, as there's no real penalty in practice. In a game they can be more conservative if they like, but they must stretch themselves in training so they know what their limits are in the game. Both coach and player need to agree to this and be on the same page. In the long run, both will benefit.


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