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.

Goalkeeper Fitness

Goalkeepers need to be in shape, just like the rest of the team. It's just that they need to be in a different kind of shape than field players.

Think about the motions of a soccer game. While field players are constantly jogging, then cruising at moderate speed, then sprinting five to occasionally 60 or 70 yards. Goalkeepers, on the other hand, spend a lot of time standing or walking, but then have to make quick 5-10 yard bursts and explosively jump and dive. Studies have shown that in a 90-minute professional match, a goalkeeper can travel up to 2 miles (3.2km), and much of that is going sideways or backwards.

Goalkeeping demands some aerobic capacity, but more quickness, agility and explosiveness. To be a top goalkeeper, you need to train these attributes. Going on a five-mile jog isn't the most effective use of your time. After building a moderate aerobic base, plyometrics, sprint training and strength training are where it's at.

More soon, but to get your started, a few great sites for keeper fitness are Keeper Skool (and the book available there, The G Code) and articles at Keeperstop.com. Also read this article at the Star Goalkeeper Academy site—coach Ryan Carr wrote a fantastic goalkeeper strength and conditioning manual available at Keeperstop.com.


The Basics

When starting training at a camp or clinic, or with a goalkeeper I haven't worked with in a while, we almost always start with basics: footwork, hand position, catching easy balls. This is the case even with advanced goalkeepers.

Why? Because all players need to have sound fundamentals, and the only way to make sure that they are sound and consistent is repetition. The 80/20 rule is in effect: 80% (probably more, really) of your saves are the simple ones, so that's where you should focus most of your effort. Of course, you need to learn how to make and train for the other 20%. But wouldn't you rather save eight out of 10 goals, instead of only two, no matter how spectacular those two are?


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