The Forgotten Keeper
Sometimes as a goalkeeper or goalkeepers parent you can feel like your alone on an island. Keepertec has your back and feels your pain. Remember that without a goalkeeper, soccer would be a very boring and pointless game.
When was the last time you learned something new? Or more specifically tried to learn a new sport? Something unlike anything you've done before, something that takes you out of your comfort zone and unbalances you? This is what kids feel constantly when we introduce them to a new sport. This post focuses on that concept... More specifically I'm going to share with you what learning a new sport in my 30's taught me about learning.
As a Canadian kid I grew up in a hockey loving family. Hockey was always on TV and my grandfather was an ex player and coach. In an era where girls barely played soccer, let alone hockey, I gravitated to the beautiful game. I started organized soccer at an early age and continued on until I hung up my gloves and started coaching instead. But realistically Hockey was in my blood. I don't even remember being taught how to shoot a wrist shot, it just happened. I played street hockey with the boys and spent hours out side with a stick, net and tennis ball. I loved it! As I got older I still enjoyed watching it, but as kids do, stopped going out to the street to play.
I attended a tournament recently and was amazed to see how many youth goalkeepers where disconnected from their teams when the ball was in the opponents half. Many youth goalkeepers where standing inside their 6 yard box.
As I look back at all the coaches I've had, I can clearly name those who had an impact on me. I still remember to coach that taught me to love the game, I remember the coach who convinced me I was capable of doing something within this game, and I remember the coach who was able to help take my game to the next level. All of these coaches will forever hold a special place in my heart for that specific time in my life. After all I would not have been the player I was or turned into the coach I am without them.
To follow up on our post about the importance-of-a-proper-warm-up for a goalkeeper I've created a video with an example. Below the video you'll find more detail on each aspect.
Goalkeepers are often forgotten (just as the title of this blog suggests) or are simply expected to know how to perform aspects of the position because they put up their hand and volunteered to play it. Goalkeeping is a special position and to be successful they require individualized training. But what can every grassroots coach do to help their goalkeeper develop?
As I walk past games or watch opponents I'll commonly hear the words "Great Save!" being yelled from the sidelines. Except....it wasn't. The ball was batted away and it's popped out for a rebound, or now the team is dealing with a corner kick when all the goalkeeper had to do was catch the ball.
How can you identify a goalkeeper? There are many attributes that create a strong goalkeeper, but Bravery stands out the most in younger players. Goalkeepers need to be brave in order to learn and develop new skills. As a goalkeeper a player must leave their comfort zone and push their mind and body past preconceived limits. Being a goalkeeper goes against human nature.
Grassroots coaches spend their time teaching young players new to the game how to dribble, pass and shoot. These skills are performed with their feet and are the only part of the game covered for all players. After all, every player needs these skills to play the game. But one of the most important positions needed for the game to be competitive is completely forgotten.
I sat down with Camilo at We Love Soccer - Canada. We cover everything from how I fell in love with the game to Goalkeeper development.
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