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.
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.
At early ages all players should be playing all positions. We prepare players to play in the field but not to play in goal. We ask young players to go in goal and they're scared. They have no idea what their doing because they've never been taught, so fear sets in and the decision is made that they don't want to play in goal. Unfortunately this happens too often. Players will break down in tears because they're afraid of going in goal. Think of all the potential goalkeepers we're scaring away because we aren't preparing them for the position in the first place.
As a coach think about doing a goalkeeper specific session or two so all players are comfortable with catching, diving safely, and angles. This will give players confidence to try playing in goal. Not every player will love it, but not every player loves playing in the midfield either. Our soccer community is helping to develop fear of a position by not preparing players to play it.
In addition to not understanding how to play as a goalkeeper, players are fearful of letting the team down by causing a loss. They don't want to disappoint their peers, coaches or parents by making a mistake. To overcome this an environment needs to be created in which all players understand the team is responsible for a goal and all players are developing and learning in all positions. Make a point to support your goalkeepers as they grow in this unfamiliar position.
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