Guest Blog written by Adrienne Cook – Owner and Head Instructor of KeeperTec Goalkeeper Training
In using their athleticism they’ve developed their technique in a different way than any other player on the pitch. They’ve dedicated their time to repetitive catching in controlled environments, they’ve focused on footwork, balance and power in their movements, and both show great confidence with the ball at their feet. These players demonstrate what’s truly needed to become a great goalkeeper in todays game.
So why don’t coaches and parents look for similar attributes in our young players and encourage them to try being a goalkeeper?
At the 8v8 grassroots level, scoring goals seems to be more important than stopping them. This approach is learned by players, parents and coaches alike. And because of it, nobody want’s to be a goalkeeper. At times there are kids who raise their hand to play the position, only to be told they’re needed up front to score goals for the team instead.
We should be taking our athletes and all who put up their hand, and teach them to be a goalkeeper at a young age through specialized training. We shouldn’t be leaving them to figure it out on their own. They may not have success with figuring it out, and then we’ve potentially lost a great goalkeeper.
If you have a player who shows an interest in the position and thinks it’s fun, help them feel successful by finding and supporting these players in goalkeeper specific training. Trust me, you’ll be thankful you did. Because these grassroots players will eventually grow up, and everybody else will be struggling to find a goalkeeper who can keep their team in a game by making saves.
Rewarding players, with a charitable dollar towards what they care about, if they step up and decide to try out goalkeeping at young age will provide another method of motivation. Here at Play Better we also see coaches rewarding keepers for making great saves or opening up and using their back foot to receive a pass and switch the play.
Interested in stepping up your goalkeeping skills?
Connect with Adrienne for more info!