Are BASIC SKILLS the ONLY thing a goalkeeper needs to perform well during a competitive game? Key words: perform well, competitive games. Furthermore, have you heard this OLD saying, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. I prefer saying perfect practice makes perfect performances.
Coaches and athletes around the world will agree that mastering basic technical skills are the foundation for ANY sport but is also essential for all goalkeepers. Unfortunately, goalkeeper basic skills training is as far some coaches are willing to go.
Memorizing and learning basic skills is the only thing many youth soccer clubs and goalkeeper coaches are currently doing, meaning that, goalkeepers will come to training and learn to anticipate every drill, memorize their next move so they become only GREAT DRILL DOERS...But learning, memorizing and practicing to do BASIC SKILLS, is only the FIRST step to a great performance.
Think about the greatest PIANO PLAYER in the world present or past, imagine those guys playing a song one KEY at the time, so playing BASIC musical notes is what makes them the greatest piano players in the world? ABSOLUTELY NOT. To master your goalkeeper skills you must think outside the box and you must find different training.
3 ways to master your goalkeeper skills:
Learn to perform your basic goalkeeper skills: very simple concept. However, this should NOT be your FINAL step for a great performance. Practice is very important during this learning process. NOTE: On this stage, having a coach that would give YOU ATTENTION is VITAL. Avoid, coaches and organizations that have TONS of keepers with TONS of coaches and claim they have the best training around. COMMON SENSE tells us that it is impossible to give attention to a large group of people. In fact, Professional goalkeepers will never train in LARGE groups.....BE VERY CAREFUL!!!!
Learn to performance your skill under game-like situations: Some people call this stage, PERFORMANCE PRACTICE. Regular practices and valuable coaching points and professional feedback is important on this stage. But your training/practice has to be under ALL kinds of different game-like situations where your skill, comfort level and your thinking process are going to be tested. NOTE: the INTENSITY LEVEL during this stage must be high and consistent. Expect TONS of work during this stage. During this training keepers should not be anticipating or memorizing the drills. This is where many youth soccer clubs and goalkeeper coaches are failing.
Learn to perform under PRESSURE CONSISTENTLY and at the same PACE as competition day: as a goalkeeper you cannot take this lightly. Doing drills, take endless shots and few coaching points is NOT ENOUGH during this stage. Your training should be a bit out of your comfort zone, find ways to be trained even while you are tired to simulate high pace games. However, mastering your skill still needs to be a priority regardless of the training currently going.
There are a number of goalkeeper organizations that will concentrate on offering tons of drills and fun games, then a coach comes out and give few instructions and then go to the next sections. If you are ok and satisfied with this type of training then non of the 3 points mentioned above will mean anything to you.
However, if you are looking to step up to the 21st century goalkeeper training then these 3 ways to master your goalkeeper skills will be the beginning of a successful goalkeeper career. There are other elements that are not mentioned on this blog but fitness, reaction, speed etc are only FEW things that goalkeeper CANNOT ignore.
As I mentioned before on other blogs, goalkeepers around the world start their training at a young age but at an INTENSE PACE that no young goalkeeper in the US or even Colorado is able to do until later in their careers.
I hope this blog will help you get started and inspires you to look for the right training to stay competitive with the rest of the world. If you are looking to get additional training try our J4K goalkeeper academy weekly sessions in Denver, Colorado (http://www.just4keepers.com/