23 Jun 2010
The six phases of coaching football – Phase six
Phase six – goalkeeping
Goalkeepers are both an integral part of the team and need to be treated as such and also individuals with, if possible specialist goalkeeping training.
Goalkeepers should be encouraged to play in football training sessions, particularly where sessions are organised where they can be part of the team in possession, so they can develop the passing, receiving and support skills, which are so very important for goalkeepers to develop. They should also be included when organising defending set pieces, as they will be integral to the organisation requirements.
Goalkeepers will also need specialist and individual training to at the very least develop an understanding of and to practice the basics of positioning: Feet movement to get in the line of the ball: Handling and shot stopping: Diving saves: Dealing with crosses.
These skills will need to be tested in match like situations, so whenever finishing or crossing sessions are taking place, goalkeepers should play in them.
Given the Robert Green mistake in the England V USA World Cup Match 2010, it is worth while highlighting how important it is that goalkeepers continually work on the basic techniques. 90% of what goalkeepers do in most games involves simple basic technical work. Only rarely are they called upon to make outstanding saves. Therefore, it is vital that they perform these basic technical tasks, efficiently and consistently. Because as England and Robert Green have found out, failure to move the feet and to ensure that the goal keeper gets at least two surfaces, in this case the hands and the body, behind even the most simple shot, can result in embarrassing and costly mistakes and unlike other outfield players…results in goals conceded!!