Every year many high school goalkeepers attend college ID showcase tournaments or clinics in hopes to impress college coaches and receive a college offer to fill a college program roster spot. Many goalkeepers do not realize that diving and athleticism is not enough to secure a college recruiting offer. College coaches are looking for a lot more than just athleticism or diving. Below is a video omy my top 10 things I look for in goalkeeper as a college goalkeeper coach at Widener University. Hope it helps and look forward seeing some great goalkeeping talent on the fields.
Being a goalkeeper is not just about catching and throwing the ball. It is about positioning, angle cutting, being able to handle ball well with your feet as well as your hands, being able to communicate with your teammates, being able to scan the field, anticipate and react before things happen. It is being strong minded, fearless, being able to handle adversity, and always being alert and ready to transition from defense to offense. It is all of these things and more and young goalkeepers should be taught that at their weekly training classes just like they are at the just4keepers weekly training classes in Jackson NJ.
The following videos show a goalkeeper being alert and transitioning from defense to offense while the other team is not expecting this quick transition.
As goalkeepers of all ages come for goalkeeper training in Jackson NJ they are always anxious to start diving and have shots fired at them. However their mechanical fundamental skills are not there yet. They need to understand that at any level fundamental skills is the most crucial thing of goalkeeping. College players and professionals have fundamental skill training as part of their every day training. If a goalkeeper can not catch the ball properly he or she will be giving up constant rebound opportunities. If goalkeepers do not have proper foot skills they will not be able to cover the goal or move from one side of the six or eighteen yard box to the other and control it. Also a goalkeeper's agility fundamentals skills come into play every single moment of the game, as the goalkeeper must be able to use both hands and feet as well as dive and bounce right up at a second's notice. The video below show a fundamental goalkeeper skills training sessions at the college level with just4keepers coach Niko Alexopoulos.
The title of this post may sound a bit extreme but as a goalkeeper I have learned to not only watch and read the game I am involved with, but watch and read the players that are playing in front of me. That includes both my teammates as well as the opposition. Here at the just4keepers international academy for keepers in New Jersey we help develop the goalkeeper’s mindset as well as his/hers physical skills and mechanics.
Let’s start from the goalkeeper’s teammates. A goalkeeper is the last line of defense and he/she has a complete view of the entire football field. No other player has that view. He/she also has more time to view and survey the game as it unfolds in front of them as well as the way their teammates’ playing habits, mood and playing style. The goalkeeper can also do the same for the other team. Because of the fact a goalkeepers’ teammates have less time to see, analyze and create correct decisions due to the constant pressure and speed of the game a goalkeeper can be a great asset to his or her teammates, both by guiding them to make the correct decision in where they stand, how to receive a pass, what to do when they receive the pass as well help them mentally when they are beaten by an opponent, make a good play or even just tired and hurt.
By doing all these things a goalkeeper will be helping his/her teammates in making better decisions, gaining more confidence from his/her teammates in believing that the particular goalkeeper has his/her field player’s back and in return the goalkeeper will see an increase in the field player’s desire to help their goalkeeper in any way they can.
Understanding these fine points and consistently reinforcing them is part of the just4keepers goalkeeper academy in New Jersey mind set and philosophy. We take the time to explain these things properly and make the goalkeeper feel as one of the most in demand positions on a team rather than just an extra position that can always be filled by someone who’s skills are lacking on the field.
A goalkeeper’s position is not just making saves but leading the entire team. Some say that the midfielder should be the best player, both technically and tactically. He/she should be able to read the game and make quick decisions. I beg to differ. A goalkeeper has much more on his plate both physically as well as mentally.
Think of it this way, there are usually 17 players on a roster, only two keepers. Any of the 15 players can adjust and play another field player’s position with pretty good success rate. But when a goalkeeper goes down in most cases he/she can only be replaced with success by another keeper.
Soccer has always been an endless source of life lessons on and off the pitch for Niko.As an ex player Niko has loved the sport since he was 4 years old. That was the 1st time his dad, an ex professional goalkeeper for FC Olympiakos, took him to the stadium and Niko started to experienced pro soccer in Europe at a very young age. The rest is history.