On of the very common questions asked by parents and players alike. “Why does “Johnny”need separate Goalkeeper training? Seems like he gets lots of practice with his team taking all those shots.”
On the surface, it appears that is true, but in reality, it’s not correct. What’s the saying….it takes years to undo something that has been learned incorrectly. The skill set and technique of a Goalkeeper is entirely different than that of field players. Although there are some shared components, the core of Goalkeeping is unique. Instructing the keeper to “go play in goal” while the field players rip shots may seem like it’s helping both filed players and keepers, but it’s real function is to help the field player improve shooting, not the Goalkeeper with proper technique in saving those shots.
Further more as youth keepers are instructed to get in the goal for shooting practice most parent coaches do not know how or forget to protect the goalkeeper. What do I mean by that? Well first of all although the coach may have, or thinks he may have an idea about proper catching techniques he does not protect the goalkeeper from shots being fired at him from 4 or 5 feet away. This happen quite a bit in the youth age teams as they do not have yet develop proper ball control and the ball gets away from them only to have them fire a shot directly at the goalkeeper from 4 or 5 feet away. Most also do not understand why shooting so close can hurt the keeper. By the way, team coaches should practice finishing not shooting. That means field players practice how to place the ball on the corners of the goal and not fire it right at the keeper as most youth players do. With that being said, then there is no need for a goalkeeper. Just a couple of cones at the corners of the goal to help the players aim towards those spots.
Professional clubs have their own Goalkeeper coach/trainer that works with the keepers separately and then draws them into small sided situations and game scenarios to reinforce skills being trained. However, most local clubs don’t have that luxury, so goalkeeper training in New Jersey is available with Just 4 Keepers to help fill that void.
Specific Goalkeeper training with Just 4 Keepers is specific, concentrated, and focused on the skills necessary for a Goalkeeper to be successful for whatever team they play. Repetition is a key element as well as realistic situations that boost confidence and determination. Picture a typical team practice in your mind. How many successful, realistic repetitions are afforded the keeper? With players attempting to score with each opportunity, the keeper may only get touches on a quarter of balls or being able to handle when balls are fired from close range that he/she would be getting with Goalkeeper focused training.
Just 4 Keepers provides the environment to help the goalkeeper grow – in confidence and skill in a year-round program designed for keepers by keepers.
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.