GK1 Goalkeeping Academy

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FAQ

ABOUT GK1 ACADEMY

  1. What ages do you accept

    We accept both male and female keepers between the ages of 10 to 18

  2. Do I need to have any experience to attend?

    No. Experience is not a prerequisite, you will be slotted into the category that suits your ability not age. GK1 Academy prides itself as being a Development Academy, we don't train young keepers we coach them into becoming the best they can be

  3. How Often do you run Goalkeeper Clinics

    The December clinic is the first one I have run, I decided to run this clinic after being asked by some of my junior keepers that they always seemed to be neglected by mainstream clinics.

    I intend to run another clinic during the April School holidays to sharpen techniques prior to the season commencement as well as one in the July School holidays just before the business end of the season.

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WHAT ARE SOME FUNDAMENTAL GOALKEEPING TECHNIQUES - The Following 9 FAQ's have been reproduced with kind permission from Fernando Alves. Curent GK Coach of Brisbane ROAR & The Australian Under 20 National Team

  1. (1) Fundamentals - Footwork

    I discuss fundamental techniques that every goalkeeper can utilize. So, if you're a beginner goalkeeper looking for a way to get an understanding of goalkeeping, or a more senior goalkeeper wanting to polish up your skills you'll be gladly surprised with the information that is included. 

    Lesson 1 - Footwork & the power of momentum

    Goalkeeping is a science. Much like the art of boxing is considered a special science; similarly we may consider goalkeeping as a specific science. Footwork is one of the key aspects of the football goalkeepers' game. As a football goalkeeper, footwork must be utilized effectively, so that we may both attack the ball and also defend the ball from entering the goal during attack. Effective footwork is also crucial in diving for the ball and for meeting any attacking or defending situation effectively. Therefore, footwork entails attacking and defending the ball with both precision and effectiveness. As much as we utilise our hands as goalkeepers, we must also master the science of footwork.

    The Science of Footwork

    Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, and many other masters of their trade had utilised effective footwork to evade oncoming attack, and also shield themselves in defence. The premise behind footwork is momentum. Footwork gives momentum during a dive, punching the ball out of an attacking situation and during numerous other scenarios. Momentum in goalkeeping is driven by the split second dynamic movements involving explosive power and footwork. Therefore, an overview of the mechanics behind footwork needs to be discussed.

    Mechanics of Footwork

    SCENARIOS, TECHNIQUES & ATTACKING THE BALL

    When the ball is shot either to the left or right hand side of the goalkeeper, the use of short, sharp and explosive steps are needed to prepare for any type of dive or to position oneself favourably. There is something that I learnt from one of my early mentors about in-between steps. In-between steps help to build momentum that allows a goalkeeper to explode into a dive, or build up momentum to position oneself favourably.

    Another fundamental approach to good goalkeeping technique is "cutting" the angle of the direction the ball is coming toward you. Cutting the angle of the ball requires a quick & simple forward momentum that allows the goalkeeper to attack the ball rather than waiting for the ball to come to you.

    Let's look at left to right movements. Movement from left to right should be fluid. By fluid I mean that goalkeepers' feet should always attempt to glide along the grass. A good visualisation would be sweeping the floor, for example, where the brush slides along the floor. The legs will be utilising in this instance powerful abduction and adduction (moving away from the midline of the body and moving back toward the midline of the body, respectively).

    Every movement from left to right (and any attacking movement for that matter) should be done in slight plantar flexion, meaning that you should always be on your toes, never flat footed. Every powerful and explosive movement should be measured and calculated, we'll talk about timing later on.

    Another fundamental error is crossing the legs over each other when attempting to attack the ball either to your left or the right hand-side of the body. You would be surprised at how this fundamental error still occurs even at a high level of football. Crossing the legs over each other in attempting to cut the angle of the ball can lead to a goalkeeper stumbling over themselves! Oh, you could just hear the crowd now…couldn't you.

    BODY BEHIND THE BALL

    Goalkeepers should know that with the technique that I just discussed you will be able to get your body behind the ball more effectively. And this positioning technique is so pivotal to every goalkeeper's game.

    Proper footwork will allow you to be placed behind the ball rather than just throwing yourself into a dive at every attacking situation. If we utilise effective footwork, the need to dive becomes less necessary. Therefore getting our bodies behind the ball and catching, is a safer alternative to the dive. Ball security is important with this type of movement. Remember, if you do not show that you can secure a ball effectively, there will be a resounding loss of confidence in team mates (especially defensive team mates), as they have to work harder to cover any mistake that might occur from insecure positioning, that may result in fumbling the ball.

    "SAPPING" THE POWER OF THE BALL

    Learning to "sap" the power of the ball effectively is an extremely important technique. The ball is moving at you surrounded with kinetic energy. I want you to buffer the power of the ball, and absorb that energy.

    How do we do this, you ask? Attacking the ball! Like we discussed previously, attacking the ball is extremely important. When we attack the ball we must also move our arms and hands toward the ball. Our hands must be supple, but firm enough to take the brunt of the force and absorb the energy surrounding the ball. If the hands are firm we risk deflecting the ball into oncoming attack.

    As we attack the ball, and "sap" its power, we must also retract the ball with our arms toward the body. Therefore we have effectively cut the power of the ball; the ball should be brought toward the body to secure it effectively so that it does not drop at the feet of an opponent's oncoming attack. There are obviously situations where there is no other option. But the goalkeeper should always endeavour to catch the ball.

    With great footwork, getting the body behind the ball and sapping the power of the ball with effective catching technique, there is no need to continually deflect the ball during a save. Do you the see the pattern we have built? Footwork…leads to…getting the body behind the ball, which then follows through to sapping the power of the ball, and thus, you have created a safety net, that allows you to save the ball more securely and efficiently.

    I've had professional goalkeeping coaches who say it does not matter how the ball is saved as long as the ball does not hit the back of the net. Fundamental techniques are extremely important for any goalkeeper! What people who do not specialise in goalkeeping do not understand, is that without fundamental technique, there is no way a goalkeeper will be able to keep the ball out of the net full stop! All of these techniques are important, especially in today's dynamic game.

    Therefore, the safety net we are talking about are your hands. Our hands, when attempting to catch the ball should come together to form a secure diamond/or "W" shape…or net. A goalkeeper should never catch the ball with hands parallel to each side of the ball, as it could spill out into oncoming attack. In essence all the above topics we have covered should be rolled into one motion. The action from moving toward a moving ball to catching and bringing the ball toward the body should be one fluid motion.

  2. (2) Fundamentals - The Science of Angles

    LESSON 2 - THE SCIENCE OF ANGLES

    In this lesson you'll be learning the science of angles and why they are so important for the competitive goalkeeper. Discovering the best ways to cover angles will make you a more efficient goalkeeper, and I'm sure that the following information will give you a good fundamental understanding to help you maximize your goalkeeping performance  

    ANGLE WORK

    Understanding angles are a fundamentally important tool for any goalkeeper. Angle work allows a goalkeeper to position themselves at an advantageous point within their 6 or 18 yard area, which in turn allows the goalkeeper to attack or defend the ball more economically and aggressively.

    Learning different aspects of attack will help a goalkeeper position themselves at advantageous angles. When a goalkeeper is positioned at a favourable angle it will allow him/her to attack or defend the ball effectively. Angle work is closely related to footwork. Without proper footwork we would not be able to position ourselves in a timely manner.

    ANALYSING DIFFERENT SCENARIOS FOR EFFFECTIVE ANGLE WORK

    There are so many analyses that we can utilize, that it may fill up this whole training guide, let us look then, at some specific situations. Let us look at both angle work on the goal line, and angle work when attacking an opponent in a one-on-one situation.

    YOU ARE THE CENTERPIECE OF YOUR DEFENCE

    When under attack from a distance always stay centred. Goalkeepers should always be off their line, even under attack (remember, we must Endeavour to cut the angle at all costs), and position (or angle) your body to follow the attackers movements, from this centred position.

    Let us look at a situation that may occur where the opposition is attacking from outside the 18 yard box. Here, the goalkeeper stays centred in goals, off his line, and positions his/her body with the movement of the ball. Whatever angle the ball is coming from, this is where the body should be facing.

    Another situation would be where a player has entered the box. Again, here the goalkeeper should stay centred, though, cutting the angle is important in this situation, therefore you have to fill up the goal, make yourself big, and cut out the options that an attacking player has of scoring.

    If a player has entered the 18 yard box and is attacking at either the right, or left near post, here we should be facing square to the post and cutting off the angle, we should also attempt to create a bigger void for the attacker to score, so again moving away from goals and making ourselves big, will deter the attacker in his attempt of putting the ball away at your near post. Both of the above situations would be assuming that this is a one on one challenge.

    In all situations we must attack the ball! Never hesitate, and never wait for the ball or the attacking player to come to you. We must realise that the above situations are not the standard in goalkeeping. We are all different, have many eccentricities and may utilise different training fundamentals, depending on the style of play being taught.

    For effective angle technique, goalkeepers must look at repetitive training from all angles. Remember what has been discussed previously. Standing off the line makes you bigger in goals. It visually impairs the attacker from making an effective strike, as they have fewer options to make whilst attacking. But don't ever get caught out! Standing too far off your line at the wrong time can lead to a goalkeeper being chipped easily, especially when the opposition is within your 18 yard box, if you have committed yourself to stand off your line then do so. Remember, never hesitate.

    Cutting an angle effectively entails that the goalkeeper dives forward. Never dive backward! The most effective way to cut the angle is MOMENTUM! Every action that a goalkeeper attempts revolves around momentum. Therefore, with momentum we have power, and with power we have speed and strength. Do you see how everything falls into place?

    Forward momentum allows a goalkeeper to cut the angle of the ball more effectively. When the goalkeeper attacks the ball, or dives for the ball, the goalkeepers' body should press forward diagonally rather than backward diagonally (in an example of a diving or sliding save). If forward, we close the gap the attacker has of scoring, and we have more speed, strength and power because of momentum. If backward, we lose power and momentum, but also risk opening a larger angle for the attacker to score past the goalkeeper.

    When aiding our own attack we must always remember the notion of momentum. Pressing outward from your six yard box and into your 18 yard box and beyond is pivotal. These are trying times for goalkeepers. The modern game calls for the goalkeeper to act as a sweeper (obviously depending on the formation), as if tending to goal was not enough!

    Pressing forward holds onto the notion of momentum, as the goalkeeper aids not only the defence, but the attack utilised by his offensive players. Therefore, in attacking situations move up and away from goals and act as a sweeper. When defending press back toward goal, though always remember to cut the angle & direction of the ball in every situation.

  3. (3) Fundamentals - Punching the Ball

    Boxing is a dynamic punching motion that will allow you to clear a ball with your hands at a greater force and distance. It is utilised as a last resort (remember we should endeavour to catch the ball at all times), to clear the ball to safety when the goalkeeper is under considerable pressure.

    Another situation is when the goalmouth is crowded with opposition traffic as in a free-kick, corner or a deep cross where we must also challenge an attacker in the air to get to the ball first.

    It can be extremely important to visualise the dynamics of a punch when we are in a situation where we must deflect the ball away from within our 18 yard box, as is described above. How do we box properly? Isn't it like punching the ball out of the box with one hand? Let us look at the technique involved in boxing the ball.

    BOXING TECHNIQUE

    The dynamics of boxing the ball are similar to throwing a punch in the ring. In football we hear the term punching the ball away out of the 18 yard box, but usually a one handed punch does not pack the power required to clear the ball sufficiently.

    Let us look at the anatomy utilised with the boxing technique. With a single handed punch we use just one side of the body at a time, in essence the powerful chest, arm, shoulder & abs of whichever side is being used. Now if we utilised two sides together, we will be able to generate more power & force, so that we clear the ball further away from our 18 yard box.

    Now we should use some visualisation to describe how to implement a boxing action. When attacking the ball we clench both fists and bring them together (like piking in volleyball). Then we push both arms out and, fists together, forcefully connect with the ball at its centre.

    Boxing is a dangerous alternative. It can be utilised effectively as a last stitched effort to get the ball out of a crowded 18 yard box area. Though the technique, when practised in this situation, is far more effective at clearing the ball than an ordinary punch. The reason why we should be cautious with the boxing technique (or any punching technique for that matter), is that a goalkeeper may misjudge and push the ball back into oncoming attack, or worse still, missing the ball completely and leaving themselves, and an unguarded goal, stranded in a sea of attack.

    Timing and footwork is of the essence if we are to effectively attack the ball and box it away from our 18 yard area. Boxing the ball away, using this technique will allow a goalkeeper to clear the ball away from his/her goal area with a greater distance.

    To master this technique a goalkeeper needs to generate a great amount of momentum, force and power, to reach the ball in flight and to get high enough aerially to make contact with the ball and box it to safety. Try to utilize this new technique during team training or in your own time to maximize your goalkeeping performance.

  4. (4) Fundamentals - Diving & Effective Timing

    Diving is an exhilarating experience; nothing is more aesthetically beautiful than seeing a goalkeeper fly through the air to attack a ball & defend his/her goal. Diving and timing are critical factors that entail a goalkeeper to utilise effective footwork and dynamic power to save a ball.

    As goalkeepers we have to muster a lot of mind and body strength in an attempt to save a ball. The dive is the amalgamation of perfect technique. Remember the concept of momentum. With great momentum, we can generate great power. Diving is therefore, the epitome of goalkeeping power. It is the summation of many different techniques, the end result of which allows the body to fly through the air to attack the ball, and hopefully, save it from hitting the back of the net.

    1. Analyses of Diving Technique (Low Ball)

    Gondola Technique

    In a diving save low to the ground on either side, goalkeepers tend to use their hands to get up quickly. This is a good technique in a situation where the goalkeeper has to do a double save, perhaps in a one-on-one situation. One of the very first diving techniques that I learnt as a goalkeeper was the Gondola. This method is extremely important when diving for low balls. With this dive, the body becomes a cradle. Force is shifted toward the front of the body, forcing the legs to curve up. Once the ball is caught and secure, we rock back with the power of the legs into a starting (or standing position).

    Forward Dive

    A forward dive is where the ball is shot directly toward us (it is not really a dive in essence, but rather body placement), the goalkeeper will drop down low and smother the ball, dropping his/her body on top of the ball. First we drop down with the knees, scoop the ball with our arms and use our bodyweight to cover the ball securely.

    Sliding Dive

    With a sliding dive, again we will be attacking the ball low. Usually we utilise this type of dive in a one-on-one situation. Sliding dives are best utilised where the attacker has entered the 18 yard box at a strong speed. We will use forward momentum, cut the angle of the ball by keeping our bodies centred with the ball, and sliding out to attack the ball at the attacker's feet.

    The Hinge

    Another great diving technique is hinging. Here a goalkeeper hinges the free leg in a dive behind the leg that has the closest contact with the ground. This hinging action acts as a stabilizer so that once the ball is saved and the goalkeepers body is grounded, the hinged leg will not allow the keepers body to roll backward; rather it will keep the goalkeepers body stable.

    Hinging can also help the goalkeeper generate force and power from the ground, when forced to double save. If the ball is parried into oncoming attack, we can utilize the hinged leg to push forward and still use our outstretched form to attack the ball a second time.

    2. Analysis of Diving Technique (High Ball)

    Tipping the Ball

    In situations where the ball is just high enough to pass overhead and into our goal, usually because of a floating or powerful shot aimed high and out of reach, we will have to be able to tip the ball over the bar. This usually occurs when the goalkeeper is caught off his line, perhaps from a floating cross, or a powerful header from an attacker.

    How do we prepare for this type of dive? From a standing front on position, we rotate our hips and use momentum to take a few quick running steps, launch from the ground using our leading foot and use our arm of longest reach (opposite arm to our lead foot) to tip the ball over the bar with the palm of our hands.

    Catching the ball at its highest point

    Whether the situation entails crosses from outside our 18 yard box, or corner kicks. Goalkeepers should always try to remember to attack the ball at its highest point of flight. This action takes great strength, power and agility. It will force a goalkeeper to fully stretch their bodies and arms so as to reach the ball at the apex of its flight.

    What I mean by "highest point" is that we try to meet the ball above the attacker. The advantage that a goalkeeper has with a crossing situation is that they can utilise that powerful word "momentum". Dynamic footwork and speed (generated by momentum) combined will give you the velocity to climb above attacking opponents in your 6 or 18 yard box.

    Anatomy of the Dive

    Let us dissect the dive into its components.

    • Stationary position where the goalkeeper is ready and alert for the oncoming attack

    • Footwork; utilising at least 1 or 2 dynamic in-between steps, followed by a forceful take¬off.

    • The dive.

    • Landing.

    Landing is of extreme importance. But many young keepers must understand that there is a certain way to land. In my earlier years of development, I always had a problem, where I would land on my elbow, I am lucky that I had an experienced and professional coach who taught proper technique.

    Goalkeepers should always keep their arms parallel during a dive. The arm touching the ground should never be flexed at the elbow, as this action can lead to severe injury, and worse still the ball can bounce out of the goalkeepers' hands and into oncoming attack.

    Proper technique entails that both arms are outstretched, with your head in a neutral position and also in line with your arms. Effectively, the goalkeeper has created an open window, enabling them to see the ball and the whole attacking situation clearly in front of them.

    The Roll

    Rolling when landing during a save is a good way to buffer the force and energy that occurs from impact with the ground. Effective rolling techniques should also be considered during training sessions as this technique relies on spatial awareness, or the awareness of your surroundings and environment.

    If we use an example where we parry the ball during a save and the ball is pushed into oncoming attack, we must use the momentum of the roll to get back on our feet quickly. Though, using a roll can be dangerous as a goalkeeper (if not trained with proper technique), can quickly become disoriented when they get back on their feet for the second save.

    Overall, if used during a dive the roll is an effective technique to help buffer the force of landing, and help save a goalkeeper from impending injury.

  5. (5) Fundamentals - Visualisation & Communication

    Goalkeeping, as with geology, is the study of pressure and time. This is a good analogy to summarise the mindset of the football goalkeeper. How to deal with both pressure and time effectively is the amalgamation, of proper post, pre and game time psychology.

    During 90 minutes of activity, the goalkeepers mind is constantly shaping new scenarios. Inactivity, during the game can also lead to the goalkeepers mind sailing away to another place, which can ultimately result in a goal. This is why mental alertness and being mentally tough is the trademark of a superior goalkeeper.

    Being physically fit is one thing. Goalkeepers who are not mentally prepared can throw all their physical preparation out the door. Positive mental health goes hand in hand with physical well¬being. The mental intensity and focus that a goalkeeper requires over 90 minutes, especially during goalkeeper specific training can be overwhelming.

    With training, and after a rigorous, or high-stress competitive game, feeling mentally strained often leads to physical strain, and there needs to be sufficient time to rest and recuperate during the training week. Therefore, positive mental health is the hallmark of a great goalkeeper; it is what separates amateurs from professionals.

    It is said that a person is a product of their environment. Mentally, a person will adapt to a negative or positive environment, and become deeply rooted in either of the two. This can lead to positive or negative habits that are reflected on the field of play.

    Goalkeeping entails that a trainee has superior fitness, and a specialised array of skills. This is a great step to positive mental well-being. Most likely you will be surrounded by like minded people who are trying to achieve the same level of ability as yourself. Surround yourself with these people!

    People who have a positive outlook on their training and life, and whom also set positive and realistic goals, go places. People who are positive have their minds attuned to their surrounding environment and are able to shape this environment to achieve their dreams.

    Duty of the Coach and Outfield Players…Positive Mental Tuning!

    As a trainer, setting down a weekly routine of positive mental tuning, amongst the goalkeeper and his/her team mates are essential to the success of the team. Emotions are bred. Therefore, negative emotional responses breed negative results on the field. No other player on the field is as highly visible as the goalkeeper. Therefore, their mistakes are often amplified.

    Team bonding after each session is so essential, positive feedback during training is even more relevant. Nothing is worse mentally for a goalkeeper than to hear their coach accuse them of a mistake. Alternatively, nothing is worse than when a coach amplifies his anger toward the goalkeeper in front of the team. Believe me I have been privy to this situation myself in a professional environment, much to the detriment of my game.

    During play, any team mate that is offensive to other team mates, or is not supportive of his goalkeeper should be privately reprimanded, and reminded that each of his/her team mates are a unique cog in the wheel. Each has a role, and therefore, are all linked to each other on the field of play. We are all habitual creatures by nature. Therefore, we as trainers must realise that creating negative habits, and or negative connotations toward players will be the demise of the team, positive attitudes breed positive results. Discipline for the success of the team is paramount, and it should always be enforced positively.

    Mental Tuning Techniques & Visualisation; Positive Reinforcement

    As a junior or youth trainer do not say "no" or "you did it wrong" when carrying out a particular drill, or during a game situation. Enforce the positive aspect of the drill or game situation with positive reinforcement such as "Fantastic effort, let's do it again but this time, even better!"

    The word "No", breeds a "No" attitude. Meaning a goalkeeper will think that they can't complete a drill effectively, or pull off that next brilliant save, thus, their game can quickly result in digression to negative thoughts and anger, rather than positive attitudes toward themselves and progression of their game to a higher level.

    The Training Diary & Mental Cues

    The training diary is a brilliant way for a goalkeeper to take notes on a day to day basis of what they are feeling during training (fatigue, positive, strong). A written diary that outlines your training & daily activities, nutrition, and any concerns that you have regarding your game, is a good way of creating positive mental cues, and keeping track of your physical health.

    If you build a daily vocabulary of positive words via a training diary, you have powerful mental cues that can be utilised during training and games. Positive cues lead to positive visualisation.

    Positive mental cues are important during the game. Positive cues can be any word or movement, even a sound that you have programmed into your subconscious mind that relates back to a positive mental image of your training or technique.

    Positive mental cues can be called up at any time during the game before a situation (like a shot on goals, or a deep cross into your 18 yard box). In essence, the use of mental cues is a call to action. It is a mental primer that enables the mind to drive our body to react in a favourable way.

    Via mental cueing, a goalkeeper is seeing an event before it happens in his/ or her mind, so that when the situation comes to fruition, the goalkeeper can utilise the positive mental cue to react to the situation at hand.

    Visualising all the positive aspects of your training and games creates a pool of action for the subconscious mind to utilize during the game, so that with any given situation we automatically know what we will do given the scenario we may encounter.

    Write Goals, Act & Achieve Outcomes

    The benefits of the training diary are numerous. The main benefit is that of clearly written, progressive goals. The training diary will allow the goalkeeper to keep formal logs of what they wanted to achieve from their training session (Goal) that then allows the goalkeeper to (Act), via specific training variables that they can modify with the help of their coach, which then leads to (Outcomes) that are quantifiable, which in turn helps the goalkeeper to get better results from their game.

    The great thing about written notes in a training diary is that you have kept a tangible record of your progression. Training diaries become a process that can be followed throughout the season, and can be used as a reference point by the goalkeeper and his/her trainer to tweak certain aspects of the goalkeeper's game.

    COMMUNICATION

    Processing information so that it is both audible and concise during a game is extremely important. Goalkeeping requires commandeering of your defence and the ability to communicate your visualisation of the game, and how it is unfolding to the rest of your team-mates.

    Essentially, great goalkeepers know how to see the shape of the game over a 90 minute period, not only because they are the last line of defence. Though, they have the ability to communicate, plan and position their players on the field. This makes their game more effective, as a level of understanding and synchronization occurs between the goalkeeper and his/or her defence.

    Communication is pivotal in many situations throughout the game, some scenarios can include

    • Corner Kicks

    • Free Kicks

    • Goal Kicks

    • Positioning our players within our 18 yard box…

    The list is immeasurable. In fact there is not one time during the game where a goalkeeper will not need to communicate. How do we communicate effectively?

    There are many models to effective communication. Understanding these concepts is pivotal to any goalkeepers' game. If we can effectively communicate with our team-mates during the game it makes the goalkeepers job extremely efficient, as there is less chance of the opposition breaking through to attack your goal.

    Let us look at a simple model of communication and how we can utilise it in our own game. Shannon's Model of Communication (1948) gives a very specific text book breakdown of the communication process. Outlining the flow of the message from communication to source; its components comprise the following attributes:

    • Information Source: You as the goalkeeper, who creates the message.

    • Message: Sent by you to your outfield players (destination)

    • Transmitter: Your mouth (sound), body (gesture) is channelled through the air (sound) and light (gesture) to your outfield players (Note; Non verbal signals, such as hand signals [gestures] are extremely important where there might be high amounts of noise, eg. crowded field)

    • Signal: During a game, you will both call out to your defence or call out for the ball, e.g. shouting "Keepers Ball". So that your defence knows you have the ball covered. During a game the goalkeeper will use multiple signals which are both verbal and non-verbal.

    • Channel: Channels are anything that carries the signal from you to your outfield players.

    • Noise: This is the most vital point in the whole communication process. This is where non-verbal signals, such as hand signals come into play. Instead of shouting out commands, a goalkeeper can negotiate a message to outfield players via hand signals. These signals can become complex depending on the level of understanding between the goalkeeper and his/ or her players. Noise is anything that can break down the communication process between the goalkeeper and his/ or her defence. For example, there could be other players on the field barking up orders over your orders and thus skewing what the goalkeeper is trying to communicate. Everything within your 18 yard box should be controlled by you! Coaches should enforce this concept to young goalkeepers, as it forms a good basis for leadership. Your fellow team mates should know this. Goalkeepers should communicate their need to be in control within their 18 yard box with the rest of their team-mates. Noise therefore has a dramatic effect on the outcome of a goal attacking situation.

    • Receiver: Basically anyone who has ears (sound) & eyes (gesture), so that they can decipher your message, that is, your fellow team-mates

    • Destination: After all the above process, your destination should be your fellow team mates. Meaning that hopefully your transmission reaches them quickly and effectively that they decipher that transmission in the same manner and that they put the message into action so as to prevent the opposition attacking your goal.

    After all the above process, your destination should be your fellow team mates. Meaning that hopefully your transmission reaches them quickly and effectively that they decipher that transmission in the same manner and that they put the message into action so as to prevent the opposition attacking your goal.

    Communication seems like a long process, though, funnily enough it is always a split second flow of information. Young goalkeepers should be taught effective communication from the outset of their development as it fosters the potential for leadership.

    Talk Simple & Signs

    Remember "noise" in the communication process? Effective communication means simple language. For a goalkeeper, this means that we keep our message simple. Again, coaches must relay this process back to the rest of the team so that there is mutual understanding amongst the goalkeeper and his team mates.

    Simple talk can involve some basic skills such as:

    • Calling "Keeper!" for balls that you know you can catch, within your 18 yard box.

    • For marking a player in the box, eg. "Tommy, number two", instead of calling out "Mark him/or her"!

    • For a wall, calling out numbers, eg. "4!" with strong hand signals that include four distinct and visible fingers.

    • Signs could include for example again in a wall situation, clearly pointing the hand and an extended arm in the direction you wish the wall to go.

    There are numerous analyses that can be made. Therefore, these are just some small examples to give you a visualisation of the array of communication techniques a goalkeeper can utilise in their game.

  6. (6) Fundamentals - Shooting/Shot Stopping

    Shooting practice is pivotal to any goalkeeper's development. Shooting practice from all angles, directions and situations should be emphasised in training. Mainly, the young goalkeeper needs to go through a process of adaptation. Shooting practice strengthens the stimuli of a young goalkeeper through spatial awareness (or an awareness of their surroundings) and how they react and adapt to various shooting situations. Shooting practice is a strong precursor to fundamental goalkeeping development.

    There are whole arrays of different techniques, though we must always focus on a tier of low, middle and high balls from all angles, directions and distances. This of course is a generalisation, as there are an infinite amount of training and game situations a young goalkeeper will confront and adapt to over the period of their development. Following are some special and important situations where specific drills are required.

    Corner Kicks

    Corner kicks may be an opportune moment for opposing teams to make a last ditched effort to win a game. It is in these situations that a goalkeeper must be a good commander of his/ or her defensive line. Positioning players at the posts is a good way for a goalkeeper to solidify the strength of their goal line when it is under attack.

    Communicating to your defenders in regards to covering (marking) players who are loose in your 18 yard box is of utmost importance, as free players can easily slip through a goal from a crossing situation.

    Another pivotal component of the crossing situation is the goalkeepers positioning on his/or her goal line, this is why we have players stationed at our near posts, as the 18 yard box must be dominated by a goalkeepers presence. Therefore, being off our line allows the goalkeeper to attack the ball more effectively within the 18 yard box while our players positioned on our near post act as a wall to solidify our defensive line and to sweep the ball away out of our 18 yards.

    Goalkeepers must also remember to stand slightly square off their line. Therefore, they should be standing at a slight angle, not directly square. This allows for greater mobility in the 18 yard box, and allows for the goalkeeper to attack more efficiently.

    Within a corner kick situation, the ball can travel in a variety of different directions. Sharp or floating are two types of crosses. Whereas the direction can be toward goal-line, the 6 yard box or within/ or outside the 18 yard box. How do we best attack these situations?

    Goal-Line & 6 Yard Box Defence:

    At the goal line, a player should position two of his/her defensive players on opposing near posts; so that if the situation arises that the goal is attacked it will reinforce the strength of the goalkeeper's defensive line which in turn allows all angles to be covered on the inside and outside post, therefore allowing the goalkeeper to attack the ball more efficiently.

    Standing off the line allows the goalkeeper to attack the ball effectively. This position with the body slightly angled gives the goalkeeper a better view of the oncoming ball. Keeping your view clear and your angles covered at all times are important for effective shot stopping in a corner kick situation.

    In a corner situation where the ball comes close to your cross bar, the tipping technique comes in handy. In these situations, strong reflexes will need to be utilised, as often strikes are made from a close range from opposing attackers.

    If the ball is cleared, we must motion our players in the 18 yard box to press forward into attack again. This will enable your team to catch the offensive players offside quickly if they win the ball back and press a quick counter attack.

    18 Yard Box

    Following on from the above situation, a corner kick into the 18 yard box should be attacked in a similar fashion. Goalkeepers must truly push out off their line to cut the angle of the ball. Defensive players on your post should push in, off their respective posts horizontally, and toward each other to cut the angle of the ball and solidify your defensive wall.

    We can call the above positioning the triumvirate. In effect you have created a defensive triangle, with you at the head (making yourself big) cutting off the largest angle, and your defensive line players positioning on the line, just off the post facing the attack together, it makes a formidable wall to break through for any attacker.

    Standing near the 6 yard line will allow for a goalkeeper to more effectively manoeuvre within their 18 yard box. In all cases we must always remember communication. If the goalkeeper is in a favourable position to attack the ball, call to your defence, so that they know that the ball is yours, and that it is covered.

    Goalkeepers should also always remember their limitations. Attacking a ball that cannot be reached or leaves you stranded will allow for the opposing side to hit the ball in the back of the net easily. Confidence in your own ability, power and momentum are pivotal to success in a corner situation.

    Free Kicks

    Free Kicks are a formidable situation for any goalkeeper. No other situation will call for the amalgamation of all a goalkeepers skills than during a free kick. Positioning, footwork and communication are all key components of a free kick situation.

    First, we must position our players to cover the oncoming attack (or play), here communication is the key. How many players will you require in the wall? Is it a direct or indirect shot on goal? Is your positioning correct? These questions are important to ask yourself when in a free kick situation. Following is a summary of these points:

    • Direct or Indirect?

    Direct free kicks will usually be the hardest situation to defend. The ball will move over a shorter distance, therefore a larger amount of players will be utilised in the wall. Being that it is a direct free kick, we have to be able to co-ordinate our defensive line.

    Indirect can be anywhere not directly in front of goals, the premise behind coordinating your defence here may need fewer people in the wall, perhaps 1 or 2 (maybe 3 or 4, this is the goalkeepers decision), if the free kick is coming in from an outside angle, just outside the left and right of your 18 yard box. When attack is directed from an outside position as the above situation entails, it would be prudent to keep 2 (or as many as you choose) players here as a visual deterrent to the free kick taker, and utilise the remaining players of your defence in your 18 yard box marking opposing players, or around your 6 yard box and goal line, to reinforce your defensive line.

    Goalkeepers must also be prepared for long lobbed shots. Offensive players may also utilise short direct passes by the free kick taker to an unmarked man in your 18 yard box. It is important for the goalkeeper to analyse the situation quickly, and press their defensive line (and all other players in their 18 yards) forward to attack the free man, and opposing attack.

    Overall both the direct and indirect free-kick are extremely dangerous situations. Study of your defensive capabilities in a short period of time (the time it takes for the opposing player to shoot, which can be quick in a short pass situation) is needed for your preparations to be effective.

    • How Many In the Wall?

    Again this is a decision you will have to make yourself. With a direct free kick more than 4 players. With an indirect kick we may utilise 4 or 5 players, depending on the distance and how well your opponent can strike the ball.

    The main premise is the walls ability to foil the attacker's view of striking the goal. The goalkeepers wall is his/ or her fortress, how well you position the wall will give you an insight as to how well you will be able to defend your goal area.

    The wall will have to be positioned to cover your near post (depending on the angle of attack), as well as a good proportion of your goal, the goalkeeper will defend the opposing post and the distance in between him/herself and the wall.

    Overall, your positioning must be covering the side of the goal which is not covered by your defence. Constantly encouraging your wall is important because they are, in essence, your fortification and you are the last man/ or woman standing within it! If your wall does not hold well against attack, it will prove to be a one man battle against the whole opposing force…communication is pivotal.

    How do we align the wall into position effectively, again, communication! First, assess the angle of the ball and its direction. Second, select the amount of players to be utilised, call your players (by name, or hand signals, remember 4 clear fingers for a four man wall, utilise a loud voice also) and set them into position (use clear hand signals again). Thirdly, position your wall to cover the angle of the ball and a good proportion of your goal area. You will now be covering the uncovered section of your goal, while your wall covers the remainder.

  7. (7) Fundamentals - Goal Kicking & Distribution

    The modern game entails that a goalkeeper knows how to kick the ball (in essence act as a sweeper) and take their own goal kicks, this is necessary for placing the ball to your outfield players and also acting as a utility for outfield players to spread the ball in play.

    Goal kicking and sweeping help ease attack from opposing players. Using an outfield player to take your goal kicks depletes the number of outfield players on the field, therefore you have a player that's out of position and a defence that is more prone to quick counter attacks from the opposition.

    Each goalkeeper will have a specific, individual way in taking their goal kicks. Some goalkeepers may prefer attacking the ball from an angle, some head on, others taking a long-distance run up, and yet others taking their goal kicks with a short run up.

    Overall, it depends on the goalkeeper's ability and how much they practice proper technique. Goal kicking should be taught early on in young goalkeeper's development, especially if the goalkeeper is not taking regular weekly intervals playing in outfield.

    Goalkeepers should learn to aim for distance and height with their goal kicks. To gain both height and distance entails visualisation (where you want the ball to go), and again proper technique.

    Visualisation & Technique

    Visualisation is of utmost importance for any young goalkeeper to succeed in any situation that they may encounter between the sticks, none more so than with a goal kicking situation. Poor goal kicking technique can lead to quick counter plays by opposition players.

    On the other hand, well placed goal kicks will allow for better opportunities for your attack to make quick counter plays into the oppositions half. Overall, well placed goal kicks will allow a goalkeeper to get the ball out of your half, and allow for your team to counter attack in the opposition's field of play.

    For our goal kicks to be effective, we must be able to visualise where we want the ball to travel, how we want the ball to be placed, who is the outfield player that will receive it? There are many questions that a goalkeeper must ask during a goal-kicking situation, and all of these decisions must be split second.

    For a young goalkeeper, a good technique to use is what I like to call the salute. By placing your hand in the air, the goalkeeper signals an outfield player, the outfield player should respond with their hand in the air also, this gives the goalkeeper a visual cue as to where he/she wants the ball to go, before the kick is taken.

    Some young goalkeepers have trouble kicking from flat surfaces. Another good technique is digging up a little divot, so the ball lies above the surface. Keeping a slight angle for the run up (depending on the goalkeepers style), I signal my players in the outfield, and then follow through with the kick.

    The goalkeeper must aim at kicking at a point centred and under the ball (we must always keep eye contact with this point during the run-up) with the opposing (plant) foot parallel with the kicking foot when you make contact with the ball. When contact is made, the goalkeeper's body should be leaning slightly backward, the kicking leg should follow through from backward flexion to forward extension.

    At all times we must always remember that key word momentum! Both power and momentum are pivotal in allowing the ball to travel well into the opposing half, at the same time, momentum and power allows the ball to travel to your attacking players , who are then in a better position to attack their goals.

    Training for leg power and strength are very important. Technique alone does not suffice, this should be emphasized during training drills. Kicking drills should always be emphasized in a training program for a goalkeeper, either at the beginning of the training session or toward the end.

    Trainers must always be aware of the necessity of proper kicking technique, and we must realise that every goalkeeper is different, and each goalkeeper will feel comfortable with their own specific technique. If a goalkeeper finds a kicking technique that he or she likes and is successful utilising it in play, trainers must then endeavour to encourage the development of the specific kicking technique through repetition during training and positive reinforcement.

    Straight Kicks, Side Kicks and Drop Kicks from the Hand

    Straight Kick (or punt)

    Kicking the ball from the hand can be done in varying ways. A Straight kick is where the goalkeeper releases from their hand with their kicking leg and body directly in line with one another. These types of kicks are usually well utilised to get great height and distance.

    Side Kicks

    Another good kick that can be utilised from the hand is the sidekick. With the sidekick, the goalkeeper will release the ball out of their hand to slightly out toward the side of their body. Their kicking foot will swing out to the side to connect with the ball.

    The side kick is useful when there is a quick break and you wish to kick the ball directly to an outfield player, who is positioned at some distance in the outfield. This type of kick is quick and is aimed directly toward the outfield player.

    Drop Kicks

    Drop Kicks, if utilised effectively can be the hardest ball to distribute (because it requires great timing) and the ball that can most effectively penetrate the oppositions defence. Drop kicks are utilised by releasing the ball from the hand during the final stage of the kick, before the kicking foot connects with the ball.

    The ball will be dropped when the kicking leg is in flexion. When the ball is rebounded from the playing surface, the ball bounces up and the kicking foot quickly connects with the ball in extension. A good way of practicing technique in the young player is for them to drop the ball in front of their bodies and kick; this allows them to get a feel for this type of kick. Once the technique is familiarised, they should start practicing the run up and the kick together simultaneously.

    Effective drop kicks, will gain medium trajectory, and will allow the ball to hang in the air for some time. Goalkeepers who use drop kicks, utilize the power of momentum effectively, as we have already created substantial energy around the ball when it has dropped from our hands to the ground; the connecting leg and foot also have great force, and therefore allow for the ball to travel at a great distance.

    Throwing

    Throwing is a great technique for quick counter plays. Because of the 6 second rule goalkeepers face in today's modern game, quick distribution by hand is extremely important.

    Roll Throw

    Effective rolling technique allows for quick (short) plays along the ground, directly to the feet of your outfield players. The goalkeeper should position themselves lower to the ground and bowl the ball using their full hand, hinged wrist (to lock the ball) and a quickly outstretched arm that swings in a quick arc. The body will be lower; therefore, crouching into a bowling position is important for the technique to be effective. The distributing hand should brush along the ground, so that the ball glides along the grass toward your outfield player, the ball should preferably not bounce, as it makes it difficult for the outfield player to handle the ball.

    Overhead Throw

    The overhead throw is good for gaining great distance in quick counter plays to your outfield players. Utilising good momentum, with a strong run up bring the ball up and around the head in a bowling arc and release the ball directly in front of you not at the highest point of the arc. Utilise a hinged locked wrist to secure the ball between the palm and the forearm, and unlock the wrist to release the ball.

    There are other more advanced throws that can be considered, though for the young goalkeeper these two types of throws are sufficient.

  8. (8) Fundamentals - Penalty Kicks

    Penalty situations can be a mentally taxing situation for the competitive goalkeeper. Penalty stopping techniques differ widely between each goalkeeper. The ratio for stopping penalties is generally low, but this does not mean that with proper analysis of technique you can't enhance your chances of stopping a penalty attempt. Following is a breakdown of penalty stopping technique that any goalkeeper can use:

    Penalty situations for goalkeepers are like a game of blackjack, red or black, left or right. Overall it comes down to positioning and whether or not you have assessed the players overall demeanour, or subtle clues that he or she may hint to in regards to the direction the ball will travel. Look to the following points as an assessment:

    • Eye Contact: Where is the player looking? Try to decipher the angle or direction of the ball via the shot-takers eyes. Is he or she looking low or high before they take a shot? This could be a good indication as to the general direction in which the ball will travel.

    • Angled or Straight Run-up: If the shot taker is attacking the ball from an angle, he/she may be shooting to the opposite direction of their dominant foot? Straight forward kicks are hard to decipher, hence a player should utilize good timing to analyse eye direction, angle of the player’s foot and body composure and direction.

    • Angle of the Foot: Apart from the run-up, a split second decision will have to be made in regards to the angle of the player's foot at the point of contact. Generally, the direction in which the foot is pointing is the way in which the ball will travel; this is again extremely hard to decipher and requires excellent decision making on behalf of the goalkeeper.

    • Angle of the Body: Is the penalty taker running with the body low (maybe a lower shot)? Is the player's body held up or leaning back (maybe a higher shot)? Is the penalty takers body angled in a particular direction (open to their planted foot, as opposed to their shooting foot), or is the body turned away from their planted foot? This will usually indicate the direction in which the ball will travel, i.e. if the penalty takers planted foot is left, their shooting foot is their right foot, their body angle will be turned to the right and therefore this is the angle in which it will travel, and vice versa for the left foot shot. Overall, the above facets constitute a whole amount of guesswork that needs to be evaluated prior to the penalty taking situation.

    Penalty Stopping Technique

    During a penalty situation, the goalkeeper will be positioned cantered in his or her goal, on the balls of their feet, reading the oncoming penalty kick. We must always remember to cut the angle when we dive to save the kick. Remember, therefore, that we should move forward to attack the ball, rather than backward to attack the ball.

    Goalkeepers can move along their line in any direction, though they must not move forward. When moving along the line (if you do utilizes this technique), it is good to act as a visual deterrent to the penalty taker. Waving the arms, or shouting allow the goalkeeper to mentally detract the penalty taker from his/her duty.

  9. (9) Fundamentals - Mechanics of Attack and Defence

    Understanding where you fit into competitive play is of extreme importance. The role of the goalkeeper should never be isolation. Each goalkeeper will play a significant role in attack and defence. Following is an overview of the fundamental understanding of the goalkeeper in both attack and defence:

    Understanding the nature of attacking and defensive plays is extremely important in relation to positioning a goalkeeper in their 18 yard box. Understanding when to push up and when to retract back to your goal line is of utmost importance. In both offensive and defensive situations it has become increasingly important for a goalkeeper to act as a sweeper, in essence being able to open play when under attack, and to ease the pressure on the defensive line.

    Understanding the nature of attacking and defensive plays is extremely important in relation to positioning a goalkeeper in their 18 yard box. Understanding when to push up and when to retract back to your goal line is of utmost importance. In both offensive and defensive situations it has become increasingly important for a goalkeeper to act as a sweeper, in essence being able to open play when under attack, and to ease the pressure on the defensive line.

    Following the Movement of Play

    In previous sections we have mentioned that goalkeepers should move up with/ or retract back with the movement of play. If play moves up the field towards the opposing goal, the goalkeeper must move up with the play so that he or she acts as an additional defensive/ or offensive player. This movement forward allows for stress to be let off from attacking/ or, defensive players who may be exposed to attacks from the opposition.

    In previous sections we have mentioned that goalkeepers should move up with/ or retract back with the movement of play. If play moves up the field towards the opposing goal, the goalkeeper must move up with the play so that he or she acts as an additional defensive/ or offensive player. This movement forward allows for stress to be let off from attacking/ or, defensive players who may be exposed to attacks from the opposition.

    In both attacking and defending situations, practicing passing drills are important. Learning how to trap the ball with the chest, thighs, feet or distributing the ball with the head is extremely important. The reason for the need to learn distribution is the goalkeepers attacking nature. The goalkeeper is the first line of attack. Play begins with the goalkeeper, and the goalkeeper's role in effective attacking build-up cannot be dismissed. In essence, the goalkeeper becomes a sweeper, or, an additional attacker in attacking play scenarios. Overall, keeping on ones 18 yard box, or further up the field of play can help tremendously in assisting attack or easing attacking pressure on your defence.

    Retracting back toward goal as the opposition presses its attack is important, but goalkeepers should never stand directly on their line. Therefore, it is imperative that the goalkeeper moves back toward goal as the opposition presses its attack.

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GOALKEEPER EQUIPMENT

  1. How do I clean goalkeeper gloves

    Goalkeeper Gloves are the most important part of a goalkeeper’s equipment, they need regular cleaning in order to prevent odors and mold and to keep them in top condition.

    Goalkeeper Gloves should be washed at least once a week to minimise bacteria growth and keep the tackiness in the latex.

    Do your teammates, friends and family a favour by washing your goalie gloves. It's amazing how badly they can smell Concentrate your effort on the insides of the gloves. Because goalie gloves don't breathe, that's where the smell emanates from.

    • Run some lukewarm water and dissolve some mild soap, good quality dishwashing liquid is ideal; do not place the soap directly on the latex.
    • Soak your gloves in the soapy water for about 15 minutes.
    • Pull on a glove, cleaning the inside by wiggling your fingers around.
    • Rinse, and repeat as necessary until no suds appear, any soap left in the glove will break down the latex. Do the same with the other glove.
    • Let the gloves air dry away from sunlight, the suns rays will also break down the latex.
    • More often than not, your gloves will continue to smell a bit. Stinky hands: It's part of being a goalie.
    • Don't plan on using your gloves the same day that you wash them.
    • Be considerate of others by hanging the gloves somewhere unobtrusive to dry.
  2. How do I get the smell out of shin pads

    Shin pads are an important part of a goalkeeper’s equipment, they need regular cleaning in order to prevent odors and mold and to keep them in top condition. While there is no exact science behind cleaning shin pads, there are a few methods that work better than others.

    The trick with shin pads is to wash them before they get smelly. Once they become smelly you will forever be fighting a losing battle to keep the smell away.

    The smell comes from bacteria. Once you get a happy colony of bacteria in your gear, no amount of washing will be able to kill them all. Some will always survive and once your gear gets sweaty and warm and salty and mixed with oils and dead skin, the bacteria will multiply again and the smell will be back.

     

    • Wash your shin pads with soap and water, if they're made completely of plastic. Use a small brush and scrub with soapy water until all the dirt and stains are gone. You can also try vinegar mixed with water or lemon juice. These are good options if the shin pads are part plastic and part elastic or cloth. Soak them in water for 15 to 20 minutes if they're too sweaty.
    • Hang your pads outside to dry. The sun and fresh air will also serve as deodorizers, eliminating any remaining odors and helping them to dry completely. Don't put the shin pads into the dryer.
    • Spray shin pads with spray disinfectant after each use to prevent fungus and bacteria from growing. Bacteria cause odors, so preventing its growth or attacking it early is essential to extending the useful life of the shin pads.
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