In my role a Keeper Coach, I believe it’s incredibly important to focus on the MINOR details to help produce MAJOR developments.
As a GK Coach, I ALWAYS try to able to break down each technique to a ‘Mirco-Technique’ level while explaining the importance of each phase of the overall technique. The fact that we run a year round program allows us to spend more time focusing on each topic on this ‘Micro-Technique’ driven coaching style.
I recently observed a goalkeeping coaching session where it ‘appeared’ the focus was on ‘Deflecting’ or ‘Parrying’ the ball away when the keeper was not able to cleanly catch the ball. The coach was heard explaining to the keepers how to position the hand to redirect the ball. During the session, the coach was getting very frustrated with the keepers that they weren’t deflecting the ball away well enough. At our Goalkeeper Training in East PA, we talk and discuss with our keepers about the importance and relevance of footwork and foot speed to get our keepers in to a better position to make more saves. Whenever we coach ‘Deflecting’ and ‘Parrying’ we focus on FEET first, following by DRIVING with the LEAD LEG. The next focus is the DIVE and the ARM MOVEMENT whether it’s low, mid or high, the coaching is geared towards helping the keeper take the SHORTEST ROUTE to the ball. As the Dive is in progress with the ARMS outstretched, then we discuss HAND POSITION and FINALLY (and only after our keepers are proficient in the previous ‘micro-techniques) how to REDIRECT the Ball away from danger.
Breaking techniques down to this level will allow keepers to understand what is required to make saves in each game situation, it will allow for better decision making and the laying down of a more solid goalkeeping Skill Foundation Base. This base will assist in developing on a more steady level.
The BEST Part of Goalkeeper Coaching in my opinion is seeing a goalkeeper progress and develop in a certain area they previously has weaknesses and seeing them make saves and decisions that without focused coaching they were not able to make.
I often tell my keepers “YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN!“
That also applies to me as a Keeper Coach, I can only expect keepers to develop and “GET OUT, WHAT ‘I’ PUT IN!!