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Should our goalkeepers be encouraged to play other sports?

As a coach I come across a lot of keepers that their parents tell me their team coach has a full time year round schedule for them. They are very proud of the fact that their coach has that kind of commitment towards his team and players. In fact the keepers cannot do anything else other than play soccer although they do not get much goalkeeper training in their team environment. Other than the team shooting exercises the keepers do not receive any other training and when some keepers seek extra goalkeeping specialized training like the one that just4keepers provide, what they learn in those training sessions is usually dismissed or not reinforced by their team coach.

But lets get back to playing other sports. My personal opinion is that by all means let them play other sports. As one study showed intense training in a single sport before adolescence can lead to injuries. Repetitive overuse of same joints and muscles can injure immature joints. Encourage playing soccer for fun at the younger ages, with brakes to play other sports.

For goalkeepers I personally love basketball as it offers a lot of great qualities that can be brought into the goalkeeping trainings. Players use their hands, so eye to hand coordination is greatly increased. Constant jumping for rebounds increases the goalkeeper’s ability to elevate himself and catching the ball at the highest point as it needs to for high balls and corner kicks in soccer. Basketball is a very aggressive sport full of contact, which helps build the goalkeeper’s sense of not being afraid of contact. These are just a few of the benefits that basketball can offer to a goalkeeper and an example of how another sport can enhance a goalkeeper’s soccer play.

By playing other sports certain joints and muscles get a rest, as we do not use the same ones from sport to sport and goalkeepers always come back to soccer and goalkeeping with renewed energy and spirit.

Hope this tip helps. For more tips and info please bookmark just4keepers and check back on regulars basis.

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