GOALKEEPER TRAINING IN MARYLAND
Bradley Hills Park
“Winning is not everything, but the will to win is everything” V.L.
Antonio started playing at age of 5, back in his native country Bolivia. Every weekend, his dad would take him to his matches and while his dad was playing as a GK for the company he worked, Antonio was playing with other kids on the side lines. He followed his dad’s footsteps and choose the GK position.
By age 9 he started playing for the State league. His first transfer was at age of 12. Then he got a chance to get coached by Jose Issa. Jose Issa is considered one of the best keepers in the history of the sport in Bolivia.
Antonio went through different age categories playing for the State league. He won his first regional title by the age of 15 while playing as a starter. He was also part of the State team to get second place in national tournament. While playing in second division for Esparta, he got a back injury, which set him aside for almost an entire season. By then, he was transferred to a third division team New Players as a back up. With only a couple of weeks in the team, he got a break when the starter keeper got a red card in a match. He impressed the coach enough that he was given a chance to start the following game. He was consistent enough to impressed the rest of the coaching staff, so he was offered the starting position for the rest of the year. In that year, the team reached finals and went to fight for promotion to the second division.
While playing for New Players, a second injury and going to college in USA changed his plans. Ever since he moved to USA, he followed soccer as much as he could between work and family. It was up until 2009 that a friend of him needed some help with his keepers and asked him to help out. This opportunity gave him a chance to look into the many unattended aspects of goalkeeping and decided to share his experience, “through commitment, sacrifice, and a never ending search to better oneself – a goalkeeper mind is not set on what has been accomplished, but on what is next to come.” Ever since, he has been coaching goalies of all ages individually.
Since 2013, he is the goalkeeper coach for Falls church Jaguars, becoming district champions in 2014. He got his E license from VYSA and goalkeeping diploma from NSCAA level 1, 2 and 3.
It is important to understand that the goalkeeping position is the most specialized position on the field. Thus, it requires specialized training, one that addresses all the components of a player.
At J4K, we stress a combinations of physical preparation along with tactical awareness, technical superiority and at last but not least psychological readiness. Since I was a kid, I didn’t dream on making the perfect goal, but I dreamed on stopping it.