When I ask my ‘Newer’ Academy Keepers how ‘they’ did in their most recent games, I get “We Won 2-1?, or “We Tied”, or “We Lost 1-0?.
When I tell them I’m not interested in the score, they look at me with a puzzled expression. I then repeat the Question, “How did ‘YOU’ do in your most recent games?” This is when they realize that Goalkeeper Development is not only about the score.
I personally find a keepers Goal Against average to be very misleading in terms of development. Yes, we all love not concede goals and keep ‘Clean Sheets’ or ‘Shout outs’, but what does that tell us about a keepers development?
I ask my keepers to share with me good and bad experiences from their games. Without this feedback and thought about their performance its difficult to have them understand what their development plan is. I think more realistic stat categories, in terms of development could be; ‘Number of Clean Catches’, ‘ Number of Accurate Throws’, ‘Number of Times the Keeper advances to Collect a Through Ball’. It’s also important to keeper track of areas for further development, such as; ‘Number of times ball was Dropped/Spilled’, ‘Number of Times Keeper was late Getting to the Ball’, ‘Number of Intercepted Rolls’. These last categories, as negative as they sound are a Massive tool to help with keepers understand what they need to work on to Develop and Improve.
Thorough Goalkeeper Development CANNOT occur with brief 6-8 week sessions. Introduction to goalkeeping, Yes, but Solid Development Foundations, NO! The Keepers who attend our Year Round Program tell me they feel more confident in their ability, and have a better idea of what they need to work on and how they are doing based on the Curriculum we work on and the individual development plan they are on.
Our Just4Keepers Academy Keepers tend to make Less Mistakes in games, make Better Goalkeeping Decisions (in terms of Positioning, Technical and Tactical, Communication, etc) and have better feel for their Development due to our Challenging, Progressive and Fun Curriculum!
In short, there’s more to a Keepers Development than a scoreline!!