Consistent, focused, and meaningful practice is what helps make a great Keeper
Players in field positions share similar characteristics and core skills to others in the team. However, the Goalkeeper is unlike any other on the field and requires a completely different skill set. In order to allow the Goalkeeper to develop and be effective in each game, Keepers need training specifically tailored to their position.
Professional clubs have specific Goalkeeper coaches, who can train the GKs apart from the main squad and deliver specialized sessions. They can then join in the main session if needed for a small sided game or practice. While at many grassroots organizations there are limited resources in comparison to the professional set up, here in East PA and several other USA states, there is Just4Keepers.
There is a theory which applies to sport and other walks of life, regarding the number of hours training required to become elite in your field. The ‘10,000 hours rule‘ is often thrown around when talking about elite athletes and their need for training up to this magnitude to achieve excellence.
According to Dr K. Anders Ericsson; part of the original research team into this theory in 1993, it is not only the number of hours practiced that affects performance. In their published paper ‘The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance’; they summarize that the practice must be deliberate, meaningful and focused. In soccer, hours of practice that are not specific and are complacent in nature will not have the same positive affect on performance.
Now think about the Goalkeeper; how many times do they repeat their specific skills in a team practice? They don’t get nearly enough focused and specific repetition for their skill set during a team practice. With this in mind, can the coach now understand why their Goalkeeper does not catch every ball, or can misjudge a shot or dive? It all reverberates back to the repetition of skills in the designated time for deliberate practice.
Ideally, the Goalkeeper would have separate training with high reps, focused solely on their technique and delivered by a knowledgeable practitioner. Just4Keepers offers teams the ability to improve the skills of their Goalkeepers through deliberate, focused, year-round training specific to Keepers.
Training year-round with J4K will help your Keeper gain confidence and be prepared with the skills they need to achieve maximum success.