The Importance of Regular Goalkeeper Training with a Goalkeeper Coach:
The expression “use it or lose it” can be appropriately translated to “train it or lose it” when looking at the goalkeeping position in modern soccer. The need to train regularly cannot be undervalued, as skills develop more rapidly and are reinforced to a greater extent when consistent repetition occurs. Focused repetition leads to the neural fibers in the brain being wrapped by myelin, an insulating sheath that builds around the nerve fibers that increase the speed at which impulses are conducted. In layman’s terms, the myelin ensures that the messages being sent along the neural pathway are strong and maintain their potential through the entire “thought-to-action” process. The myelin enables an action to move from responsive to automatic, and in the game of soccer, a goalkeeper doesn’t have time to process all of the information that they are bombarded with without focused training.
Gone are the days of the goalkeeper being off to the side doing their own thing until the team is ready to pummel shots on goal. The modern game demands that specialist coaches are enlisted to cater to the specialized position of goalkeeping. It is important that your goalkeepers receive GOOD goalkeeping training. Ultimately, the basic role of the goalkeeper is to keep the ball out of the net, and pretty much anyone can create some drills that enable a goalkeeper to stop the ball in any way possible. What is most important is that a coach is able to make corrections to fundamental flaws so that a solid platform is established upon which a goalkeeper’s skill set can be built. Frequent repetition achieved through regular training ensures that a goalkeeper gets a feel for correct technique, and through correct technique, confidence blossoms. Parents in my program have stated that their children are playing with so much confidence in their games, something that their team coaches have also noted. This confidence is a direct result of the better understanding of what they need to do, how to do it, and from having a heightened belief in their abilities.
Having one training session per week in a team environment serves a purpose, but for a goalkeeper, they need to have specialized training sessions individually with a goalkeeper coach, or with a goalkeeper coach and other goalkeepers in a group setting. At J4K, the goalkeeping coaches are both current or ex-professional goalkeepers and goalkeeper coaches who have a vested interest in offering developmental training to that professional standard. Regular goalkeeper training with J4K will enable a goalkeeper to understand the goalkeeper position to a greater extent while developing the skills and attributes necessary to compete in today’s game.