When Coaching keepers, I like to try to explain the reason behind the drill instead of just setting up the exercise and saying ‘Go’.

Too many times I see Keeper Coaches, or head coaches, running keeper drills. When the keeper working asks the purpose of the drill or exercise, the response of “I saw someone else do it,” or “I saw it online” is quite a telling reply!

Keepers must “Practice with Purpose,” and they must be ready to learn. Goalkeeping is a specialized position, so therefore if the keeper knows your coaching style includes a conversation to explain the reason behind the drill, I have found that keepers will relate to the drill, will understand it better, and the coaching points/reasons will stick hard. I find that keepers will also be more inclined to try to understand and commit to learning that there is a reason for the exercise/drill being conducted.

As Keepers, we are problem solvers and need to make quick decisions to deal with shots to make saves as effectively/safely as possible. We must train with ‘Mental Intensity’ as much, if not more than, physical intensity. We must ‘Re-Program’ the brain to Understand/Solve the Problem at hand, and to excel in the Decision Making aspect of Goalkeeping. An example I use in my sessions (a very simple and basic one at that) to help with better goalkeeping handling is to simply look at the ball after it is caught. Too many times, keepers take their eyes off the ball and expect the ball to stick to their hands. This leads to too many dropped balls and goals as a result. I simply ask my keepers, “After I catch the ball and look at the ball IN MY HANDS, where is the Ball?” The simple answer of ‘IN YOUR HANDS’ often leads to looks of “Oh Yeah, he’s right,” or “That is what I need to do to hold onto more saves.” This Focus and training of the brain to develop better habits is a must for development.

To improve in a certain situation, you have to be coached in that situation, or as close to as possible (See Previous Blog on Situational Coaching by Clicking HERE), with Coach to keeper discussion.

At Just4Keepers of East PA, our Year-Round Weekly program, with our progressive/challenging curriculum, including a different topic each week, allows us to focus on and spend more time on Explaining. Coaching and Developing different aspects, techniques and skills is required to master this specialized position.