Internet goalkeeper coaching

 

When working with young goalkeepers, it’s the most essential that you teach them proper basic goalkeeper technique.

 

This sentence is my coaching “mantra”, and I repeated it already thousands of times in every my lecture and training, but I just can’t get over seeing online so many bad things about goalkeeper training!! I actually miss those good, old times, before the internet and before people were able to upload whatever on the Youtube.

Of course everyone has the right to upload whatever they want, but when speaking about handball goalkeeper training (or any other kind of training), proper technique and methodology should be the core of presented material!

The thing is that I have seen lately on the internet a lot more videos about goalkeeper training, which is good, but most of those videos are presenting very poor technique or the ways “how to do it”, and that’s very bad!

This topic has bothered me now for a very long time, and every time when it would pop up again – I wanted to write this same text, but then I would give up… Now somehow I feel like I have to react on it! The worst of all is that I have seen some video materials showing poor goalkeeper technique with some known handball goalkeeper coaches, and that I can’t stand!

 

Our “mission” (our – as goalkeeper coaches) is to try to present and teach proper ways to do things in goalkeeper training. And we (“we” – as goalkeeper coaches again) are so small community, so we should try to keep together, try our best, learn from each other, exchange ideas and keep on very high level the materials we are showing on the internet!! Because if there are so many videos with bad basic technique, and if we don’t point that fact out (or at least mention “this looks bad, but here is something else you can do to improve it”), then we have a lot of other coaches, who never had a chance to be goalkeepers, and who will use our materials as ideas for their own work with their goalkeepers. Naturally – most often they will just copy the exercise, make it in the same way as it looked in the video they found online, they will try their best, but still missing out very important point – to correct in their training potentially “bad” or wrong things the goalkeeper in the video has been doing!

 

And for goalkeeper heaven’s sake, when you do have time to give attention to your goalkeepers in training, PLEASE do not put up some very complicated, “cool looking” exercise or combo drill while ignoring the principles of correct progression in goalkeeper technique!!

 

The point is not to make it look complicated or “cool”! The point is to help your goalkeeper to perform correctly all the elements of goalkeeper technique, and after s/he is able to do it, THEN you can add some more speed and dynamic into exercises.

As I mentioned earlier in my another text about saves of low shots: “to be able to teach, improve or identify mistakes in elements of goalkeeper technique – the coach first has to become familiar with the elements of proper technique!”

 

Oh yes, and let’s make this clear right away: when working with YOUNG GOALKEEPERS, you really want to give your best to take care that they are performing correctly proper GOALKEEPER TECHNIQUE. After learning proper basic goalkeeper technique – every goalkeeper will develop individual GOALKEEPER STYLE.  To be able to do this, you as a goalkeeper coach, have to know the difference between technique and style, you have to be the one who will help them detect which style would be the best for them (based on many important things that you have to know first).

You have to  know what, when and why you are doing.

 

So please, just think about few things when making the goalkeeper training:

  • is my goalkeeper performing proper technique?
  • if s/he is not, then how I can help to her/him to do that?
  • what we can do to correct/improve/change wrong learned things?
  • is this exercise anyhow connected to the situation goalkeeper would have in the game?
  • am I ignoring the principles of proper technique for the sake of “looking cool and complicated” exercise?

 

 

I really appreciate the effort of all goalkeeper coaches and all the other people who are helping and working hard on having more videos and materials about goalkeeping online, but I am so fed up with seeing wrong presented things!!!

 

Once again – I am not criticizing anyone with this text, I am just trying to point out some really important things about goalkeeper training, so we would all be able to make things little bit better in future!  🙂

 

I would love to hear your thoughts about this topic? Have you noticed the same or similar things? What we can do to change this?

 

Stay well and happy!  🙂

 

 

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2 Responses

  1. I totally agree with your findings, and this is the case not only for goalkeepers but also for field players training.

    While there are tons of video-material of good practices and exercises, unfortunately there is also an equal (or bigger) amount of material I would not consider as helpful, especially not for young players. I think one of the fundamental problem is education of coaches of young players. With education I mean formal education but even more important are self-studies and understanding of bio-mechanics, know and understand the proper technique, players development in different ages (mental and physical), understanding players current mental and physical capabilities and most of all understanding how a coach best can help the player.

    Yes, it might be “cool” to have very complex multi-disciplinary exercises and they might be very useful for players with a correct basic technique but sometimes coaches fail to see and understand the level of their players and tend to progress too fast. This has it’s reasons in not being able to create different (variable) exercises to perfect a specific technique. Different exercises are needed to achieve versatile training and to maintain the motivation in players but the level of the exercises need to be adopted to the level of the player. This is quite demanding when coaching a team, where players are at very different skill levels.

    However, I think that learning small tricks from experienced players videos is a good way to keep players motivation and own desire to develop alive. This should be something that the players do on their own time rather than the essence of the practice.

    Many times, players are taken too early to “the next level”, which in worst case result in injuries due to incorrect technique. With education, I think, we can improve this and make sure that we do not rush things and let players develop at their own pace.

    • I couldn’t agree more with you, Tomas! That was an excellent comment, thank you! 🙂 I would also add, the shortest way to prevent many of these mistakes that coaches tend to make is to provide available tools to teach them to recognize mistakes in certain movements. After that comes, of course, proper progression. Finnish handball should be proud and happy to have you as one of the coaches!!! 🙂

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