GOALKEEPER SPECIFIC NEEDS 2012/2013
SOLID SET POSITION
• Set position needs to provide him with a good foundation to make any save in the least amount of time.
• Body weight needs to be forward (75% through toes).
• Knees slightly bent, not so much that any strain is felt in the quadriceps.
• Hands held at lower chest level, pushed forward in an advanced position and turned into a catching position (never have hands with backs of gloves facing forward).
• In a set position the head should be forward of the toes, this will help to keep the GK in a forward aggressive stance.
POSITIONAL SENSE/STARTING POSITION
• He must be positive and confident in the positions taken up during games.
• Stance must be ‘front foot’ so that every time the ball is played into an area over his back four he is able to take a step forward as the ball is played. This will help the GK to be quicker off the mark.
• GK should not be over advanced as this could lead to the GK feeling vulnerable to the lob. This could mean that the GK will take a backwards step when the opposition are about to play a through ball or put a ball into the penalty area.
• Any Professional GK must have a wide range of distribution skills so that selection is not limited.
• He must have confidence in distribution decisions and remember that it is his choice alone not anyone who is on the side-line.
• When distributing short, he should be able to see his team-mates next pass and communicate this information to him whilst the ball is in transit.
• Before receiving a back pass the GK should be fully aware of his player’s positions in front of him so that ball control can set him up best for the next pass/clearance.
• GK should be able to clear a rolling back pass competently with weaker foot, and be able to clear danger with a static ball.
• One of the most important aspects of being a pro GK is his ability to be fully immersed in the game and totally focused in the job at hand.
• During a game, the GK is talking to team-mates and involving himself in the game whilst also concentrating on the ball and player positions on the pitch.
• GK should constantly provide useful information to his back four, but also to any other player who requires further instruction.
• When the ball is in the defending 3rd, communication must become very sharp, 1 or 2 word commands like man-on, time, keepers, away, turn and free header need to be delivered loudly, confidently and with maximum authority.
DOMINATE BALLS INTO AREA
• Taking crosses is a difficult task for today’s GK’s as new technology in player’s boots and the lightness of the modern day football mean the pace of crosses and erratic flight trajectory have restricted a GK’s chance of claiming a cross.
• Therefore, a GK must remember that his primary role is to stop the ball going directly into the net and must position himself accordingly. Secondly, the GK should give himself a chance of helping defenders by claiming a cross.
• As with a normal starting position, the GK must be front foot and take a small step forward as the ball is played into the box this step can be easily backtracked if the GK decides to not come for cross.
• Once the decision has been made, the GK must stick to it 100% and back it up with a loud confident shout of either “keepers” or “away”.
• Timing is crucial; he must reach the ball at optimum speed and its highest point. The GK should wherever possible never take the ball with a standing jump; this will leave him more vulnerable to challenges from attacking players.
• If a catch is not possible or there is a good chance of a mishandle in a crowd of players the GK should attempt the punch. The 1 handed punch should be preferred as it leaves a hand and arm spare to lever attacking players out of the balls path.
PRESENCE IN GOAL
• Having ‘presence’ as a GK equates to being loud and confident and using his position on the pitch to dominate dangerous situations.
• The GK has the advantage of being able to speculate and affect the game. A GK with ‘presence’ can play an important role within a team even if they do not touch the ball.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STRENGTH
• GK‘s need to be as fit and strong as outfield players.
• A typical GK’s training day is very demanding. If a GK lacks good enough condition to cope with the workload and constant impact of body on ground then injury could occur.
• It is important that pro first team GK’s are reliable and fit for 95% of the season.
• Being a GK is very mentally demanding, recovery from mistakes and constant crowd abuse requires tolerance and an ability to work under stress.
• Confidence with a touch of arrogance comes from the inner belief that they are ready for the job in hand. The GK will know they are ready to perform when all manner of preparation has been addressed going into a game. He knows he is going to perform well!
GOOD GAME CRAFT
• Experienced GK’s have learnt how to play games to win, when to play quickly and when to slow games down.
• Positioning, influencing and intimidating opponents are all part of an experienced GK’s armoury.
• External factors such as pitches, weather, officials, confidence levels of both teams and game status are all handled well by an experienced GK with good game-craft.
• Good work ethic is essential.
• Be able to self-motivate and develop weaknesses.
• Aim to maintain attitude after a poor or good performance. This is best achieved with a consistent demeanour within his lifestyle.
Consistency is the most important asset for any GK. He can only achieve this by being consistent in the way he approaches games and training. Routines, repetition of basic techniques and constant preparation are all key to a GK appearing in control during frantic moments in a game.
WRITTEN BY NEIL MOSS (AFC BOURNEMOUTH 1ST TEAM GOALKEEPER COACH)