Saturday, January 21, 2012

Goalkeeper Coaching for Children

If you are a parent or grandparent looking for goalkeeper training for children there are a few very important pointers to look out for.

1: Make sure the keeper coach is who he states he is because some goalkeeping coaches exaggerate their claims regarding their goalkeeping career.

These GK coaches say they played for a professional soccer club but reading between the lines, they only had a  trial with a particular pro club, so they have NOT been a former professional keeper like they state..
So as a parent looking for goalkeeper training for children, IS DO YOUR RESEARCH ON YOUR GOALKEEPER COACH!

The only problem is when a soccer club employs a goalkeeper coach all the goalkeepers HAVE TO attend his sessions. I have seen many of these goalkeeper coaches in action and its very worrying as these coaches are un intentionally doing more harm than good.

Most parents ask me what I would do in that situation, and I say I would not allow my child to attend the coaches sessions! However, some parents sadly are frightened by the club and let their child attend these classes, then wonder why their child does not develop as a keeper.

I understand why soccer clubs hire a keeper coach as they want to do the right thing for their keepers. But if the club do not get the correct goalkeeper coach, in my opion it is a waste of time, especially for the goalkeeper.

2: Make sure he is qualified.
I have seen a few times over the year’s GK coaches who actually  lie about their qualifications. So make sure they have the qualifications they state! 

3: The next thing to do, is check out the GK coaches classes BEFORE you hand over your cash. What you want to see, is the coach training his students in a relaxed and friendly environment. If the gk coach is screaming and shouting at his students, stay away!

You also want to see all the keepers doing something. If you see keepers standing about doing nothing or waiting for the next directions from the gk coach, the chances are the coach does not know what he is doing, and or is very inexperienced.

4: Check your coach out online If this coach is making claims about his experiences etc, google him. If you cannot find anything about this coach online, I would be asking him some very serious questions!

5: What has he done for his current students? 
If he has helped his students succeed, the chances are he can do this with your child. You want to see  some decent success stories though, like his students getting a career opportunites because most gk coaches cannot do this for their students.

6: How much does he charge: I have seen some goalkeeper coaches and they charge a small fortune. Some of these coaches, I would not have them working for me for free because they are not very good, yet they are asking for ALOT of money for medicore coaching.

A good soccer keeper coach, coaches chidren to give something back to the next generation of goalkeepers so his coaching fees will always be fair

So if you are looking for Goalkeeper coaching for children I hope this article helps you pick the correct goalie coach because even though there are a lot of poor goalkeeper coaches coaching, there is thankfully a lot of very good keeper coaches out there… so it is up to you as a parent or grandparent to make sure you find the correct one for your child or grandchild.

Best of goalkeeping

Ray Newland

Friday, January 13, 2012

How to cummunicate with your defence

Communication with your Defence – by Jay Gibbs

Goalkeepers who communicate with their defenders are much valued. Clear, early calls can alert team mates to unseen dangers as well as averting any confusion arising between players. Furthermore constant communication with your defenders will aid your concentration, especially during those periods in the game where you are largely inactive.

It is important that you know what, how and when to communicate as a goalkeeper. As you are in the privileged position of seeing the whole pitch, you can alert defenders to blind-side runs from opponents, As play develops down one flank a quick glance across the pitch might reveal unmarked players. An early call to a team mate can ensure that the unmarked player is picked up. You must be specific in the information you direct at the team-mate who is dealing with the situation. In this case it may be:

‘Jay, Pick up the spare man at the back post!’

If the ball is played over the defence, you must make your intentions clear in order to avoid any confusion. Any hesitation on your part or the defenders could have disastrous consequences. If you intend to claim the ball, you must call:

Keeper’s ball, let it run!’

On no account should the defender play the ball if you are coming to collect it. When you want the defender to make a back pass, you should shout:

‘Keeper’s on. Push it back!

Merely to call ‘Keeper’s!’ does not clarify the situation sufficiently. The call should leave defenders in no doubt as to what the keeper intends to do. Typical instructions for back passes are:

‘Keeper’s on. Push it back! ‘Keepers on. Early!’ ‘Keeper’s on. Head it on!

‘Keeper’s on. Time!’

The call for a back pass must be combined with support at the correct angle and distance so that the defender has little trouble.

Whenever defenders are in possession and are facing their own goal you should always help them make the right decision. On the one hand they maybe under severe pressure, necessitating an early back pass, and on the other they may have time to turn with the ball. The calls in these situations would vary from:

‘Keeper’s on. Man on!’ to ‘Time. Turn!’

You should feel happy about maneuvering your own defenders in order to protect your goal. If you feel that attackers are being allowed too much space you must tell your team mates to mark more closely. For example you might call:

‘Get tighter! Or ‘Close him down!’

One of the aims of defending is to force play in one direction so that it becomes predictable and easily dealt with. Information such as:

‘Tight!’ Do not let him turn!’ and ‘Force him down the line!’ will help to achieve that end.

Futhermore, reminders to team mates of basic defending principles, such as:

‘Close him down quickly! Or ‘Stay on your feet!, will also assist the defensive unit in its job.

When the ball has been cleared you should encourage your defence to push out to leave those forwards remaining in advanced positions offside. A loud cry of

‘Push out!’ or ‘Squeeze up! Will suffice.

You must always encourage the nearest player to pressurise the ball carrier when the defensive unit is pushing up.As soon as the ball crosses the half way line you should be giving information and encouragement to other defenders. You should be mindful of the defence’s objective to make play predictable by forcing the ball in one direction.

When coming for a high cross you must not allow defenders to drop too deep and thus deny you space in which to attack the ball. The timing and manner of your communication is almost as important as the information you impart. Early calls are absolutely essential because defenders already committed to a plan of action will not react well to late instructions, The information must be concise and easily understood. Precious seconds could be wasted by instructions that are long winded. All information must be given in a loud, clear voice that instills confidence. An indecisive and nervous call can panic defenders and drain confidence. Even if you feel nervous inside try and be calm. You will achieve this if you provide early and relevant information in a confident and controlled manner.

Key Points

A) Adopt a good starting position relative to the proximity of the ball

B) Keep in line with the ball

C) Be ready to deal with through balls

D) Support team-mates when in possession

E) Give clear information to team-mates when and where necessary.

And finally……..BE LARGE AND IN CHARGE!!!!!!

Friday, January 06, 2012

J4k Pennsylvania

Here is a picture of our goalkeeper students enjoying their time at a course ran by J4K coaches Joe Weirs and Simon Robinson.

Just4keepers is one of the fastest growing goalkeeperschools in Pennsylvania with it becoming the ‘place to be’ for budding young goalkeepers to improve their goalkeeping skills.

At J4K Pennsylvania, goalkeepers are taught all the goalkeeping aspect needed to make those important saves and under the watchful eye of coach Joe and Coach Simon there is some fantastic success stories coming for 2012!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Whats the best height for a goalkeeper

What’s the best height for a goalkeeper?

I get asked this ALL THE TIME and over my 30 years as a goalkeeper coach, coaching all over the world the most common asked question I get asked is ‘ Am I too small to be a goalkeeper’.

However rightly or wrongly the fact of the matter is that most pro soccer clubs only want goalkeepers who will grow to be 6ft plus!

This is very hard for me because as a goalkeeping coach I have seen sooooo many great young goalkeepers who I believed had the ability to become a professional goalkeeper and I had been left just as frustrated as my goalkeeper student when they have been rejected by a pro club because of height, or lack of it to chose a better word.

I am a firm believer if you are good enough you are big enough!

The problem a lot of young goalkeepers have is when they try to get to a professional clubs academy at aged 6 – 15 years, alot of the coaches at these pro clubs are frightened to speak out. Each pro club has a template of what the ideal goalkeeper should look like in terms of stature and height and if they do not fit into this mould, again rightly or wrongly, they will not give this keeper a chance.
I am not saying all clubs do this but most do.

As I said above, the problem with young keepers who are small but HAVE the talent, they need their coach at this pro club to stand up for them. But as most coaches do not want to rock the boat and risk losing their coaching role, they play it easy and go with the template their club set out.

One part of me believes these coaches have no backbone but having being around professional clubs for many MANY years now, I do understand why they do this because for the most part, they would get ignored anyway.

The older you get, the stronger the chances are you have of making the grade if your are small.

If you can keep the faith and play the highest levels you can locally, if you can find a good independent goalkeeper schools or something like goalkeeper agent this can help you. I am also a firm believer if you are good enough and you keep playing, you will eventually  get noticed.

The key to this story is... NEVER GIVE UP!

even if you have been to an professional academy and have been rejected, this is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Please believe when I say this, as I am probably more epxerienced than any other goalkeeper coach to understand this as I have seen it all!

I believe the window to make it as a goalkeeper is between the age of 15 and 23... 

So never give up on your goalkeeper dream!