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STRIKING EAGLES SOCCER CLUB

PO Box 34,

Gilbertsville, NY 13776

E-mail rwingjr@citlink.net

 

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Tactical Training

by Chris Ducar, SoccerPlus Goalkeeper School,     www.goalkeeper.com  

This was a topic I covered at the PA West State Convention in February 1998.

Tactical Training for Goalkeepers

Presented by Chris Ducar

Technical training for goalkeepers here in the United States is excellent. We have camps and specialists who work daily with aspiring keepers to help them fulfill their dream of making the great save. However, as a player gets older and wants to tryout for or be noticed by a more competitive team, what will separate him or her from the rest of the pack?

What a young keeper and his or her coach must understand is that at a certain point, every keeper will have equal proficiency in catching, throwing, kicking, and diving. Where a keeper stands out in my eyes is in the areas of decision making. If I am at an ODP tryout, working with my college keepers or training the pros, I critically analyze the following areas:

Positioning

bulletIs the keeper always in a position to respond to a save? This does not only mean angle play for shot saving. What I look for are situations like: My goalkeeper's team is in possession of the ball in the attacking third. Is my goalkeeper at or beyond the 18 ready to win cleared or counter attacking through balls? Or ready to support the team for backpass to relieve high pressure?

Distribution

bulletAfter making a save, can my goalkeeper recognize the best options for keeping possession while starting a dangerous counter attack? Or, does my goalkeeper recognize the flow of the game and use their distribution to control tempo?

Communication/Organization

bulletDoes my goalkeeper "read" the game, rather than just spectate? Can the goalkeeper recognize breakdowns or weaknesses in his/her defense and verbally fix the situation so that no actual save has to be made?

Set Pieces

bulletWhile this is a team tactic, can the goalkeeper take charge of the situation and make sure that the proper number of player's are in a wall, or that all the assignments are delegated on a corner kick?

Coaching position: During a practice, I get the best perspective of the position by actually standing in goal.

For example, if I feel that the keeper needs to step out, I can move out and position myself in the area I think they should be occupying.

Or, if an attack is developing down one flank, I can glance to the far post to see whether or not the weak side defender is in the proper position or is tracking the weak side runner. Then, I can help the goalkeeper find ways to organize the defense as play develops.

There are no specific exercises that apply exclusively to keepers for tactical development. As a coach, set up your session to replicate the game and then you can focus your attention on the goalkeeper's role within the team setting while the rest of the practice progresses.

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