Let’s Talk, About Goalkeeping Communication!!

Let’s Talk, About Goalkeeping Communication.

 

While observing games recently, one of the biggest things that stands out to me is the lack of effective communication from goalkeepers, especially the younger ones.

Goalkeepers need to be able to effectively communicate with team mates throughout the game to help direct, assist and inform of situations that the field players cannot see or need help with.

Some of the biggest reasons for keepers not talking are :- not knowing what to say and when to say it, not wanting to say the wrong thing and get caught out, or being undecided on what to say and by the time they want to communicate the situation has passed.

Communication shouldn’t be so difficult and it can be learnt and mastered quickly provided the keeper wants to learn. The easiest way to explain effective goalkeeper communication is to “SAY WHAT YOU SEE!” Goalkeepers can see the WHOLE FIELD and can be the ‘Eyes in the back of the head’ of defenders to alert them of possible situations they cannot see.

It is ok to be ‘Captain Obvious’ when communicating with defenders, If your Left Back Defender ‘Johnny’ has a player to the left, Communicate “Johnny, Player Left”, or “Johnny, Watch Left”. If you want your Center Back “Jilly” to not dive into a tackle and hold the player up, Communicate “Jilly, Stand up, Don’t Dive in”, or “Jilly, No Foul”. Pretty obvious, but effective communication nonetheless.

If you want your defenders to know you are available for a pass back when they have their focus on the attacking player chasing them down, communicate with “Keeper’s here”, or “Keeper’s open”. Let them know you are there to help, the more they hear that, the more inclined that will be to use you as an effective outlet.

In situations where the keeper needs to come out to claim a ball, be Confident, Communicate Early (Before you leave the ground, or move to the ball) and be Clear with the call. Don’t wait until the last second to call keepers, if you do wait, you will need to get used to dropping the ball, or picking yourself up off the ground. The earlier the better in situations like this to alert not only your own defenders that you are coming, but also the opposition. If they decide to stand in your way, they can suffer the consequences. Focus on the ball, communicate well and claim it!

If you are not 100% certain that you will get the ball, stay ‘Home’ and protect the goal. I’d rather see a keeper stay ‘Home’ than come out and completely miss time the jump, or miss the ball and end up out of position with the ball in the net. If you want the ball, call “Keepers”, if you don’t, Call “Away” it can’t really get any simpler.

When you communicate, make sure you are Clear, Concise and Audible. Don’t try to say too much, by the time you said your speech the situation could have passed and it’s time to communicate something different.

As I said, learning effective communication really is as simple as SAY WHAT YOU SEE and be confident in your communication and convictions.

Let people know you as a keeper who not only has excellent technique, but also is a great communicator, don’t be shy, BE PROUD AND BE LOUD!!

 

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Meet Our Alumi – Faith Cameron

MEET OUR ALUMNI!!!

 

Each month we will highlight one of our Awesome BTP Alumni. Whether they are currently in college or have graduated, we will learn more about them, why they choose to be a keeper and how the Academy has helped them along the way.

This Month we are Highlighting Faith Cameron!

Name: Faith Cameron

Age: 19

Hometown: – Center Valley, PA

College: – Mansfield University

How long have you been a member of the Academy? – 6 years

How long have you been a keeper? – 14 years

What do you love about being a keeper?

  • What’s not to love? I love playing in a specialized position where I can be a leader and have a big impact on the game.

What’s the highlight of your career?

  • Making a huge save in the District finals to help us go on to win 1-0! (See Video Below)
  • Being recruited to play D2 soccer with Mansfield

Favorite Soccer Team? – Liverpool FC 

Favorite Soccer Player? –  Allison Becker

What did you enjoy most about attending the Academy? – The atmosphere and culture at the Academy make it so much fun to be a part of. BTP creates a competitive and encouraging environment that makes it so amazing.

How do you feel the Academy helped prepare you to play in college? – The Academy taught me how to come out of my shell as a keeper and compete with others in my position. The group work really helped me when it came to showcases and ID clinics during the recruiting process, and I don’t think I would have been as ready for college as I was without the Academy and the awesome coaches!

What would you say to keepers who were thinking of joining the Academy? – Definitely join! The Academy changes my life and I wouldn’t change my decision to join for the world. I have made great friends and have gotten farther in my soccer career then I ever could have hoped with the help of the Academy.

Do you want to keep playing or coaching after college, or both?

I have actually already had some great coaching experiences already with BTP, the Philadelphia Union Youth program, and 1 on 1 coaching. I would love the opportunity to continue coaching and if the opportunity presents itself, play as well.

 

#BTPProud

Make Yourself Proud and Seize Your Opportunity!!

Goalkeeper Coaching in Warminster

Make Yourself Proud and Seize Your Opportunity!!

One thing most Keepers will have to deal with during their career is sharing time in the net with a rival keeper, and the competition that comes along with that!

Whether you are the ‘Established’ Starting Keeper, or the ‘Back-Up’, how you deal with and prepare for your role can be very different, but also very similar!

During Practice, you should work hard and Give EVERYTHING you have, regardless of whether you are the ‘Starting’ keeper or not.  At Between the Posts Goalkeeping in Warminster, Pottstown and the Leigh Valley, we work on not only the physical side of the game, but also the mental side which is often overlooked.

If you are the ‘Starting’ Keeper, practice hard to keep your position. Remember, someone is always looking to take your spot. If you are the ‘Back-up’, strive to work harder than the ‘Starting Keeper’; show you aren’t afraid to go the extra mile to earn a shot at the starting position. Remember to be respectful of the other keepers on your squad. Healthy competition is good, but respect is more important.

During games, whether you play the first half or the second half, Be Confident, Be a Loud Leader and Make Yourself Proud!!!

If you are the ‘Back-Up’, observe the game during your time on the sidelines. Try to analyze and understand the tempo of the game, and the pattern the opposite team plays with. Think about how you would deal with goalkeeping situations, and don’t forget to be supportive and encouraging of the keeper who is in net.

As the ‘Back-Up’, if you are asked to play, Seize the Opportunity! Even if it’s 20 minutes at the end of the second half and your team is down in the game, you can still impact the game and show that you are a capable keeper (as well as possible starter)!

Frustration can easily set in during time on the sidelines. You may feel that (and this may be true) you are not getting a fair shot of equal time or starting time in the net. I have seen many times that keepers are not the ‘Starting’ keeper even though they are the ‘Better’ keeper. At times, coaches will stick with what they know. Sometimes keeping the same keeper in to start is an easier decision, and may also prevent conversation between a parent and coach as to why their keeper was taken out of their Starting role.

Many Goalkeepers can look back over their career and remember the opportunity they seized to come off the bench as the ‘Back-Up’, impact the game, and become the ‘Established’ Starting Keeper!

Make Yourself Proud – Seize The Opportunity

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One Save at a Time!!!

GK Coaching in PA

One Save At A Time!!

I want to focus on this Blog about how to deal with the Stress of playing this Unique position! Let’s be honest, being a keeper is a Stressful position that not everyone can play. It takes as much, if not more mental strength to be a keeper than physical and technical attributes.

As a keeper we need to deal with stresses such as:- Higher Level Opposition, Making Mistakes, Playing in Front of Large Crowds, the Feeling of Letting Our Team Down, Being Consistent Every Game and the Expectation of That, Performing to Our Highest Standards Knowing we are Being Watched by Scouts, and many more.

I like to coach the Between the Posts GK keepers a ‘Step by Step’ approach to each particular aspect of each goalkeeping technique. Rather than being ‘Outcome Focused’, I’d rather my keepers think quickly about what they need to do to make the save, allowing them more opportunity to make the save). I believe it is important for keepers to overcome the stress of the position by Focusing on their game ‘One Save At A Time’ instead of being ‘Outcome Driven’ (stressing about the result or the performance at a time when there is nothing they can do about that). Instead of thinking too much about trying to impress, or a mistake, or letting people down. I try to tell my keepers to focus on each Situation/Save as it occurs and to deal with that moment as it comes about. If they get caught up in thinking about ‘Other’ things it will distract them from the quick decisions and actions needed to try to make the save, or deal with a cross, or handle a back pass, or distribute effectively.

As keepers rise through age levels and the standard increases, it becomes more apparent that the more mentally strong and focused keepers are the ones who are ‘Making the Grade!’

Stress is a tough habit to break, but if your keeper tries to adopt the ‘One Save/Situation At A Time’ approach, they will soon see the game differently and be able to put things to the back of their minds until their ‘Post Game Review’ (Which, by the way each keeper should make part of their development).

Part of a post game review should be how effectively did the keeper achieve predetermined goals. For Example, Pre-game think about 1 or 2 areas of your game to ‘Really focus’. For example ‘How well can I effectively communicate with my team?’, and ‘How effective was my distribution with my feet?” Post game review how you thought those objectives went. Did you feel you were clear and concise to you players with communication? If not, how do you improve? Was my distribution type the correct selection for that situation? Was it accurate and was it weighted correctly? Focusing on these goals and analyzing ‘Post-Game’ will allow you to improve as a whole and will also take your mind off the stresses of the game. Focus on two ‘Goals’ per game and see how quickly those areas improve with more thought and focus.

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