Coaching is a tricky business. Whether you are coaching rugby, hockey or football, there is a right and wrong way to teach people the sport. This stands true with coaches training young football goalkeepers to understand the intricacies of the position. Below are the top three mistakes coaches make when training young goalkeepers.
1, Underestimating the importance of training in footwork
Whilst diving may look cool – when pulled off correctly – many coaches overstress the importance of diving for the ball and do not train enough in footwork. Essentially, diving should not be your first line of defence but rather a last resort when footwork or simple body positioning would otherwise fail.
2, Not teaching the young goalkeepers to catch
Another technique that is highly undervalued is catching the ball. Many coaches overlook the importance of training the budding goalkeepers how to position and angle their bodies to give themselves the best chance of catching and therefore retaining the ball. This simply requires the ability to remain calm and read the situation – a crucial skill that is invaluable to successful goalkeepers. Catching will also assist their ability to slow down the game and keep possession rather than giving in to the temptation to panic and throw the ball away.
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3, Failing to teach a safe diving method
Whilst footwork and handling are important, there will come times when diving is an essential skill to learn. Many coaches fall into the trap of not teaching a safe diving method; instead, they tell their goalkeepers to dive before they are ready. It is important in any sport to know how to fall properly – whether in football or a martial art, an awkward landing can lead to unnecessary injuries. With this in mind, coaches should not only ensure goalkeepers are wearing the correct protective equipment and perform the correct warm up routine to best avoid pulling or spraining a muscle but also that they are trained in safe methods of diving.
Do you play or coach football? Do you have any top tips for teaching goalies that we have missed? Make sure you let us know!