Goalkeeping Program Focus 2019
Posted by: Chris Sharpe | First Team Assistant & Goalkeeper Coach / Academy Goalkeeper Director
Why a Season Focus?
About 4 years ago, we introduced our in-season goalkeeper focus. “Goalkeeper Focus” is a phrase we use to describe an aspect of the goalkeeping position that we concentrate on over the course of a 6-month period. It’s a phrase that our goalkeepers can latch onto and come back to when they are in games and at training.
For me, it is more than an emphasis for players to focus on. It is also a factor in the planning process for our coaches as they prepare their sessions and organize how they can get the best out of their goalkeepers.
What Were The Focuses Last Season?
- Mentally and vocally dominating in games and training – 2019
- Finding good starting spots for all game situations
- Improving our goalkeeper’s ability to keep their team in the game
- Emphasizing communication, organization and dominating one’s area
- Complete concentration and coming up with the timely saves
About the CRYSC Goalkeeper Program
Top Down Approach From Tim Howard to 8-Year-Old Keepers
From the first team all the way down through to our 8-year-old goalkeepers, development is key. Even today, Tim Howard is developing and learning. Not in the same way or capacity as the 8-year-old, but still learning and developing each time he steps onto the pitch. This attitude to always keep growing is a vital component of our goalkeeper program. A player with this mindset is able to develop:
- Great understanding and execution of fundamentals
- Great awareness of one’s own strengths and weaknesses
- Great understanding of the game, system and style of play each goalkeepers team is trying to achieve
- Growing and gaining in the art of goalkeeping knowledge across all aspects of the position
- Growing in confidence every day
Mentally and Vocally Dominating the Game
By asking our goalkeepers to mentally and vocally dominate the game, we are asking them to be “complete leaders”. This is a process that takes time to develop.
To effectively dominate the game you must mentally prepare prior to stepping on the field for both games and training. It means you are visualizing what you will achieve in that day’s session or game. You see yourself making saves, distributing, taking a cross, communicating with other players or seeing your starting positions as they unfold. Essentially, it’s how you are going to accomplish your goals.
Vocally dominating the game requires a player to know, not only their specific roles in training sessions and game scenarios, but also know others as well. Goalkeepers must ensure players and other keepers are upholding their individual responsibilities to the team. A vocally dominate goalkeeper inspires the players around them to give their best every session and work toward success together.
Consistently and authoritatively barking out instructions to teammates helps them stay mentally tuned-in throughout the duration of a game or training session. This raises the level of others around them, helping support and guide them as they play.
The combination of dominating the game both mentally and vocally helps goalkeepers grow into their role of being a “complete leader” on the pitch. One that influences the game and elevates the players around them.
Chris Sharpe is the Rapid’s First Team Assistant and Goalkeeper Coach. He is also the Director of Academy Goalkeeping, helping nurture and grow young talent. If you’d lik to find out more about Chris, follow him on social through the links below!