How Can Goalkeeper Coaches Utilize Periodization in Training?
Dr John Cone - Science Driven Technology That Improves Your Game

Periodization in training is a buzz word but what is it?  

Simply it is a systematic approach to training and management of time. Periodization is the planning of training for performance, development, and injury resistance. It is the systematic approach that the goalkeeper coach holistically develops a goalkeeper. Development that goes beyond the technical and tactical considerations.  “Holistic Development”

Questions For GK Coach:

When are we developing the goalkeeper? Stage of development and age.
What do we need to address?
What do we need to develop?
What is going to make the biggest impact on development at the present moment?

The biggest “Impact” is the starting point.


The misconception with periodization is that it is just for the for the professionals or college goalkeepers. This can be utilized with developing youth goalkeepers. Periodization should be introduced with youth goalkeepers since they have their whole playing carrier ahead of them.  If goalkeeper coaches only focus on one or handful of things we are missing attributes that lead to comprehensive goalkeeper development.  We may not need to start at 9 and 10 but need to have all the facets in our training environment.

Periodizing methodically becomes very important when the athlete starts to grow. In this crucial development stage it is imperative to manage the physical load, match readiness to training load.  For example pro work to rest ratio based on the activity, session, days after the game, days before a game?

Article was forwarded by Christian Benjamin from  Christian sat down with Dr. Cone at Phil Wheddon’s International Goalkeeper Coaches Conference in 2018 to help goalkeeper coaches develop the holistic goalkeeper that Dr. Cone discussed in the video. Todays goalkeepers, parents, and coaches are enamored with the exciting physical challenging drills seen on social media.  An exhausted dripping with sweat goalkeeper is not the sign of a productive session.  In a goalkeepers short and long term development this can be counterproductive.  As goalkeeper coaches we want maximize goalkeeper development and performance through the periodization of all aspects of training.

Dr John Cone is a leading educator in the implementation of soccer-specific sports science across all USSF courses. Dr. Cone works with youth organizations to professional teams.