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The Role of the Goalkeeper Coach
Where Are We In Goalkeeping Around The World and in the USA?
Coach gaspar has some concerns with the lost of art of catching. We are producing goalkeepers that are blockers deflectors essentially WALLS. He remembers back to the days where he would volley as hard as he could against a wall to work on catching and build confidence. When the ball is in a goalkeepers hands, they are the best players in the world. Better than Ronaldo. Better than Messi. A catch is the ultimate control. We need to get back to one touch goalkeeping or at least get back to controlling the ball. The fear of making a mistake now is so big that we have become blockers with the ball controlling us.
On The Modern Goalkeeper: (3:56 Video) The modern goalkeeper is also a field player. The ability to be comfortable with the ball at the goalkeepers feet and hands is exceptionally important. We don’t want to neglect the hands because of the emphasis of the feet. Combine them both! In order the modern goalkeeper to be a sweeper keeper they need to prevent the ball for going into the back of the net. Lets get back to hard core goalkeeping!
The Role of Social Media in Goalkeeper Training: (5:10 Video) Social media and the internet have an enormous role to play in the lives of goalkeepers…UNFORTUNATELY! The problem being that social media training and unorthodox training methods are now creeping into the outdoor game simply in the pursuit of likes and clicks. We need to be careful on how much influence social media and internet training has on our coaches and goalkeepers. Too much focus is now on playing out with the feet and how good we are with the ball at our feet, but first and foremost we are keepers and we need to be technically proficient at catching the ball. That is our main job. We all need to take on the responsibility of making sure that is our main focus during training – handling proficiency. Do the simple things well – Practice makes permanent. (Check out more articles on catching HERE)
Are US Goalkeeper Coaches Good Enough?: (13:27 Video) Dan has travelled all over the world coaching goalkeepers. He not only thinks US goalkeeper coaches are good enough, they are often times better. European GK coaches methods aren’t necessarily better than their US counter parts. It’s a boils down the countries culture, soccer being the #1 sport in those countries, access to academies and clubs in most major cities and smaller ones too, which allows them to be elevated because of the club brand. US coaches simply don’t have the same access to top teams/clubs and soccer is nowhere near as popular in the US at the professional level. US GK coaches are well educated, have diverse technical and psychological components making them well rounded and informed. US training methods have been well received in many European countries. Dan is an example of just that. He has made a name for himself as a world renowned goalkeeper coach and he was born and raised in Glastonbury, CT.
Goalkeeper Coaching Education: (16:05 Video) The US keeper education is in a little bit of a slump right now. We need to get back to the generations of quality MLS keepers making their way to Europe (Keller, Friedel, Howard) and succeeding. There is no longer 2-3 goalkeepers we can refer to as the true role models of USA goalkeeping right now. It’s disappointing that US Soccer has been unable to confirm a GK Technical Director on both the men’s and women’s side as that role is needed to lay the foundation for GK coaching education. US soccer needs to invest some resources in developing a blueprint/curriculum that all goalkeeper coaches can follow and refer back to.
The importance of humility: (18:50 Video) Video Dan learned a harsh lesson in humility from his Father. Dan’s father was his goalkeeper coach and on one particular day during training, Dan was not at his best and was letting all the shots in. His Dad reset and struck the shots again. Once again, Dan let all the shots in. His father asked him if he was ok to which Dan replied, “You can’t score on me unless I want you to”. That was the last time Dan’s father ever trained him. He packed up his equipment, drove home and let Dan walk. It taught Dan the lesson of humility, listening, learning, growing and understanding. Even though Dan has been coaching for many years he is still eager to learn and ambitious to improve. Dan’s passion and motivation has paved the way for many young goalkeepers to learn from his experience and many have gone on to play professionally and many more have gone on to become professional goalkeeper coaches.
Special thanks to Coach Dan Gaspar of Star Goalkeeper Academy for sharing his wisdom with Keeperstop and Goalkeepers around the world.