Too often coaches do not have a plan that extends beyond the present goalkeeper training session.   It is imperative that we move away from this style of coaching and add some science to what we are doing.
If I was to go and view most GK sessions what do you think I would see?  In my experience the session will concentrate predominately on the technical aspects of the position and little time is given to specific physiological, psychological or tactical requirements.  Thus, our GK’s never improve their physiological status to the standard that is required.  The natural athlete will survive but the non-athletic GK never maximizes their potential.  Firstly, let’s look at the major physiological requirements again:

• Strength
• Speed
• Stability
• Power
• Agility
• Co ordination

Do you know how to train these components and are you presently training them?  Too often coaches try to improve speed, power and agility by doing speed, power and agility drills.  You may be thinking “yes isn’t this correct” but I want you to think about what is the foundation of these components?  Obviously the foundation is strength and in my experience strength is one of the most misunderstood and wrongly trained components of fitness.  When coaches think strength it’s about weights with little functional component or the GK is doing so much technical training that there is no time to incorporate a strength program.  

Strength training should be completed 2-3 times/week (48hrs between workouts) and should involve a full body program that involves functional exercises.  I am a strong believer in bodyweight exercises and am adamant correct technique is followed.  Bodyweight routines can be incorporated into the GK session and can be performed at the start of the session and may include:

• Walking Lunges
• Bodyweight Squats
• Push ups
• Chin ups (assisted if necessary)
• Core exercises (Russian twist/cycle crunches etc)

No equipment is required and can be completed in a circuit format (3 rotations of 8-12 reps).  Progression is an integral part of any program so manipulations can be made by using medicine balls, bands or slowing down the speed of contraction.  As time progresses other strength training methods can be incorporated but it is most important that the movements are functional and you do not make this mistake of prescribing a strength training program that has its foundations in bodybuilding rather than sports conditioning.  Strength training must be part of every GK’s overall program.

Dr. Craig Duncan an international expert in goalkeeper development writes for Keeper Keeper Skool  is  a leading provider of online goalkeeper training information. 

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