FINESOCCER Goalkeeping Edition 226
Posted by Jeff Stiffler on Jun 21 2005 at 05:00PM PDT
Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Today’s subject addresses and interesting way to learn to read the game and anticipate what is going to happen next. One of the best ways to learn to read the game better is to tape a game (whether a youth game or a professional game but it’s best to shoot it from up high to see the whole field as much as possible). Then, a player (or players) watches the game with a coach and somewhat randomly the coach turns the video off and the player must draw on a board or paper where all 22 players are on the field at the time the video was turned off. By doing this, it forces the player to be constantly watching the whole field instead of just the player or players around the ball. There will also be times when the player might not be able to see all 22 players so this requires watching some tendencies and figuring out where the players on the field would most likely be. Once all 22 players are drawn, the video gets turned back on and they compare where the players really are as opposed to where the player thought they were. The more a player does this the better they will at doing this and the better they are at doing this, the more they will learn to watch the whole field and not just the ball. The next steps for a keeper is, after they have drawn where all 22 players on the field are, to then figure where the next two passes are going to make to. This can be done by determining where the open players are and also by watching the different players (and different teams) tendencies to see where they are most likely to pass the ball to next. When players (and coaches) first start doing this time of “training” they will be “wrong” more often then not but with time and practice, players and coaches will improve dramatically with this method. Each time the video is stopped, it will usually result in a somewhat lengthy discussion so don’t expect to get through an entire game in one sitting while doing this. In many ways, the key isn’t getting this right or wrong but rather it’s understanding the process and learning the importance of seeing the whole field, anticipating what is going to happen next and truly learning how to read the game. While this type of training is useful for all players, it’s even more important for keepers as they have to truly understand the spacing and positioning of players at all times throughout the game. This is why so many coaches are former (or current) keepers as it forces them to understand the game at a different level then most others. Too many coaches miss the point of training the mind as well as the body. This type of training is the type of training that separates the real keepers from those who simply believe you have to be crazy to be a keeper.
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