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Can't wait for the launch of the book this August? Keep updated and informed on the world of goalkeeping with regular blog posts and updates to satisfy your coaching cravings! Feel free to jump in with comments, discussions and thoughts of your own: we're here to expand, grow and ultimately support our understanding of football's most specialised position!
Tony & Adam.
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Adam and Tony.
Does the goalkeeping fraternity need its own 'GK Union'?
'Communication': the fluffy word used far too often when coaching!
Far too often, the singular word 'communication' is how coaches term the exchange of information between players whilst taking part in either practice or games.
In my humble opinion, as coaches we are doing the players a huge disservice by not elaborating on what we mean when we ask the players to communicate with each other. I understand that in this modern era of coaching, the coach is expected to say less and observe and feedback collectively more with the players but if when discussing the communication part of the players development it is vitally important to give the players the broadest description of what is expected of them to help them get the best returns possible form each situation during the process.
For me the breakdown of this aspect of the game should come in three forms and could be described in the following way:
So if you are working with goalkeepers on a regular basis, you may be looking for a really simple way of sharing this with them. Below I can offer you just this by way of a 'Goalkeeper's Vocabulary' document that shows how to use basic terminology within a team structure that both player and goalkeeper can get used to working with very quickly.
THE GOALKEEPERS VOCABULARY
“COMMUNICATION” or “INSTRUCTION/INFORMATION”
“HOW YOU SAY IT”
E.G. EARLY, LOUD, CLEAR, CONCISE, TONE etc
“WHAT YOU SAY”
SPECIFIC DETAIL RELEVANT TO THE SITUATION
WHAT IS THE SPECIFIC “DETAIL” AND WHEN WOULD IT BE USED?
• GOALKEEPING SPECIFIC eg Keeper / Away
• SPECIFICALLY WHEN THE “TEAM” ARE IN POSSESSION
• SPECIFICALLY WHEN THE “OPPOSITION” ARE IN POSSESSION
• “INSTRUCTION” USED WHEN BOTH IN AND OUT OF POSSESSION
WHEN THE TEAM IS 'Out Of Possession'
When the keeper wants a team-mate to pressurise the man on the ball
When the keeper wants a team-mate to make play predictable
When the ball is cleared and the keeper wants the defence to make play compact
“Step”! (if done gradually)
“Squeeze”! (if done quickly over a reasonable distance)
When the keeper wants the defence to hold a line
“Edge”! (of the penalty area)
WHEN THE TEAM IS 'In Possession'
Teammate has time with the ball
‘Time – Turn’
‘Time – Two Touch’
Teammate is under pressure
‘Away – Man on’
Keeper wants the ball played back to him
‘Play it early’
‘Head it early’
Keeper wants the defender to leave the ball
‘Keeper’s, let it run’
Some young players can suffer from low confidence and this manifests itself in their inability to talk on the pitch. It is important for the football coach to identify this as early as possible and encourage the player to use their voice. If you have a player who lacks confidence, when it comes to instructing team-mates, you need to give them encouragement to improve their footballing self-esteem by doing drills focussed on talking. This may not come naturally to some players, though over time and with practice this can be improved and cured completely. For these players it is also very important for their team-mates to take a responsibility and encourage them to use verbal communication as much as possible. Football is a team game after all!
Saturday started with a 7.00am drive from our Manchester home for my son Robbie and myself as we set off for St. George's Park (SGP), with the car loaded to the brim with equipment and kit in readiness for a day of futsal, the sport that means so much to me after nearly ten years of being the lead goalkeeping coach with the England Men's Senior Futsal squad!
The set up and organisation of the day was planned well in advance by myself in collaboration with other FA Futsal Tutors Ian Bateman and England Futsal Head coach Mike Skubala and was to consist of approximately one hour of theory on The Futsal Goalkeeper in the classroom via a PowerPoint presentation followed by two hours of interactive practical delivery on the futsal court at SGP.
Upon arrival at SGP, Robbie and I proceeded to empty the car and place all of the equipment in the hall and - after catching a quick word with one or two of the staff at SGP with whom I am now familiar with - we ventured into the England squad dressing room to catch a quick word with Mike Skubala. Mike was accompanied by my good friend and fellow futsal goalkeeper coach, Frank Chiarella who worked with me previously when I was in charge of overseeing the management, monitoring and support of the goalkeepers and goalkeeping support staff of the whole England Futsal development programme.
Frank suggested that as one or two of the England senior squad GK's were absent for the days camp, that Robbie should join him and the group and take part in the days training to make sure that the quality of the sessions was kept to a maximum by having enough goalkeeping cover and support. Of course, Robbie agreed with glee and I left him in the capable hands of Frank and began to turn my attention to the job in hand of heading upstairs to sprinkle some gold dust and share my learnings and findings from ten years immersed in the world of Futsal with this latest cohort of Futsal enthusiasts looking to further enhance their knowledge and in particular around the importance of the Futsal goalkeeper!
There was an air of expectation within the room of learners who had made the journey to SGP from far and wide, as this would be for most of them, their first exposure in depth to the role of the futsal goalkeeper and the importance placed upon the way in which the goalkeeper is regarded and hence developed.
The theory element was to be very similar to what was delivered to last years attendee's on the UEFA B but I had tidied it up somewhat so that it looked a lot better on the eye for those looking on. As well as being exposed to the Powerpoint, I had also arranged for the full presentation to be printed off so that each learner had in their hand a hard copy to look through should they struggle to pick anything out whilst looking at the screen. The learners also have access to HIVE, which is a learning portal where all of the information that is shared with them by the tutors of the course, can be stored and further used as reference at any time should the learners wish to recall any of the detail shared with them.
Without going into full detail, the PowerPoint contained many aspects around the role of the Futsal goalkeeper and consisted of the following:
The feedback from the learners was very positive and during the presentation I gave them ample opportunity to reflect and review the detail shared and in particular on their findings/learnings from watching the varied footage shown.
The learners were given a lunch break of around 45 minutes, allowing them to reflect on the detail I had offered during the classroom part of the day and giving me the opportunity to pop down to the Futsal hall and set up for the 2 hour practical delivery to come.
I was fortunate enough to be given access to the England Futsal squad goalkeepers for the day by Mike Skubala and they along with Robbie joined me in the hall and they were to help me demonstrate the practices that I had planned to make up the practical part of the day.
After a quick recap of the mornings theory, which in part was offered to pitch the afternoon session to the learners, I proceeded to immerse the learners into the world of the Futsal goalkeeper and 2 hours non stop action which encompassed the following aspects:
After a short Q & A session to finish off the days proceedings between the goalkeepers, myself and the learners, I was able to observe the rest of the England squad training session and reflect on what was a very busy but thoroughly rewarding day spent delivering the message to another branch of the futsal family on the FA Futsal UEFA B course!
Tony is a forward-thinking, innovative and heavily experienced goalkeeper coach, having worked with national- and elite-level squads across five formats of the game of football. He currently holds the coveted UEFA 'A' Goalkeeping Diploma, as well as the Advanced Youth Awards, and enjoyed a professional career of more than 10 years in length through the divisions of English football.