Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Warming Up Goalkeepers

As the weeks have passed since the season has started, I have recognized from watching various warm-ups before a game, that there are area's of concern when dealing with a goalkeeper's warm-up/preparation. I am not in anyway implying that every warm-up should change, but see minor areas that could be avoided to ensure your Gk has the best opportunity to prepare for a game. What I have provided below is a generic warm-up that may be of use to you (some in which you may already adopt in your warm-up). We need to educate every player on the team as to the importance of warming-up correctly and a Gk is no exception to that rule.

Generic Goalkeeping Warm Up

Time available – 40-45 minutes?

Factors to consider
•How much space is available?
•How much time do you have?
•Are there 2 Gk’s working together?
•Is the Assistant coach warming up the Gk?
•What age-group does this apply to – U-12+ (adaptations to the warm-up can be made for younger age-groups)

Stage 1 (0-10 minutes)

•Jog (with team) Dynamic stretching (avoid static stretching in this period) Ball Familiarity (allow Gk to individually work with a ball)
•Varied movement (forwards/backwards/side-steps/sprints)

Stage 2 (10-15 minutes)

•Collapse saves (sitting/kneeling/standing)
•Receiving low/mid/high delivered balls

Stage 3 (15-30 minutes)

•Receiving crosses (either thrown or kicked)
•Shot stopping from angles/in front of goal (include forwards/wide midfielders here?)
•Kicking/Punts

Stage 4 (30-40 minutes)

•Team interaction

It is recommended that a Gk complete a least 8-10 repetitions of each activity (from each side – right/left) to ensure that the movement is rehearsed.

Older age-group Gk’s (for example U-14+) need the time to mentally prepare for a game and should focus their warm-up on specifics (as listed above). Involving Gk’s in activities that have no relevance to goalkeeping will not best prepare the individual for the game ahead.

Having the Gk in goal and the rest of the team 10-15 yards away taking constant shots will not motivate the goalkeeper into a state of readiness. Take the Gk to the side of the goal to work on specifics while the team does this activity, then bring the Gk back in when an activity that will provide an equal opportunity for success is used.

One area you may be question is that your Gk is also an outfield player and will swap with another team-mate at half-time, so why focus on the format listed above? The major reason I can give for this is that if we do not educate the Gk's right and they lose the desire to play in goal, who do we look to when players start to focus on specific positions? Our actions may have resulted in no one wanting to play the position due to a lack of knowledge on our part and a sense of under-achievement from the Gk's perspective.

I hope you find this useful.


Rick Smith
UEFA A Goalkeeping License
Rio Rancho Soccer Club Director of Goalkeeping

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