The ZEE Goalkeeper Academy works with goalkeepers ages 7 to 21, basically from grassroots all the way up to NCAA keepers and we’re very proud to say that all of our coaches can easily work with, train and educate to their full potential goalkeepers in this age frame.
3 weeks ago during an academy session I handed over to one of our coaches (now no longer a part of our organization) a group of goalkeepers still at a recreational level (ages 7 to 10). The coach told me straight out: “I’m a professional I don’t want to work with these young children” I told the coach that we rotate our groups of goalkeepers so that they work with all of our coaches. Unfortunately he stuck to his guns and refused to work with the group that I had assigned him. (This one of the reasons why the coach was shortly after terminated).
Most soccer organizations are committed to providing coaches, from grassroots to advanced, with specific instruction for the needs of their students. Most of our coaches are at a C license level or higher and all of them started at the Grassroots licensing (previously called the “E License”).
The Coaching License road consists of many courses that are designed to educate and instruct a coach at every step forward they take in soccer coaching. I personally have earned myself an UEFA (FIGC) Outfield C diploma and the A Goalkeeping license. At first I thought that I needed only the goalkeeping diplomas, however I was very happy that I took the outfield course for many different reasons.
Let’s go back to the former ZEE coach that didn’t want to work with the young group of goalkeepers.
I must say that he had an outstanding career playing as a professional in Central America and as soon as his playing career was over, he went straight into coaching. Here also, a 5+ year career training pro-goalkeepers.
Once the coach made the move to the United States, he didn’t waste time and trained USL (semi-pro) goalkeepers both in NYC and Daytona Beach.
This guy is a solid goalkeeper coach for sure, that is why we hired him in the first place. It took me time to understand that he had difficulty working with underdeveloped keepers, simply because he is used only working with goalkeepers that “ALREADY” have been trained and are already at a quality level.
A “PROFESSIONAL” goalkeeper coach knows how to interact and train athletes of all ages and level of play. They work with 7 year old’s or boys and girls in their 20’s with the same enthusiasm, but most of all the same knowledge on what training curriculum to use with each age group. You are not a professional goalkeeper coach if you don’t have these skills.
This is why licensing is very important!
If you played as a pro all your life and then you jump into coaching, you either stick coaching pro’s or you go back to school and start getting your national soccer licenses.
4v4, 7v7, 9v9, 11v11, D, C, B, A Junior, A Senior and Pro.
This is the road that every “Academy” coach should take, there is no other way!