Large Numbered Goalkeeper Training Sessions and Why it’s a Good Thing!

ZEE Goalkeeper Academy Florida - Goalkeeper Training, Camps and Clinics > Blog > Goalkeeper Academy > Large Numbered Goalkeeper Training Sessions and Why it’s a Good Thing!

Parents, do you remember your school days, how many classmates where there along with you, lets say in 1st grade? six total? In high school whatever sport you played, was there one coach per 5-6 players? During the military my whole company of 180 soldiers were taught to march by 4 instructors, we were taught to shoot different weapons in groups of 15 and only one instructor. My family and close friends can confirm, that I’m still an outstanding marksman with both a handgun and a rifle, thanks to that instructor. Them of you that have attended a FIFA invitational, UEFA or USSF diploma-license class, how many instructors were there one per six coaches?

My son has attended 3 soccer camps this summer (not related to my GK Academy) and at the first there were 4 coaches and roughly 55 boys and girls between the ages of 8 to 17. He loved it, he came home learning a lot more on footwork, we spent some time in the back yard and he showed me all the new techniques he had picked up along the 3 day camp. During the 3 days he was in a group of 14 kids and just one coach.

I post a large amount of video footage on YouTube, either it be of the Goalkeeper Academy sessions or my students playing club or high school, it goes up there and for many reasons: For college coaches to pick out a student that they could be interested in, but most of all for my students to watch. I want them to watch themselves while practicing certain drills. The channel has become trendy and close to 2,000 people from all over the US has subscribed to it. Most of the videos get over 1,000 views, but the comments are limited.

I received one comment about two weeks ago on one of my videos that stated “I’VE SEEN SHORTER LINES AT SIX FLAGS”. The coach was referring to the large amount of students that attend my sessions, we’ll get to that shortly, but first let me say that I don’t know this person and by visiting his YouTube channel I noticed that like myself this person is a goalkeeper coach. He uses YouTube to promote his goalkeeper academy. The channel has “one” subscriber, two dozen promotion videos and in each of the videos the same two goalkeeper students. No videos of clinics, camps or his students games, no wide shots of the whole field, no equipment…
…psychologically what went through this goalkeeper coach’s mind when he visited my Channel that is full of videos of many goalkeeper students and lots of advanced equipment? He went blue in the face, he couldn’t hold back his frustration and posted that comment!

“MY GOALKEEPER ACADEMY IS CAPPED” It has become a privilege to be a part of it, them that leave, there spot is taken from someone on a waiting list and unless they go and stand at the back of the line they wont be able to get back in. It’s a privilege because the tuition is very low, the equipment is the best that can be found at any goalkeeper school in the country, the instruction is custom, you don’t get this real game-set training anyplace else, because the curriculum is in-house built based on the results and improvements of the students.

But why is it that the coach-student ratio at my GK school is 16-1. All soccer teams are a coach-student ratio 16 to 1 or even more, there is nothing strange.
The keepers are boxed into every drill where they all have a 360 vision of everyone else in the group, some of my goalkeepers in both age groups are advanced keepers and who is new to the academy or new to goalkeeping in general will observe them while working on the specific drills, they don’t just pick up from the words and instruction of the coach. The group helps one another without even saying a word.

This is Florida, it’s hot 10 months a year, you sweat standing out in the open 10 months a year, how long do you think that your 10 year old child or even the strong 17 year old high school goalkeeper can last in a group of 4 keepers under the burning heat and torrid humidity in fast succession and long repetition training drills? 15 minutes? Pretty Much! After that you’ve physically and psychologically lost them for the remaining 45 minutes, they wont learn, and all you’ll do is drain them, you’ll put them off!

Small groups are for them that are behind on one specific technique and need to catch, that’s the only time that I’ll give a 1 on 1 private lesson, otherwise it’s always a group session. Usually when I have a student that wants to improve on a specific save, I’ll bring into that private session, one of my best students, best performing at that specific drill.

The goalkeeper coach that claims that a full house of goalkeeper students is a bad thing and that they’ll never learn anything, is just said by him that’s house is empty or close to it and most probably will never have more than a handful of students. Some will even go out of their way and spread lies, or like in the case of the GK coach i mentioned above, they’ll troll your social media platforms. The only way that you can achieve having a full house is to do it organically and not trying to bash the successful coach or attempt to take his students away from him.

I’m not perfect, I have put some mouth into some coaches in the past. I’ve called some out because they act like they live in a parallel world of their own, with imaginary flocks of students and mega-deals with MLS clubs. I have openly criticized GK coaches of being greedy and for overcharging, but technically never or if I have I’ll never mention their names or even worse attempt to take the few students they have or troll them on social media.

I’m honest, straight forward, no filter between brain and mouth, what you see is me, you don’t have to study me to see the real Coach Zee. You either like me or dislike me, but looking at how many parents send me their kids-goalkeepers and the increasing amount of sports corporations that want to sponsor the academy. I’m starting to suspect that I’m liked for who I am and what I do 🙂

If you know what your doing, a full house of goalkeepers, a large numbered training session, is the way to go, it is as you can see very beneficial for the students integration within the role and his/her development will reach the objectives you point for a lot faster. Them that state a large numbered goalkeeper academy is not the way to go, is because they have never had more than five or six students, so they’ve never had the chance to see if it’s right or wrong.

Coach ZEE