How to identify a quality Goalkeeper Coach

Boys and girls that take goalkeeping very seriously are interested in working with a goalkeeper coach that can actually take your game to the next level. Here are FOUR key factors to look for and questions for parents and keepers to consider when you’re ready to select a goalkeeper coach to work with.

 

1 – First and most important: A goalkeeper coach must design their sessions that reflects mostly on game day situations and must do so as much as possible, deliberately training what the goalkeeper specifically needs, but most of all “Understands”. Do the sessions then build off of one other? Are the drills making sense before you move on? Are ball services coming from just hands and feet? Rebounders and deflectors are being used? Are the sessions primarily focused on shot-stopping only?

The first thing that Mom and Dad must focus on: When you drive up to the session, is the coach on location and is his training session already set up ready for the lesson? Is the coach there with a few balls and some cones or has he set up a session that has the realistic looks of a game day layout? Has the coach brought with him agility poles, mannequins, rebounders… Goalkeeper coaches that offer private lessons must have an inventory of field equipment that can be used to explain any training drill and the use of equipment only helps the student understand faster their surrounding and this will be taken with them to the game day!

A coach that shows up with 10 balls that are 5 different brands and 10 different models is a RED FLAG. These coaches are all about money, as you have just picked up, they don’t re-invest in their equipment. Do I need to add anything else?

2 – Great goalkeeper coaches layer in decision making in every aspect of training, they will place a coaching point in nearly every repetition of the drill being performed. Based on the level and age of goalkeeper, more and more decisions should be focused on. Does the coach listen to the student? Do they ask questions or just give the answer? A Good goalkeeper coach is not just barking orders, the coach knows how to listen and to discuss all elements of the training session with the goalkeeper.

3 – Quality goalkeeper coaches have a great eye to correct mistakes, even to the smallest detail, but the best GK coaches help to motivate and cultivate change in even the most timid and closed keepers. I truly do believe it’s important to work with coaches who motivate players to motivate themselves. I’m not talking about a coach that will BS you all along, but they’ll create an environment that failure is required, and help students build that unique confidence a GK needs to be prepared for game day. Encouragement and holding players to high expectations is a must and a coach that is also loud can make the difference.

Don’t be fooled by the way the coach speaks. For example a coach that comes from Europe and calls “Soccer” -football- is a coach with massive ego, they’re refusing to adapt to their surroundings, to where they live and where they make a living. Don’t be fooled either by this new trend of British accents, (I’m born British) just because some coaches come from a soccer-born culture doesn’t make them great coaches. Besides England has been totally incapable in the past three decades to cough up a decent goalkeeper. Never be impressed by a coaches accent!

4 – Web and Social Media presence: Is the coach on social media? Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter and YouTube? Has the coach a large and respected following? Do they update with fresh content periodically? Are they offering fresh videos of their sessions?
Beware of the goalkeeper coaches that have a social media presence but have very little following or update the same things time after time. A goalkeeper coach that has nothing to hide will post his session either videos or photographs. The coach will show who he is working with (Colleges, Pro-Teams etc).
A goalkeeper coach that will post the same photographs and state the same line of words, has something to hide, or better still: HAS NOTHING TO SHOW! Stay away from these coaches!

Do they have a website? Is it ranked locally on Google? Google basis it’s rankings on popularity in certain demographics, so if that coaches website cant be found on a page one search, then they’re not as popular as they claim to be!

Hopefully this is something that goalkeepers and parents will consider when choosing a goalkeeper coach, I hope that it can help you select a coach who will be committed to your overall development!