Monthly Archives: March 2013

Hero to Villain

With Tomasz Kuszczak sidelined for Brighton and Hove Albion, Casper Ankergren took his chance to shine between the sticks, keeping out shot after shot by Nottingham Forest. After 90 minutes of superb goalkeeping and all set to win the Man-of-the-Match, it took just 1 minute of injury time to undo the great work by Casper Ankergren. A seemingly tame shot went through both the hands and legs of Casper and into the back of the net meaning 2 points lost by Brighton and Hove Albion.

You have to feel sorry for Casper, but he is not alone, I have witnessed this a number of times at Senior level and down through to grass roots level. The effect is always the same, the Goalkeeper provides a match winning performance and within seconds of being the Hero, to then almost becoming the villain as it is then that this one mistake is the one part of the match that they all remember at the end. The superb display before that seems to pale into insignificance and gone is any match award.

Fortunately though not all Managers and Coaches in the game end up blaming the goalkeeper for one single mistake, so you have to hand it to the Brighton and Hove Albion Manager, Gus Poyet as he not only sympathised with the Goalkeeper, but also summed up the life of any Goalkeeper brilliantly:

“When you are a keeper you pay the price and Casper has done that today. He was having a very, very good game, making two or three good saves, coming for crosses and kicking very well. In training he will save a 1,000 shots like that but we wanted him to save it today…

…Goalkeeper is a terrible position to play but we lose together and we win together – at least we got a point.”

Coaching: Distribution – Under Arm Roll

Part 4 – Under-Arm Roll Out

So to the final part of our journey on Distribution after previously looking at kicking (Dead ball kicking http://wp.me/p27nBU-cQ and Kicking from hands http://wp.me/p27nBU-d4) and throwing (Over Arm Throw http://wp.me/p27nBU-d6), we now take a look at the Under-Arm Roll Out.

Like all of the distribution methods practice can make perfect and even though this is seen as the easiest of all 4 distribution methods it can still be rushed and guidance may be needed to our younger student Goalkeepers or even to just give a reminder of the basics to those more experienced Goalkeepers to hone their technique.

So as before, lets look at what is the right technique:

Figure 1

Again the basic technique is as easy as 1-2-3, in one smooth movement, like rolling a bowling ball…

The steps then are as follows:

  • Look at your target;
  • Hold the ball in your throwing hand, with the opposite foot forward (i.e. If you throwing hand is your right hand, place your left foot forward) as seen in Figure 1 – Step 1;
  • Moving the ball forward, start crouching down, with opposite foot still forward, and the rear leg now bending so that the knee eventually touches the floor;
  • Still moving the ball forward, with the throwing arm going past the now bent rear leg (almost brushing it) as per Figure 1 – Step 2;
  • Watching the ball now;
  • Rolling through along the ground and releasing, with the throwing arm carrying through in motion after release of the ball as per Figure 1 – Step 3;
  • After release of the ball look to your target; and
  • If required to promote follow through of the arm, get them to point at the target they have just rolled to afterwards.

To progress things there are some useful exercises that can be used:

  • Put balls (of different sizes) mounted on cones out at appropriate distances, and encourage them to knock these balls off the cones by rolling out; or
  • Again for that game scenario (and to encourage accuracy) get them to roll out to a target area – although unlike kicking and throwing, the distances this time are not as far… – Set out a box with marker cones on different parts of the field at appropriate distances. Having a coach/keeper/player in that box to collect the ball with hands/feet. If using another keeper they could work together rolling the ball to each other in boxes/target areas whilst you as a coach look on/or assist; and
  • Mix it up a bit, so they roll left and right… creating some movement from the Goalkeeper, maybe have more than one option for them on different parts of the field. Getting them to look for who to roll to before they roll out the ball or even get some communication going between Goalkeeper and outfield

Also, it is not set in stone to just practice one distribution technique in an exercise, so to really mix things up, you could set out targets at varying distances, or get target coach/keeper/player to move about encouraging different techniques. Meaning that they may need to Kicking from hands, Over Arm Throw, Under-Arm Roll Out, or even off the floor Dead ball kicking style… Which now starts to encourage the decision-making process (Psychological and Technical)…

This series was just 4 of the distribution techniques Goalkeepers can use. There are others, however these are the main ones that a young student Goalkeeper should learn. They will all need practice to improve on and again I stress for patience, as practice can eventually make perfect… The top Goalkeepers seen at Euro 2012 this month have all had to perfect their distribution techniques, and for them too, this did not happen overnight. It took years of practice. So no pressure, take your time and above all have fun doing it! 😉

Coaching: Distribution – Over Arm Throw

Part 3 – Over Arm Throw

So we previously looked at the two most commonly used distribution techniques which are based around kicking (Dead ball kicking http://wp.me/p27nBU-cQ and Kicking from hands http://wp.me/p27nBU-d4). However for distribution over shorter distances than with kicking a Goalkeeper may sometimes need to thorw the ball.

There are various types of technique to throw out the ball, each used to throw out to varying distances, such as the Javelin throw and the discuss throw. Although for young student keepers these can be hard to master and may be something to progress to in the future. For this blog though and for our young keepers we shall look at the easier technique, the Over Arm Throw.

So what is the right technique:

Figure 1 : Basic Technique

Again the basic technique is as easy as 1-2-3, that like Dead Ball Kicking or Kicking from Hands it is all in one smooth movement. Notice though from Figure 1 that it’s the arms doing all the work. However to ensure that throws are straighter, the arm throwing the ball will be the opposite arm to the leg placed forward (i.e. Right Arm Throw, Left leg forward). This is an easier technique though to master than kicking.

The steps then are as follows:

  • Figure 1 – Step 1 : The throwing arm will hold the ball behind their body, whilst the non-throwing arm points at the target (get them to point at where they need to throw);
  • Figure 1 – Step 2 : Not moving the non-throwing arm, move the throwing arm up and over the head;
  • Figure 1 – Step 3 : Again not moving the non-throwing arm, when the throwing arm moves through to the highest point release the ball from the hand. However even though ball is now released still continue moving the arm through the motion to also then point with this arm/finger at your target (pointing is only really for guidance when they are learning but still may be encouraged if a more experienced keeper is having trouble and needs to re-focus).

That is it – very simple. Although to progress things there are some useful exercises that can be used:

  • Again like previously mentioned in the previous two distribution posts, use the ‘Cross-Bar Challenge’, to encourage height, distance and accuracy – Challenging them to throw and hit the cross-bar from varying (appropriate) distances (penalty spot, 18 yard box, half way line); and
  • May be add targets to the cross-bar to hit; or
  • Put balls mounted on cones out at appropriate distances, so you can then encourage variety in the throwing. That instead of throwing at the highest point the release now needs to be later to be able to throw out lower (i.e in a match to throw out to your players feet rather than to throw over the top); or
  • Again for that game scenario (and to encourage accuracy) get them to throw out to a target area – Setting out a box with marker cones on different parts of the field at appropriate distances. Having a coach/keeper/player in that box to collect the ball with hands/feet. If using another keeper they could work together throwing the ball to each other in boxes/target areas whilst you as a coach look on/or assist; and
  • Mix it up a bit, so they throw short and long, left and right… creating some movement from the keeper, maybe have more than one option for them on different parts of the field. Getting them to look for who to throw to before they throw out the ball or even get some communication going between Goalkeeper and outfield.

This is an easier distribution method than kicking, however it will still need some practice for effective throwing technique and accuracy.

Giving your young Goalkeepers training on different distribution techniques though, will give them more options to deliver a ball. You are also starting to introduce them to decision-making (Psychological), where sometimes they can decide that they may need a different technique to get the ball to their player… by throwing out the ball rather than to kick all the time, especially if the ball doesn’t need to go as far.

Final call to vote in the Goalkeeper Development Poll

The Goalkeeper Development Poll is still open.

After a number of votes already cast Psychology and Technique are the early leaders… Is this what you think is important in developing goalkeepers? What about their Social and Physical Development too? Or if you are stuck on which you think is more important and that it is all 4, then how much time must we as coaches focus on each?

Let me know what you think and if you wish to write an article for the blog on any of these aspects and how you coach for them, please add a comment and your email address.

Thank you

Si 😉

Goalkeeper scores from a dead ball kick…

It’s was quite amazing to see the Alan Marriott goal, because how often does a Goalkeeper score from that distance.

It just goes to show that effective goal kicks need: power, height, distance and of course a little bit of luck!

Let’s not forget the last time we saw such an amazing Goalkeeper goal, this time not from hands, but from the floor. A goal by England keeper, Paul Robinson. He’s still a class act, helping Blackburn Rovers to keep the score line against them down. Let’s just relive that moment – pure class:

Goalkeeper scores from a volley kick…

Check out this YouTube footage of Goalkeeper Alan Marriott of Mansfield Town scoring a goal from kicking out of hands…brilliant:

Guest Blog Article by Hannah Cresswell: Are there fair opportunities in sport for female athletes?

Last Friday at the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy, I had a discussion with one of our promising young Goalkeepers, Hannah Cresswell about the frustrations she sees and has observed first hand as an aspiring Female in sport. She so desperately wants to achieve success in her sport, however sees a limited opportunity. I suggested therefore that she write an article for this blog, so she could convey her thoughts to a wider audience and see if others agree with her or perhaps maybe back her in a campaign to get women’s sport better recognised in the UK. Have a read, see what you think and please feel free to post your comments, as Hannah is interested to hear what you think…

My opinion on Women’s sport after playing in Women’s Football from the age of 7 years until now age 16 years old including 4 years at Academy standard, by Hannah Cresswell

Women’s sport has in the past been not always received the support by the public that it has deserved. However this attitude is starting to change, with the popularity in TV viewing and support having grown in recent years. This change in attitude seems to be mostly due to: The Australian Tennis open, where there was a controversy to do with female players putting in more effort before, during and after games compared to the male players; and the 2012 Olympics, which was a big stage for the world to appreciate women’s sport, with each country having women involved in taking part.

However, is it the Government/MPs, who are the ones who are preventing the growth in women’s sport as a whole in the UK? Money is in more abundance in male sport either because of tradition and supposed popularity. For example, at last autumn’s Twenty20 Cricket World Cup, the women’s teams were given a daily living allowance a third less than their male counterparts; while the winning men’s team took home £616,000 whereas the champion women’s team won just £40,000. Do you call this fair play? Why should people be expected to just accept that women’s sport is rising with no money or structure to support it? What is the point in women wanting to play sport if they can’t go anywhere to take part in it?

What can these young players expect for the future of Women's Sport?

One part of the sports industry the FA, do not (and from my experience, I mean do not!) fund, is the ladies teams, especially to the same extent as the men’s. The FA runs a total of 24 England teams including women’s, youth and disability sides as well as the England senior team. Women’s football is the fastest growing sport in the country, with £4.5 million invested by The FA every year. Over a million women and girls now play football, which should be boosted by the inspiring displays of the national team at the Women’s World Cup in China and the enthusiastic following during the Olympics. This information is on ‘http://www.thefa.com/TheFA/WhoWeAre/WhatTheFADoes’.

£4.5 million to some may seem a lot of money, however if you put this into context, by comparing it to for example, just one of the men’s competitions, the FA Cup, the men’s team gets £4,822,750 just between 32 teams. This is just one competition and also does not include individual players’ pay!

I feel, Women’s sport is not treated with the respect it deserves.

People said they enjoyed watching the women’s events in the Olympics. So what have the Government done about broadcasting it on TV? Absolutely nothing! It’s seldom on BBC or ITV, however maybe about once every month it will be shown on the Sky Sports subscription channels… if you are lucky. It says something when the home of Football can’t even expand a Women’s league to the same extent as the Men’s game.

Just look at what happened in the USA after the Women’s world cup… They set up the WUSA and have developed the structure and facilities for Women’s football dramatically.

It is really disappointing how Women’s Football can’t take off in the country it began. So really the point I am trying to make, is that no matter how much support Women’s sport gets from the public or those eager young female athletes, the lack of money and media will always force it to stay at a lower class status compared to men’s sport. Which ultimately means that talented young women end up walking away from the sport they love.

Do you agree? Will you help me to get people talking about Women’s sport, promoting it, to get the recognition, investment and media help it deserves?

Coaching: Distribution – Volley (Kick from hands)

Part 2 – Kicking From Hands

For any young Goalkeeper the two most commonly used distribution techniques are Dead ball kicking (which I previously covered in http://wp.me/p27nBU-cQ) and the Volley (‘Kicking from hands’).

Goal kicks are not necessarily as difficult as Dead ball kicking, as the ball is already elevated when you kick it. So it always stands a chance of being kicked over the oppositions head. However they too at first can cause a young Goalkeeper difficulties as they try to master not mis-kicking the ball. Which can happen as they try to take the steps before kicking the ball, or the throw is not at the right height, or the ball isn’t at the right distance from the body, etc.

So what is the right technique:

For a young goalkeeper starting out in Goalkeeping and are new to distribution or even those having trouble at a more advanced levels, like I discussed before, start at the basics. A basic technique will provide a more consistent drop of the ball, can start bringing confidence in kicking and can help focus the Goalkeeper on how to kick the final ball (part of the foot, where on the ball…).

Figure 1 : Basic Technique

The basic technique is as easy as 1-2-3:

  • Without taking any steps, holding the ball with 2 hands starting with both hands will allow for more consistency in the drop (Figure 1 – Step 1);
  • The foot not kicking the ball should be pointed towards a target;
  • Holding the ball out in front of the body, with upper body leaning forward, drop the ball just in front of the kicking foot (Figure 1 – Step 2); and
  • Kick the ball with the front part of the foot, kicking in the direction of the target and following through with the kicking foot through the ball (Figure 1 – Step 3), so that they land on the kicking foot.

Once confident with the basic technique, you could then move on to a more advanced level:

  • This time taking 2 to 4 steps before dropping the ball and kicking; and/or
  • Dropping the ball with one hand (try dropping with the hand on the same side of the body as the kicking foot or better the hand on the opposite side for balance – but only which ever feels comfortable for them); and/or
  • Finally for a match to get them to understand where to kick in the area – utilising their area, kicking the ball from the edge of the penalty box.

Imagery scripts can also work here too as they do for all exercises… You could set this as homework, that once trained on get them to produce an imagery script to see what they have learnt and then next time get them to work through their script. Just getting them thinking about kicking the ball can help them in this task as it is training the mind as to how to do it…

Some useful exercises – Similar to Dead ball kicking:

  • You could use the ‘Cross-Bar Challenge’, again to encourage height, distance and accuracy – Except this time they now have the cross-bar to aim at or to aim over… from varying (appropriate) distances (penalty spot, 18 yard box, half way line); and
  • For game scenario accuracy, kicking out of hands to a target area – Set out a box with marker cones on different parts of the field at appropriate long/short distances to the left/center/right of the field. Place a coach/keeper/player in that box to collect the ball with hands/feet. If using another keeper they could work together kicking the ball to each other in boxes/target areas whilst you as a coach look on/or assist.

Again to reiterate, don’t be scared of going back to basics with the Goalkeepers, that includes new starters and those more experienced keepers having a few difficulties. That you could go back to getting them to kick out of hands from a standing start (no steps) gently dropping the ball in front of the body with two or one hand… Helping them to take their time and gain confidence of where and how to kick the ball. When they have kicked the ball like this a few times and gaining confidence, then get them to do a short run up of 2 steps… then the 4. However if they do then have trouble at 4 or 2 steps take it back to no steps to gain their confidence.

Finally as stated in the post on Dead ball kicking,with all these distribution techniques it is all about practice, routine and a lot of patience… Remember sometimes mistakes can be made in kicking dead balls and out of hands because often the young student goalkeeper will rush these kicks. Get them to take their time, working through their routine. In addition, at a young age in matches referees and managers should also give your Goalkeeper the time they need to take their kicks, not rushing them. So patience will be needed by all 😉

Worcester Goalkeeper Academy Coach Profile: Andy Taylor

Andy Taylor, Senior Goalkeeper Coach at the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy.

Experience

Qualified as a Level 2 Football and Goalkeeping coach, with a National Diploma in sport (Performance and Excellence) and a Higher Sports Leaders Award. Currently working towards a (BSc) Degree in Sports Coaching Science.

Has been a Goalkeeper for 11 years with the experience of being coached by professional goalkeeper coaches for 7 years at Evesham United and Pershore Town.

Has been coaching Football and Goalkeeping for the last 5 years with Littleton FC, Pershore College, Worcester Goalkeeper Academy and Nutz4Soccer Schools.

Philosophy

To improve and develop Goalkeepers performance through the teaching of correct techniques from an early age and by using match related situations or Teaching Games for Understanding.

I think it is important to use Guided discovery to aid Goalkeepers to come up with their own solutions,.This is to develop thinking Goalkeepers, who can make their own decisions.

His main aim is to deliver fun and quick tempo sessions so the young goalkeepers will be motivated to learn, enjoy the experience and want to return to the Academy for more coaching.

www.worcestergoalkeeperacademy.com

Coaching: Distribution – Dead ball kick

This is a big topic, that I have already alluded to in a previous post, http://wp.me/p27nBU-2y, which highlighted that for a goalkeeper a large proportion of the match (approx 80%) concentrates on distribution. So it is indeed a subject worth covering…

There are 4 main types of distribution* for a young goalkeeper to master:
Goalkicks (‘Dead ball kicking’);
Volley (‘Kicking from hands’);
Over arm throw-out; and
Under arm roll-out.

{*Other distribution techniques to learn later will be the half volley and dribble & drive}

I shall then over the next few blog postings look at each one of these, showing basic technique and giving an idea of a training exercise (which can be expanded on).

To start with then lets look at the most difficult of distribution techniques: Dead ball kicking.

First the technique:

To save repeating myself please go to:

  • http://wp.me/p27nBU-4y which discussed the use of Imagery scripts in use at the Academy and how my daughter used it to help her improve her dead ball kicking; and
  • http://wp.me/p27nBU-5g which showed an example of an imagery script for a dead ball from one of our Student Goalkeepers and how it could be improved.

You as a coach could teach the basics of kicking a dead ball, using the examples from http://wp.me/p27nBU-5g and then get your Students to write their own imagery script. Then, once written you could get them to demonstrate their technique in line with their script. This is a good bench mark for you and the keeper as you can see what they think is the right technique and then you can improve on each part of it as needs be, whether that be the number of steps to run up (2, 4 or 6),capered of run, part of the foot to kick with, follow through, looking at the ball etc…

Some useful exercises:

  • To aid them with getting height with the ball and encourage them to get their foot under the ball, you may wish to put an obstacle in the way to challenge them to kick the ball over the object;
  • One from the Soccer AM archives… you could do the ‘Cross-Bar Challenge’, to encourage height, distance and accuracy – Give them the cross-bar to aim from varying (appropriate) distances (penalty spot, 18 yard box, half way line); and
  • For game scenario accuracy, kicking the dead ball to a target area – Set out a box with marker cones on different parts of the field at appropriate long/short distances to the left/center/right of the field. place a coach/keeper/player in that box to collect the ball with hands/feet. If using another keeper they could work together kicking the ball to each other in boxes/target areas whilst you as a coach look on/or assist.

Finally don’t be scared of going back to basics with the Goalkeepers, that includes new staters and those more experienced keepers having a few difficulties. That you could get them to kick/chip the ball from a standing start (no steps) with foot in position next to the ball ready to chip the ball. This can help focus on the right part of the foot to kick with. When they have kicked the ball like this a few times and gaining confidence, then get them to take 2 steps back… then 4 (even number of steps). However if they do then have trouble at 4 or 2 steps take it back to no steps to gain their confidence.

Perfecting Dead Balls is about practice, routine… and a lot of patience. If at first you don’t succeed… Eventually you will! 😉

%d bloggers like this: