Category Archives: Social Development

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 ūüėČ

Goalkeeper Development Poll

A number of blog posts on this blog and the coaching techniques used at the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy, focus on Goalkeeper Development, however even though all four of the ‘FA four corner model’ development types are coached on, I have never really asked the question to my followers of what they think. All types are important in their own way, but there must be one that my followers think is more prominent, the one that perhaps us coaches should focus more on…. So what do you think, time for a poll:

Of which of the following Goalkeeper Development types do you think is the most important in developing Goalkeepers?

If possible please can you leave your comments as to why.

If you need further information on each of these types please refer to previous posts:

Thank you

Si ūüėČ

The Worcester Goalkeeper Academy has kicked off the new season in style

Since the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy started back in September, we have seen an upsurge in attendance. Not only with a big influx of new Goalkeepers but also new coaches.

The reputation¬†of the Academy is starting to spread… It is a reputation built on quality, that we are there to develop all aspects of the Goalkeeper, preparing them for their club football matches, technically, physically, socially and psychologically.

Don’t just take our word for it, we have had Managers and Parents feedback to us on how much they have seen their Goalkeeper improve, with one recently picking up the Player of the Match award!


But it isn’t just the Goalkeepers that we are attracting, as this season sees 5 new coaches in the academy. This means that we can provide much more focussed time with our Goalkeepers, with many of them benefitting from 1 to 1 and 1 to 2 coaching sessions, meaning that they get even more training time¬†to develop their skills.

If you are a Goalkeeper looking to develop your skills in a focussed environment or a Coach looking to develop Goalkeepers (must have as a minimum: CRB, Safeguarding and First Aid), please contact us via:

Goalkeeper Communication Skills

Sorry no video this time, but if you look at video footage of Joe Hart in my previous posts you can understand what I mean. However further to my last post there are other sites that can provide further information on the art of good Goalkeeper Communication. These can be found at the following links:

Enjoy ūüėČ

Finding your Goalkeeper voice – Communication Skills

As seen in my goalkeeper spotlight on the talent that is Joe Hart, one of his greatest attributes is his communication skills. It is not just about his communication to claim the ball or tell his defenders to clear the ball, but his communication with the whole team that shows how good he is.

As keepers we are taught to shout ‘KEEPERS’ when going to claim a ball, or shout ‘AWAY’ if we need our defenders to get the ball away. Those are just the basics. Unfortunately even the basics for some of our young keepers are hard to master, as this comes down to the Psychological aspects of Communication and Decision Making. In some cases we have heard that keepers don’t even like shouting at their players for fear of offending them. So our first hurdle to overcome is a Psychological one.

Once though that they have the confidence and ‘have found their voice’, they can then start to master the communication skills that Joe Hart shows. In that they can start using communication to help the team. Such as providing their team mates instructions that provide them with information they may not see at first, as their view is what is around them, not necessarily what is happening over the pitch. That a keeper could give them the information of who they could play the ball to, if an opposition player is approaching them or perhaps to tell a team-mate to provide the player with the ball some help, etc.

“Goalkeepers who talk will give confidence to defenders and help their teammates to react to situations that they may not always be aware of” – David Coles

This shows that Goalkeepers are about more than just saving goals!

Continual Development of Goalkeepers: Plan-Do-Check-Act

The Continual Development of Goalkeepers, is a process that follows the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle of an ISO9001:2008 Quality Management System.


Everything the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy does is planned. This includes the running of the Academy and the weekly Session Plans for the Development of key skills.


Developing Goalkeepers Technical, Physical, Psychological and Social Skills through theory and practical coaching sessions.


Continual assessment of the Academy, the Goalkeepers and the Coaches to ensure that areas of improvement can be identified. Other data for improvement includes feedback gained from Keepers, Parents, and Coaches.


If areas of improvement are identified through assessment and/or feedback it is acted upon to ensure that the Academy continues to Develop in all areas.

This PDCA cycle is continuous and ensures that development is constantly occurring. That it is at the forefront of everything we do… To continually improve and develop Goalkeepers and Goalkeeping standards!

Development of Goalkeepers and Coaching Styles, by Andy Morgan

In addition to giving an overview of experience and his own philosophy, Andy Morgan of the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy, provided further information on his views on development and coaching styles…


Personally I promote Technical, Social and Physical Development, as they come as one big package:

  • Technically I want to help the goalkeepers to be the best technically they can be and usually that means using the ‚Äėtextbook‚Äô way to save the ball, however if the goalkeeper has an unorthodox technique but is an effective goalkeeper, then I‚Äôm happy!
  • Socially I want them to be confident in their surrounding and be able to communicate well with us, the coaches and the other Goalkeepers. This is because this will transfer across to their own game days in which they will be required to communicate with their team.
  • Psychologically, such as encouraging Confidence, where¬†a confident Goalkeeper will put confidence in your defence. That confidence in your defence, will lead to¬†confidence in your midfield, and before you know it the whole team is feeling confident which can only be seen as a positive.
  • Physically, that at present you hear all the time about David De Gea¬†and how he‚Äôs too weak for the ‚ÄėEnglish game‚Äô. This just shows how physical our football is compared to other nationalities and relates to the importance of our Goalkeepers physical development.¬†

From the time the goalkeepers first attend the Academy to when they decide to leave; I hope they have improved in all of these areas.

Best Coaching styles?

With regards to developing goalkeepers and coaching style, there are so many different styles in which to coach and it all comes down to the type of goalkeepers you have at your disposal, depending on their age, ability and maturity, however I always look to see what ideas the goalkeepers have to develop their own learning and look to prevent me telling them what to do all the time. All styles have their purpose though so I feel deciding if it can be done better is a difficult question to answer.

Continual Development of Goalkeepers: Social Development

Social Development is very important for the development of the keeper, not just for a match of football, but also in outside of football and the Academy as it can also be important for Psychological Development as it can build confidence.

Social Development incorporates:

  • Communication Skills – Communicating with the team, Shouting instructions and communicating to coaches (and parents);
  • Listening and Understanding – listening to and understanding of instructions (coach-ability);
  • Team work – Integrating and working with the team and those around them (this also helps in the development of friendships); and
  • Health and Wellbeing – including happiness and enjoyment of the game and goal keeping [can be combined with Physical Development]

A goalkeeper with great social skills is a better one as they are more involved and happier!

Why Goalkeeper Coaching is great medicine and why playing for a team could have been benefiial to my youth…

I have not always been a Goalkeeper (well definitely not when I was in nappies), partly because I was not very good at catching or throwing balls and even though I watched football never really either had the encouragement to take it up or the confidence to want to!

Confidence issues as a child

As a child I was very shy, not really having the confidence to make friends that easily. I see now by looking back that perhaps being involved in a team sport such as football could have actually helped my social skills and maybe even helped me make friends. I say that because I have seen this with my daughter. She was someone who found it hard to integrate, however now she has developed as a person through being part of a team. And through further specific coaching we have seen her confidence improve too.

So how did I get into Goalkeeping?

Pretty much the same as my daughter, she wanted to play out field at first, because like most children interested in football it’s all about scoring goals. Most first team professional goalkeepers started in much the same way too!

We both went in goal¬†as nobody else wanted to and we just were willing to help out the team. But once in goal, coupled with a leaky defence meant that we actually got more action than outfield and actually enjoyed making the saves. We both got the bug. And believe me… it is infectious!

So how did I get into coaching?

My daughter went further than me and actually wanted to improve further through coaching. So she went to various coaching sessions. One, with Bernard Day (now a coach at the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy), with a style of coaching that meant she enjoyed Goalkeeping even more. And the other sessions with the Worcestershire FA, who later invited me to attend a coaching event.

The Worcestershire FA coaching event was to give an understanding of goalkeeper coaching to enable parents and outfield coaches to provide support to their goalkeepers. It certainly opened my eyes further. I was already helping out in a limited capacity, but this allowed me to get closer to my daughter and provide the support and encouragement she needed from me to improve.

So now I not only had the bug for Goalkeeping but coaching it too. Subsequently being invited to attend and achieving the FA Goalkeeping Level 1 coaching award.

Why is Goalkeeper Coaching good medicine for me?

It was good before I was a coach, when I would take my daughter to the various coaching sessions as I would get out more away from the television. A chance to unwind watching my daughter having fun and getting involved. But its even better now.

Through providing her with the support she needs has brought my daughter and I much closer together. And even though a stroppy teenager at home, at a match or coaching session we get that quality time needed.

And through coaching now at the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy, I have something keeping my mind busy, something that is fulfilling, when seeing a child develop through a session plan I developed and above all it has got me fitter and healthier.

Perhaps I did not need to write this as you can already see how committed and passionate I am about Goalkeeping and Goalkeeper Coaching through this blog!

Goalkeeping and Goalkeeper Coaching I can recommend it to you all!

Young Goalkeeper Development – Don’t Forget The Parents!

Let’s face it for young football players, we need to take a moment to think about their parents….

…They are the people who become the taxi service to the potential stars of the future… The people who can be the support network for their children, lifting their spirits when their children feel they have had a bad game… And those people who also have the power to pull the child out of a team or development centre if they feel that their child is not being treated correctly.

We need to take our hats off to the parents. But also the clubs and development centres need to ensure that the parents can in some way help the children develop, by getting them involved or ensuring that they understand the childs needs as a footballer or even making sure that communication channels are strong…

Communication matters

What are they doing? How is this training going to help? Are just a couple of comments I have heard on the sidelines as a spectator at a development centre. With one of the parents so disillusioned that he took his daughter out of the centre and never returned… Had he stayed he would have seen the presentation they gave, which explained perfectly what was actually happening. His daughter was improving but because she was not practicing shooting at goal all the time, it was felt that the centre was not actually helping her (even though she was developing the other aspects of her game)… Yes it does sound far-fetched, but sometimes the reasons for children leaving clubs or centres can be this extreme!

It is therefore very important to involve the parents, to ensure that they understand. Which is why this week at the Academy we gave a presentation to the parents.

The results of this presentation were extremely positive. In fact, the presentation actually turned into a forum, where the conversation really opened up between coaches and parents. With some very positive feedback indeed…

Communication is very important not only with the children but the parents too!

Psychology for Parents

As a parent to an aspiring Goalkeeper I have been there and done that. I have made mistakes, but I have also seen that as parents we can all make them. Not realising that the or actions we do or the words we say, actually may have an impact on our child that we weren’t expecting.

I once offered my daughter a financial incentive for a clean sheet, but would then see her head drop if a goal went in. I’m not the only parent to do this, as I have seen it countless times, with the similar outcomes to mine. Of course I learnt from this and now don’t offer a financial incentive, instead offering positive advice and support – Plus it’s cheaper too! Unfortunately some parents still have to learn this, but sometimes it is not always that easy to see how one action meant in good faith, can actually have a negative impact.

So there is an education process that is required – Parents need our support too!


As previously discussed feedback was given in the presentation by the parents. We also gathered it at the end of the last term as parents need to feel involved in this Academy and feel they have a voice not only in the development of the Academy, but also at a personal level for the development of their child.

But there is even more feedback that is far more valuable than this. A parent can be your eyes and ears. They could become your scouting network. Feeding back information to coaches of how their player performed. The things they did well and… not the bad, but instead relaying back to the coaches on the things they need to improve on.

Feedback of any kind is worth its weight in gold!

These are just 3 aspects of why parents are important to your club or development centres. Get them involved, make them feel special and above all listen to them! ūüėČ

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