Worcester Goalkeeper Academy receives Accreditation from the Worcestershire FA

Recognition of our abilities was one of our key goals, so we are extremely proud to announce, that the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy has received Accreditation for its coaching from the Worcester FA.

A massive thank you must go to all the coaches at the Academy and also those of the past, who have helped build it into a centre of excellence for Goalkeepers and Goalkeeper Coaches.

To find out more about the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy, visit the web site.

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Worcester Goalkeeper Academy is back : Friday 22nd January 2016 

Happy New Year!Hope you all had a great festive break.

Well this Friday sees us back at the Academy for another 14 weeks (with 2 weeks Easter Break): Week 1 22/01/16 to Week 9 18/03/16 and Week 10 08/04/16 to Week 14 06/05/16. 

The plan Week 1 as always is to start on the basics and then build on these week by week, with not just technical sessions, but lots of other fun activities and games to also build on this learning.

We will be on the 3G Astro of the Worcester University from 7pm to 8:30pm and we are open to all keepers, of all ages, genders and abilities.

Cost is £6 per week, but please check out the website, http://www.worcestergoalkeeperacademy.com, as there are discounts for paying for a block of weeks.

See you then 😉

Merry Christmas – see you in the New year

Our final session of 2015, as usual was just fund and games for Christmas, with a few goodies for the kids… Which they deserved for all their efforts.

We have seen all our keepers improve, with some great feedback from the parents, that they have taken our teachings and impressed on match day.

The Worcester Goalkeeper Academy has now closed for Christmas, but will reopen again to continue to develop goalkeepers in the new year, on the 22nd January 2016 at 7pm.

The Academy is the centre for the development of all keepers, of all ages and abilities, as it has a number of coaches available to develop any keeper. There are no restrictions, as all keepers who come to us have the ability to develop. 

For more information please go to www.worcestergoalkeeperacademy.com

Worcester Goalkeeping Academy – Set The Bar Higher

Worcester Goalkeeper Academy reopens 11th September 2015 7pm

The Worcester Goalkeeper Academy reopens its doors again for the new season this Friday 11th September 7pm to 8:30pm, ready to invite our current keepers and also some new faces.

If you are an aspiring goalkeeper, come along and develop your skills.

The Academy is the centre for the development of all keepers, of all ages and abilities, as it has a number of coaches available to develop any keeper. There are no restrictions, as all keepers who come to us have the ability to develop. 

For more information please go to www.worcestergoalkeeperacademy.com

Worcester Goalkeeping Academy – Set The Bar Higher

For footballs sake, please can footballing academies give kids a chance?

Again, I find out that yet another young prospect has been released by a football academy, as they do not fit their ‘perfect’ criteria… I am not talking goalkeeping ability or skill, as this keeper has so much potential… Again it was because they were not tall enough! 

Now you may have views that a goalkeeper is better taller as they fill the goal more, especially with the dimensions of an adult goal. However let’s not forget that there have been some exceptional goalkeepers of varying heights.  Besides if you are not the tallest then you work on your agility to get to those higher balls… Similarly taller goalkeepers may tend to work on their agility to dive for lower balls.

My biggest gripe on this, though, is that this keeper is not an adult and is only a junior with another 8 or so years to develop! Are academies really that narrow minded to not see the potential of the keeper?

I have heard many stories where academies have their mould for the perfect footballer. With then finding that they ripped this mould apart when an exceptional talent comes on the scene that goes completely against there ‘perfect’ ethos. If they hadn’t of done, would we have seen the likes of Messi?

This is actually completely against what the FA are trying to promote. As there should be equal opportunities for all. This is something we follow at the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy. My biggest hope, is that these other academies follow this model. After all:

  • What if a player then fulfills this potential, do you think they would ever consider signing for this club in the future? 
  • Perhaps, being treated this way, could this football talent, be walking away from competitive football for good, with football losing a future star player? 

Fortunately the keeper I mentioned, is still working with us, so the latter question is being taken care of. However this is not always the case. So I send this heart felt message to all football academies: For footballs sake, please can you give kids a chance?

The difference in Keeper training – part 4

I recently got involved in a discussion with Twitter follower, @GKTed, with regards to this England Keepers training video on reaction saves: http://fb.me/7yEdBH7hz

This shows a great exercise with handling, going into low diving saves one after the other. However again, if we are to use this video to inspire us to coach keepers, we need to ensure the exercise is right for their age and ability. 

Unfortunately at times this video shows the keepers diving, landing with their elbows under their body, which is something at the Academy, we (and Bernie also used to) watch out for, to correct, as keepers landing like this could lead to broken ribs… Which I have seen happen.

As pointed out by @GKTed, these are keepers at the peak of their fitness and with their agility, such injuries would be less. Furthermore, in such circumstances of multiple reactions, you could end up with situations like this, however we must remember to coach the younger keepers always with the best technique in mind, so that they do protect themselves from injury. Better fitness and agility to cope with issues from faster reactions will come with time.

Goalkeeper Warm Up

As part of of session plans, we always ensure that every week at the Academy we have a proper warm up session. However, we find that dynamic stretching exercises seem to work better (particularly with the young keepers) than the static exercises. With this in mind I started looking for inspiration on how we could vary this warm up for different weeks. Then I found this video clip, which helped me design a warm up exercise, in line with the theme for the night, ‘types of catches – back to basics’.

Have a watch and see what exercises you could dream up.

The difference in Keeper training – part 3

Further to part 1 and part 2 in this series, I now want to add to this, by discussing the importance in coaching correctly to the different age groups, two of the most basic categories, catching and set position. 

My great friend, the late Bernatd Day was an inspiration to me, in the needs of and how to coach these different age groups. The following is based on his wise teachings.

Bernie would always push for young keepers to catch the ball. Ok yes in goalkeeping, a goalkeeper will use any part of the body to make a save, after all a save’s a save… However and further to part 2 of this series, we can teach other techniques later in the young keepers development. For now though at the young age, his teaching was correct, in that these young keepers need to be drilled in the requirements to always try and catch the ball. Keeping the ball safe, first and foremost.

His second teaching, one which the FA and also our Head of the Academy, Julia West encourage is getting the set position right. That is with hands out in front of the body and not as I saw one coach, drilling all ages of keepers, with their hands down by the side of the body… Hands down is like you see in adult football. Young keepers do like to copy the likes of Joe Hart, David de Gea, Thibault Courtois, etc. However, even though they want to mimic their idols, this is not the best way to start coaching young keepers. Bernie’s philosophy was to start with your hands up, as it was easier to drop you hands than raise them. Furthermore, with the hands raised, they are closer to catching a fast ball heading for the upper body and more importantly the face… Ok with your hands down, the face may the  block the ball and be considered ‘a save’… Hmm, but blood from a nose bleed or concussion is certainly not the best outcome from a save. So hands up is the safest option.

When they develop as Bernie says, their hands will drop. Besides an older keeper is more agile, with better reaction and therefore the hands could be lower, they would get them up there far quicker than a younger keeper. Still, that said in a faster match sometimes it can be just as good for an older keeper to go back to basics…

Premier League Golden Glove Award 2015 – The Winner

So further to my last post on the 2015 contenders, the final game of the 2014-2015 season has been played. We now have a clear winner, meaning that my wish for a 5 way tie did not come true, with only one keeper keeping the clean she’s that mattered. 

The award went to 3 time winner and our England and Manchester City Number One, Joe Hart. That means he also goes into the record books as the only keeper to win this 4 times. That is some achievement. Well done Joe Hart. Very well deserved.

Premier League Golden Glove Award 2015

So with 1 match remaining, we see a four way battle for the Premier League Golden Glove Award 2015. With 13 clean sheets each, which one of these amazing keepers will come out on top:

  • Joe Hart, Manchester City – has won this award 3 times before and showing again why he is a world class stopper and why he is England’s number one
  • Simon Mignolet – he was dropped to the bench because of a dip in form, but we alway knew he was a quality keeper and has proved his critics wrong. Fighting his way back in to the side and now into contention for this award
  • Lukasz Fabianski – left Arsenal to gain first team football, as he was playing second fiddle to Wojciech Szczesny (Last year’s joint winner with Petr Cech). Funnily enough Szczesny has also dropped to the bench, seeing Fabianski playing regulary for Swansea and showing Arsene what he is missing.
  • Fraser Forster – I did question why Southampton brought in Forster as they did at the time have 2 great keepers in Kelvin Davis and Artur Boruc (now at Bournemouth, helping them to win promotion to perhaps fight for the glove next season), however Forster has shown me and other why he is now pushing Joe Hart for the England number one Jersey

Unfortunately Fraser now looks to be ruled out of first team action with injury until 2016. So it seems it will be a three way struggle. 

Albeit let’s add one more to the mix… Thibaut Courtois. He has played a huge part in Chelsea’s Premier a League Winners campaign, keeping Petr Cech on the bench… Who would have thought that would happen, like Szczesny, last year’s joint winner, not even getting much time in the team to push for the award again (and Cech has won it 3 times before, like Hart!). However Coutois currently has 12 clean sheets and one more would see him join this club of 13… Unlucky for some, meaning a potential 5 winners. 

Hmm… Wouldn’t that be something. Even though I am pushing for no clean sheets this weekend by the 13 club, wouldn’t it be great if we had 5 winners, rather than just the one. I think they do all deserve it. What a fantastic season for Goalkeepers!

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