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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! ūüėČ

Stand up for what is right: Player Development

What a lovely day for a match, especially after a week of poor weather conditions ensured that training was cancelled again… This meant¬†that the girls entered this match¬†without training fitness¬†or conditioning. However that was not how they played… With 1 player short of the 9 needed, they all rallied to produce a fine display, even though looking jaded at times. Every player gave their all from Goalkeeper through to the Forwards.

They deserved every ounce of praise they received. Although, whereas we praised our team, the opposite manager ranted…

It is not my place to tell another Manager what the do, however I did take him to task when he started pointing out the deficiencies of our team. Shouting out to his¬†team to push forward when our Goalkeeper was taking the goal kick because as he shouted, “the Goalkeeper¬†doesn’t have a good kick” and “it won’t go that far”. I held back on any expletives… But I’m sure I’d have been forgiven if I had of… I mean that’s not the spirit of football development in youngsters, picking out faults.

This Goalkeeper is still developing and like all developing Goalkeepers, still learning. Let’s face it kicking a dead ball is a fine art, as you need to master¬†kicking a stationary ball with power, distance, height and accuracy (see my blog post on dead ball kicking: http://wp.me/p27nBU-cQ). So of these 4 requirements even if they got¬†1 out of 4 it’s¬†a start. This Goalkeeper¬†often get’s 2 or 3 out of the 4 (not all the same) which is great, and certainly something to be praised, with areas to look at to improve on…

The ironic thing in this match is that after he shouted this out, she produced 3 of her best kicks in a row, which soon shut him up! However the point I am getting at and the point I am pushing here is that we should all (Managers/Coaches, Parents, Opposing Managers/Coaches and Opposing Parents) get behind our young players and encourage development, not pick on them, picking fault even in the opposing team. It’s not nice and for me it is almost like bullying.

So I ask you all to praise, when it is due, as this is more likely to help inspire than deriding and bullying. Thank you.

Practice makes perfect…

Check out this YouTube video. However, to our young goalkeepers, please may I ask you to showboat on the training ground only! Plus also a word to the wise, this guy has spent ages perfecting his skill to just kick these dead balls perfectly and although it may not necessarily be clear to see him using an imagery script, he has got to a level where he can automatically adjust (without realising) to suit to kick the ball. Just goes to show that practice can make perfect!

Guest Blog Article by Richard Mace: Imagery Scripts

Not One but Two guest blog posts this week! I feel truly spoilt! This time it is Richard Mace, also a Goalkeeper Coach at the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy, discussing a topic that I have touched on in this blog, Imagery Scripts…

After reading a post by Jon Barrington I decided to also express my desire at seeing a more psychological approach to coaching GK’s. I cannot give a reason as to why it is not common place, I would understand if a coach didn’t feel they had the knowledge to delve into such an area but the possibilities are endless.

If I was to say now that to read any further you must go and kick a dead ball 30-40 yards, I doubt anyone would actually do that but instead you would imagine it. For anyone that has just imagined kicking a ball, you just used one psychological skill, imagery. Now I ask you to imagine the possibilities of being able to adapt your mental abilities towards learning a new skill. Changing a technique without touching a football, it’s certainly possible.

A different way to look at it is this; we have all tried to do something new, something we have never done before. What is the first thing we do? Would you look to see how it is done? Find an example of a professional Goalkeeper doing that action? Possibly… But what you will do immediately before performing the skill is think about how you will do it, what will it look like? Imagine how it will be done, imagine yourself doing it. That is imagery in action again. It’s so simple and so effective.

You can take this to a whole new level but this is imagery in its most basic form and it’s something most people won’t even realise they are doing. This can be further explored; internal or external imagery? You can use imagery whilst sitting in bed at night, but is it more effective when doing it out on a pitch? Can you add your feelings to it? How does the ball feel on your foot/in your hands? How did making that important save make you feel?

A parting note to anybody reading this that is interested in seeing imagery in action: Watch David James’ warm-up!

Nice one Rich – Thankyou!

www.worcestergoalkeeperacademy.com

Angry bird spotting

Many of my blog posts have discussed the dead ball. With my daughter taking centre stage… Of her development from sometimes kicking the goal kicks well, to now kicking most of them well. This has come from hours of practice and her imagery script (see blogs: ‘Getting one over your doubters’ & ‘Psychology works!’).

So if she keeps practicing and adding accuracy to her kicks then should could be as good as these guys:

http://en.video.canoe.tv/video/comedy/sports-bloopers/88720339001/real-life-soccer-angry-birds/1202393157001

This video is awesome and went down a storm at the Academy, when we placed our cuddly toys (yes we are never too old for a toy) on top of the cross bar… Enjoy ūüėČ

Psychology coaching works!

In my post on getting one over your doubters, I pointed to improvements made by my daughter thanks in part to the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy and the psychology coaching she received.

She like the other players was asked to do an imagery script. In that she had to write down a script of how she kicks a dead ball (goal kick), i.e. how she, places the ball, how many steps, to take, how fast the run up, how she kicks the ball (the technique), how she feels kicking a good one, how… etc. I was not sure how this was going to work myself until I saw it come to life out on the pitch…

She placed the ball just as she wanted, ensuring she took the right number of steps from the ball. Then she stopped, thought about what she was going to do and the ran and kicked a great dead ball… Wow

I think that writing it down and then following that routine, actually firmed it up in her mind.

She did know how to do it, but in the past in matches, she would not necessarily follow any sort of routine. Instead, just kicking the ball and seeing it go literally anywhere… She would often know immediately, what she had done wrong and then try and correct the next one (if her old manager was to give her that chance…).

So fast forward to now and in recent matches most kicks are great. Because she uses her script… Well most of the time – You actually can tell whether her kick will be good or not as you now notice when she isn’t following her script.

I have since coached this technique to her out field team mate, wanting help on her free kicks. With then getting them in return to teach their technique to another member of her team. It worked and brilliantly at that…

I am now definitely bought in to the concept of imagery scripts. David James (who has our admiration at the Academy) uses them. If you want to find out more check out this interview with David James from Sky Sports:

http://vimeo.com/m/13389676

Psychology coaching works!

In my post on getting one over your doubters, I pointed to improvements made by my daughter thanks in part to the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy and the psychology coaching she received.

She like the other players was asked to do an imagery script. In that she had to write down a script of how she kicks a dead ball (goal kick), i.e. how she, places the ball, how many steps, to take, how fast the run up, how she kicks the ball (the technique), how she feels kicking a good one, how… etc. I was not sure how this was going to work myself until I saw it come to life out on the pitch…

She placed the ball just as she wanted, ensuring she took the right number of steps from the ball. Then she stopped, thought about what she was going to do and the ran and kicked a great dead ball… Wow

I think that writing it down and then following that routine, actually firmed it up in her mind.

She did know how to do it, but in the past in matches, she would not necessarily follow any sort of routine. Instead, just kicking the ball and seeing it go literally anywhere… She would often know immediately, what she had done wrong and then try and correct the next one (if her old manager was to give her that chance…).

So fast forward to now and in recent matches most kicks are great. Because she uses her script… Well most of the time – You actually can tell whether her kick will be good or not as you now notice when she isn’t following her script.

I have since coached this technique to her out field team mate, wanting help on her free kicks. With then getting them in return to teach their technique to another member of her team. It worked and brilliantly at that…

I am now definitely bought in to the concept of imagery scripts. David James (who has our admiration at the Academy) uses them. If you want to find out more check out this interview with David James from Sky Sports:

http://vimeo.com/m/13389676

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