Through the continual development of my Goalkeeper Coaching, I have observed and been taught various coaching techniques and styles. Understanding that different coaching methods suit different abilities, ages or situations in game play. The one coaching technique that seems to have a varying degree of opinion is the scoop technique and the use of (or not) the ‘K-Position’.
There are different schools of thought when it comes to the ‘K-Position’, but each do have their own merits, albeit in differing situations.
The following diagram (figure 1), shows 3 figures doing 3 types of scoop catches.
1. Shows the Goalkeeper reaching down to the floor with feet close together, using the hands to let the ball roll up them, scooping the ball, eventually pulling the ball into the chest.
2. Shows the start of a ‘K-Position’ but not actually allowing the bent knee to fully touch the floor. Again using the hands to let the ball roll up them, scooping the ball.
3. Shows the ‘K-Position’. This is similar to 2., but with the bent knee touching the floor.
The biggest advantage of ‘K-Position’ is that by putting the knee down creates a second barrier, so that as a Goalkeeper you have a safeguard behind your hands acting as another ‘barrier’ in front of goal, that the ball would hit, if the ball does get through the hands…
However the ‘K-Position’ has a big disadvantage too, just ask Rob Green…
As we saw in the 2010 World Cup, when England played the USA, Rob Green had to deal with what seemed a tame shot. He made the decision to use the ‘K-Position’, and saw the ball end up in the back of the net. For the biggest disadvantage of the ‘K-Position’ is that once committed to it, your movement as a Goalkeeper is limited, so if the ball hits a divot and changes direction you are already committed and will find it as difficult as Rob Green did to recover…
This doesn’t mean that the ‘K-Position’ is truly bad, if used when completely behind a ball (ensuring movement to get into a position to take behind the ball), it is can be very effective. So one school of thought is to use it when dealing with slower balls… Or as Figure 1 drawing 2, to coach the Goalkeeper to not let the knee fully touch the ground as then you are not fully committed and have a little more flexibility in movement.
The other school of thought though, is not to use it at all, and to just coach as Figure 1 drawing 1, ensuring that the feet are not too far apart, so that the legs can become the second barrier. That if needed, when dealing with a faster ball, to either do a collapsing save (dropping down straight on top of the ball) or to smother the ball (by scoping the ball up but dropping forward onto the ball).
Which ever school of thought, each can be used and each have their merits… of which I am slowly starting to learn more about, and also of what their drawbacks might be. It is our job as Goalkeeper coaches to therefore understand each and of which would best suit the Goalkeepers we train. We can then assist them to make the right decision… However, that said, with the many different scenarios that could present themselves to a Goalkeeper in an actual game, it can sometime be difficult for any Goalkeeper to ensure that they make exactly the right choice. For they can only make one, which will be in the split second they have to think about it and one that they feel is the right one to do at the time.
Understanding these different techniques and deciding when to use and not to use which one, is why the life as a Goalkeeper has its challenges. With the biggest challenge being the critics, especially those who aren’t conscious of the fact that Goalkeepers have so many choices to make. As Rob Green discovered, choosing the ‘K-Position’, seemed right at the time (as it would for most Goalkeepers), as this seemed such a straight forward catch… but as we all saw it was a decision that meant yet again another Goalkeeper was to be slated by our unforgiving press. Just look at Joe Hart over the last 2 weeks, a hero for England against Brazil and then a Villain for Manchester City… or the ever slated David deGea, now lauded as one of the best Goalkeepers after his heroics for Manchester United to deny Real Madrid… and all because of the choices made… Who’d be a Goalkeeper… me definitely – it’s just too much fun! 😉
So David De Gea was a double winner but Manchester City’s Joe Hart goes not 1 but 2 Awards better! Oh yes he is a talented Goalkeeper and he’s English! With all that foreign talent in our Premiership, Joe Hart cleans up…
Our England Number 1, now selected for the Euro 2012 is set to show Europe how good he is… So massive congratulations to Manchester City’s Joe Hart for:
- PFA Goalkeeper – Selected in the PFA Team of the year;
- Most Clean Sheets;
- Best Clean Sheets to Shots on Goal Ratio; and
- Meanest Keeper = Average Goals Conceded per Game.
The following is a break down of the top 5 players in all three categories from www.goalkeepingitreal.co.uk:
|1st||Joe Hart||Manchester City||17|
|2nd||Tim Krul||Newcastle United||15|
|3rd||Michel Vorm||Swansea City||14|
|4th||Brad Friedel||Tottenham Hotspur||14|
|5th =||David De Gea||Manchester United||13|
|5th =||Wojciech Szczesny||Arsenal||13|
|Player||Club||Clean Sheets||Shots on Goal||% Clean Sheets vs Shots|
|1st||Joe Hart||Manchester City||17||133||12.78%|
|3rd||David De Gea||Manchester United||13||134||9.70%|
|Player||Club||Games Played||Goals Conceded||Average conceded/ game|
|1st||Joe Hart||Manchester City||38||29||0.76|
|2nd||David De Gea||Manchester United||29||29||1.00|
|5th||Brad Friedel||Tottenham Hotspur||38||41||1.08|
So Roy Hodgson this week made his first big decision as the new England Manager, to name the squad for the Euro 2012 finals. With some familiar faces, some that were missing and some new ones. As usual of an England Manager there were those quick to rain on Roy’s parade, that he hadn’t pick this player over that… However you can’t really argue over his selection of the Goalkeeping position.
Again, we see that this country does have much exciting talent for this position, even with Ben Foster withdrawing from International Football.
He was always going to select Joe Hart and as my stats shall show later this week he deserves this more than most. Fast proving himself one of the best keepers in the world. Hopefully he will get to prove this at the Euros!
Then we have Robert Green. He has his doubters after some high profile errors, but he does learn from them. His form in the Championship with West Ham has been brilliant with: 15 Clean Sheets – That’s a 35.71% Clean Sheets to Games Ratio; 45 goals conceded in 42 games played for West Ham; and Keeping it mean at the back with a 17.79% of goals conceded to shots on goal ratio.
Today Robert Green now heads back into the Premiership with West Ham following an excellent game of football (for the neutral) in the Championship Play Off Final. It does make you question why the papers are linking Paul Robinson with a move from Blackburn to the Hammers, after all why would they want to replace such a talent.
And you have to applaud Roy for selecting John Ruddy, who had pulled off some remarkable saves at Norwich (his stats are also coming soon…). He most certainly deserves his place.
Finally if for what ever reason one of these 3 are withdrawn, we have a great young keeper on the replacement list, Jack Butland. As previously posted when enthusing about the young talent in the wings he has been producing immense displays on loan for Cheltenham Town that has got him not only watches by a number of Premier League clubs but also noticed by the England Senior squad. Way to go Jack!
In fact way to go all the England Keepers. Bring on the Euros and some great Goalkeeping displays! 😉
With votes now coming in for your Premiership Goalkeeper of the season… Showing that this season has been good for Goalkeeping in the Premier League with the voting across a wide range of Goalkeepers… It got me thinking that maybe I should start a poll for Championship Goalkeeper of the season too…
Perhaps if I ran this poll, maybe we would see a number of votes for our star England U21 Goalkeeper, Frankie Fielding?
After this weekends display for Derby County against Ipswich Town, with the papers exclaiming that Frankie “was in unbeatable form”, he again showed just why he is rated so highly and perhaps showed Joe Hart that there is more competition coming in the future for his place in the Senior England team… Because, as per my previous article on the future looking bright for England, he is just one of a crop of future England star stoppers that can give us confidence in this position for years to come.
Frankie was a product of the Blackburn Rovers Academy, but the closest he came to the first team was on the subs bench. So instead he went out on loan to Wycombe Wanderers, Northampton, Rochdale, Leeds United and after a frustrated plea to want to play first team football, played for Derby on loan too. With clean sheets and impressive display helping Derby to remain a Championship club, Frankie signed for a bargain £400,000 this season.
The reason I rate this young talent so highly, is because Frankie Fielding is a battler who just loves playing in goal and will do what he can to be no.1. Even if that means issuing a come and get me plea… His stats this season also show that he is definitely one to watch:
As at the 9th April Frankie Fielding at Derby County has:
- Conceded 53 goals;
- Kept 11 clean sheets in 41 games; and
- Been one of the busiest Goalkeepers in the Championship, having to cope with 275 shots on goal, so conceding 53 goals and keeping 11 clean sheets against that barrage of shots is some feat!
With Frankie Fielding now on the fringes of the Senior England team and with these stats I am sure he is being looked at quite closely…. That with this such form, he could certainly be worthy competition for Joe Hart or one player that Premier League Clubs would soon be knocking on Derby County’s door…. What a great future prospect!