Richard Mace, Goalkeeper Coach and specialist coach for Psychology and Perfomance Analysis at the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy.
Qualified to Level 1 Football coach and in the final year of a degree in Sports Psychology.
A former player for the Wolverhampton Wanderers Academy, Cambridge United and Worcester City.
A highly experienced coach, who has coached for Cambridge United in their Community and at Centre of Excellence coaching schemes.
A Goalkeeper with quick feet is hard to beat.
Much Practice can make perfect as can the use of imagery scripts: “Changing a technique without touching a football, it’s certainly possible”.
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!