Apr 22, 2013

The Lonely Position - Watch and Learn

I think back to me as a 9 or 10 year old growing up in Sunny Braintree!
  1. Did i have a goalkeeper coach..... Nope....
  2. Did i have Sky Sports (Cable TV)... Nope...
  3. Did i have season tickets to a Premier League Club...Nope
  4. "You tube" and the internet where most certainly not on the scene yet!

Well what did i have??

Anyone who ever grew up or has spent time in the UK will most certainly heard of "Match Of The Day" for those who have not it is a Football/Soccer highlight show that is shown every Saturday night with highlights from all of the Premier League games.

Each Saturday night i would record it on VCR and watch it on a Sunday Morning before i went off to play for my team!

Any spare time i had i would be at the park with my friends we would turn our bikes upside down and use them as goal posts and we would each be our favorite player.

I was lucky to grow up around some of the best keepers Seamen, Schmeichel, Kahn, Southall, Miklosko.

And looking back, watching these guys is how i learnt the trade! how do they move, how do they dive, are they vocal.

Euro 96 - David Seamen Penalty saves he would always step one way and go the other! i remember practicing this with my mates over the park,
Peter Schmeichel after making a huge save would always then go and scream at his defenders! Again something i would do!

So enough about my childhood and all that jazz what is my point...

If you coach a youth team in America go to your goalkeeper and ask them name me 5 players that play your position... here will be there answer Casillas, Howard, Cech, De Gea maybe Valdez. You watch them struggle to name 5!

Even harder is if you coach a girls team... name me 5 Female Goalkeepers? they will name you one...Hope Solo, that will be the extent of their knowledge.

Next question how did they do in their last game?? silence.....errr i dunnooo??

How do these kids expect to become as good as these athletes if they do not watch how they move or the way they deal with situations.

And i hear all the excuses.. we don't have Fox Soccer, We can't get to the games, I can't afford the tickets.

Go to a high school Varsity game and watch, Some of us are lucky to have a college team near us to go watch even better a pro team and the Goalkeepers that i coach should have no excuse with DC United, Washington Spirit, George Mason University, Georgetown University to name a few less then a hours drive away.

If you play the sport and aspire to go far within that sport WATCH THE GAME and try to understand why these players are doing certain things.

If your Son or Daughter plays Soccer and they want a Xbox for their Birthday or a Bike, Get them a ticket to a Soccer Game instead with a Jersey and a players name on the back then watch how excited they get from that experience.

Saturday the Washington Spirit we had our Home Opener with over 4500 people packing the SoccerPlex many of those young Soccer Players- Great to See!
I hope these girls could go home and name at least 3 players from each team or at least 3 players that play in positions they play.

Ok so you cant get to a game, i cant remember the last time i met someone who doesn't have the internet its a part of our life now....food,water,internet!
So get onto youtube with your young goalkeepers or email the Goalkeeper from your team links to "Great saves" videos or "goalkeeper training" videos GET THEM INSPIRED!

Anyone coming to a Spirit game the players always sign autographs and talk to the fans after the game. All you with young female goalkeepers come watch and learn from Ashlyn and Chantel both of them are not only great goalkeepers but great role models for up and coming Female Goalkeepers.
Ashlyn Harris, pregame, Washington Spirit v WNY Flash. April 20, 2013.
I know i talk about the Spirit a lot over my last few blogs and it is because i know and see it first hand how great the two GKs are that i work with and how young female goalkeepers can benefit from watching and interacting with them.

Would love to hear your feedback on the blog feel free to tweet me @GKeepersUnited, again thanks for taking time to read my thoughts!


The Lonely Position - Voodoo Goalkeepers!

The Lonely Position - "It's Good To Talk"