19/09/2021

Break the training mould

Training to protect your goal is a never-ending process… but to be the best keeper you can be, you need to push yourself as well as your training envelope. Enter IDEAL GK!

The videos on IDEAL GK’s Instagram page offer incredible motivation and inspiration for any keeper. Most coaches and keepers follow pretty standard and conventional drills, but IDEAL GK will inspire you to try different things.

The big lesson is that an attacker will kick or header a ball at your goal from literally hundreds of different angles and positions inside (and beyond) your goal box. So the more different ways you practice your skill the better.

Here’s one example of a goal attempt that you’ll probably see on TV every weekend… so what I want to know is, why the heck aren’t you practicing like that? Watch sport on TV (even old highlights) and pick five attempts at goal you see, and get your coach or team-mate to replicate that situation for you to practice saving a kick or header from a position like that. Depending on how old, good or passionate you are about your keeping, you might get them to have 5, 10, 15, 20, or 200 attempts at goal like that.

Each save you attempt builds your muscle and mind memory and strenghtens your instinct, giving you better decision-making opportunities when it counts: in the big moments!

So don’t go light on your practice or preparation – give it your all and you will rise to fulfill your own ability and potential.

Here’s another drill from their Instagram page, which any goalkeeper at ANY level (even if you’re damn well retired!) should eat up like a hungry bunny.

In fact, any sportsperson should keep an eye on this site to soak up their incredible approach to their art. Brilliant stuff people!

Man, their Instagram page is like pizza – you can’t have just one slice!

Here’s something else that is so important for a keeper – you save shots and headers, yes, but you also have to distribute the ball to your team-mates, which can be in defensive or attacking ways.

Time spent practicing your goal kicks is not wasted, and the more skilled you become the more valuable you are to your team-mates. That should matter to you if you want to be part of a competitive team, but it can also help you keep your place if you go through a dip in form or if there is another talented keeper pushing for your place.

Something to look at VERY closely is how this keeper spins the ball when he drops it to the ground. The way the ball is spinning as it heads to the turf can help you give more power or accuracy to your kick, and especially in windy conditions.

I don’t want to discuss the mechanics of what he’s doing (mostly cos I don’t understand them in a way to be able to teach them, although give me a ball and I’ll work magic with different angles and speeds)… but if you study carefully what he does with these two kicks and then go out and practice them, you will develop a great new strength to your goalkeeping.

Even better… by spending lots of time playing with the ball and experimenting with different ways of spinning and kicking, you will discover exciting ways that you can clear the ball to your team-mates.

It’s also something you should pay VERY close attention to when watching other keepers at the ground or on TV.

Now go out and do some practicing, even if it is raining. In fact, better still, if it’s raining, go out and get some rain-practice in.

Enjoy!

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