As many of us know, training with the whole team can sometimes be a little tedious, especially when the coach does not include the goalkeeper in the sessions to the best of their ability. We have all been through sessions when all that is done is goal shooting. Don't get me wrong this is a good thing to do but it has a time and a place just like everything else.
There are ways to incorporate goal keepers into your training sessions which make the sessions more enjoyable for not only the keeper but the whole team.
The first step in this is to liaise with the goalkeeper or coach in your team making sure the requirements of your team and keeper are fulfilled. A happy keeper usually means a happy and successful team.
Getting the most out of a session is quite easy for a goalkeeper. If you treat each save as though it is a save in a game then you should get the maximum benefit out of your session. This is the easy part, complications set in when all that is done is continual goal shooting or sessions where the keeper doesn't touch the ball.
A quality training session should include:
- goal setting
- thorough physical warm-up
- thorough skills warm up
- shooting drill
- game like drills
- specific keeping skills
Setting goals for each session is extremely valuable and can not be over looked. If you go into a session and without planning, then it is likely that you will not get anything out of the training session. . It can be something as simple as making sure your clearances are going wide and flat or making sure that your positioning is correct when meeting players during one on ones.
Thorough Physical Warm-up
Your warm-up should be as thorough as it is for a game. Start by doing laps, stretching and joint mobility exercises. This could then be followed by run throughs so that your legs are used to doing quick explosive exercises.
(Put your gear on)
Thorough Skills Warm Up and Shooting Drill
I start with balls in close and gradually move them out to the top of the circle. At the beginning of the first stage I kick the ball back at the person who is warming me up. This helps to get good accuracy. As the warm up progresses I tend to get the ball wider to practice wide clearances.
The next stage of the preparation is to sharpen my reflexes. I have the balls lined up around the penalty spot. The person who is warming me up then flicks and chips the balls at me one after the other, not giving me enough time to set for the next save.
This is followed by a team drill of rapid fire shots to sharpen my reflexes. It is important that you do not feel the need to stay in the goal for the whole time. If you are the only keeper at training then make sure you get adequate rest and recovery. Perhaps you could be in for 5 and then out for 5 shots as you would in a sharing situation.
Game like Drills
It is extremely important that a keeper and the team's coach both understand the importance of this. For the keeper, it is great practice for calling the defence. As someone once told me, if you don't get a touch all day you have done your job, simply by calling all of the right moves.
Drills that can be used are 3 on 2's, 4 on 2's and 1 on 1's. These drills are often used by coaches but sometimes are used too far away from the goal. For goal keepers these are most useful in the 25 yard area coming from all areas of the field. Defence versus the attack is also extremely valuable. This can be done starting outside the circle in a situation like a free hit. An important point is to have the attackers out numbering the defence.
Specific Keeping Skills
This is up to the individual to liase with the coach on specific needs or concerns that you have. I think you need to be proactive in this area and make sure that you get what you want out of a session that you require for improvement.
Good luck with your training sessions and keep on enjoying your hockey.
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