Tight shirt review

OBO Short sleeve goalie shirt review.

So, here it is. The new Goalie shirt from OBO.


And here it is in action:


When it comes to keepers shirts there isn’t a lot on the market that takes my fancy, for the last 2 seasons I have been using a Nike Dri-Fit running shirt which has served me well. I’m always on the hunt for new products and equipment so after sending a few emails to Simon enquiring about testing future products, he came back to me with this.

I’ve been using this shirt for many weeks now and I can safely say it is one of the best shirts I’ve worn. It keeps my armour tight to my body yet still has enough stretch in the material for it not to be uncomfortable.

Firstly I’ll start with the style, every keeper wants to look good, right?

As you can see I have the Black and Silver top, It is very similar in design to my Nike top which is what I personally was looking for. I really like the 2-tone colour option and as it’s OBO I would expect to see numerous options available, like with the rest of their products.

How does it fit?

Me and Simon were in discussion about which size would be best for me. We were deciding between a large and an extra large and settled on the XL. If I was to re-order another one I would go for a large as the XL is just a bit too big for me.

I guess it’s all down to personal preference, I prefer my shirt to be as tight as possible, whereas others like it slightly baggy.

After a couple of weeks, I decided that I would mod my shirt to make it more tight fitting, around the chest and arms.

It could also depend on which body armour you use, Iam currently wearing the Mercian Xtreme with the bicep protection cut off. This armour is quite slim fitting with fairly small shoulder caps, some other armours are more bulky which would fill the shirt out more than my one, so take that into consideration when buying!

A fairly obvious point to make is that this shirt is definitely not an option for goalies in full body armour as your arm protection will be ruined from diving around.

Material & Breathability.

The materials OBO have used for this shirt seem to be of a very high standard, the Black material on the front is stretchy and feels very durable. The Silver material used on the back feels very strong, it almost looks similar to the material of my old long sleeve smock.

I really like the idea of having a vented back, but could see others disagreeing. Maybe there could be an option to have the shirt made entirely of the black material alongside the tops with the vented back?

Because the material of this shirt is of a very high quality, it hasn’t lost it’s shape, frayed or shrunk in the wash, other shirts I’ve had haven’t held us aswell.


In short, I think OBO are onto a winner with this top, it’s comfortable, looks good and is specifically designed for keepers. Good job guys!


Goalkeeper speed work

Two attributes that are very important for all goalkeepers are speed and agility. Being able to move your feet quickly both forward and laterally gives you the best chance of getting into the right position for every shot.

Below is a video I have put together with the help of three of Australia’s greatest men’s goalkeepers. Nathan Burgers, Stephen Lambert and Stephen Mowlam are all inspirations to me, setting the bar so high with their abilities and success at an international level.

The footage is from a session they did back in 2008 in preparation for the Beijing Olympics. The guys are all very quick and coordinated so check out the video and try using these drill suggestions and see if you can get your speed and agility up to this level.

I use ladder drills as a way of getting my legs moving before a game or training so when I get my gear on I know that I will be feeling quick and sharp. It is also a great tool to use during the off season. Please ensure you seek the guidance of a coach or trained professional before trying these drills. As with all exercise, there is risk of injury.

video – rachaellynch.com.au

For warm up I like to use a variety of ladder drills but my favourites are:
– Single step in each square
– Two steps in each square
– Two steps in each square with high knees
– Lateral with two steps in each square once each way

This does not take long but make sure each one is done as quick as possible and with good technique

For more ideas have a look at this video I found on youtube…

Goalkeeper speed work | rachaellynch.com.au

How to do a gym workout on holidays

As a travelling athlete I often find myself having to be creative in order to complete my gym workouts or rehab exercises whilst away. A holiday at the beach, a trip overseas, a night in a hotel or just time away from your local gym are not good enough reasons to miss or drop back your strength training. I work very hard whilst in the gym so can not afford to go backwards when I am away on a tour or on a break from training. I have provided some tips below that I use so have a read and feel free to add some of your own. Keep in mind that I am talking purely about weights training and not cardio training.

If you are staying in a hotel whilst away then this is the type of gym you may have access too. A lot of hotels do have gym facilities but they are usually small and have minimal equipment. All you can do is make the most of what you have got.

There will almost always be a few dumbbells so use these to make basic exercises more difficult. eg. squats – double leg, single leg; lunges – forward, lateral; calf raises, sit-ups and all arm exercises. If there is a machine then make the most of the various exercise options it has. You can always lower the weight if its not something you normally do as part of your program. For chin ups you just need a bar or railing and push ups simply require some floor space.

A fit ball is another item that you may find in a hotel gym or have at home yourself. These are great for balance and increasing the difficulty of an exercise by providing an unstable base. Any arm exercise can be made harder by sitting on the ball or lying on it in a bridge type position. Again use your dumbbells here. There are numerous abdominal exercises around that are great when using a fit ball. Just sitting on the ball in good posture with your feet off the ground is great for your core strength and balance.

Theraband – What a great invention. This is something that I use everyday and carry with me whenever I travel overseas or interstate. They come in different colours and each colour has a different level of resistance. I use them mostly to strengthen my shoulders and prevent injuries as goalkeepers are very prone to shoulder problems. They are very easy to use and actually quite versatile. They can be tied to a door, jammed in a door, held under your feet or wrapped around anything that is heavy or fixed to the ground. You can just hold the end and pull or make a loop to put your hand or foot through. So many options. They can replace any exercise that you do on a pulley machine at the gym.

Now if all else fails and you cant find any equipment, proper weights or a gym then just use your friends. Find a friend that weighs the appropriate amount and then squat them. You may need to start off with a small child and please make sure you maintain good technique throughout. * Actually…Don’t try this at home!!

Finally, as with all exercise, it is very important you warm up and cool down appropriately. Stretching is a great way to keep your muscles in good shape as is using a foam roller. This is similar to getting a deep tissue massage but you can do it yourself and of course control the level of discomfort you cause. And yes it can be uncomfortable. You use it by lying on top of the roller then moving your body around so it moves up and down the particular muscle or muscle group you want to release. Quads, Hamstrings, adductors, calves, ITB or Gluts. You can also use it up and down your back.

I hope you have found my suggestions helpful. Please comment below if you have other ideas. I would love to hear from you.

These suggestions are my own and have developed over time with assistance from experienced professionals. Please seek guidance from your Physio, doctor or coach before attempting any of the above exercises. Especially squatting your friends!!

How to do a gym workout on holidays | rachaellynch.com.au

Cleaning your gear

As a goalkeeper I am fully aware of the reputation we hold of being ‘stinky’. This is something I am passionate about changing. I am convinced that a pair of shin guards will smell much worse than a well looked after set of goalkeeping gear.

A few things I would suggest that may help prevent the comments and ridicule from team mates about your stench:

1. Air your full kit out after every training session or game. I guarantee you will have sweat or water on your gear through contact with the turf

2. Wash your smock, cover shorts, bandana, neck guard, pelvic protector and arm guards (if detachable) at least once or twice a week. These items should easily fit in your washing machine. Front loaders are much more gentle on the gear but top loaders are also ok. Always wash the gear separate to your every day clothes.

3. Wash your shoes every few weeks. This can also be done in the washing machine or by hand in a bucket or sink.

4. Body armour is usually the main cause for smell so must be addressed somehow. I have tried washing it in the machine but due to the size it can be difficult and also may damage the gear or the machine. The best way I have found is to take a brush (best is the brush from a dust pan and brush) and a bucket of warm soapy water. Take the gear outside and use the brush to scrub the gear all over. Do not be afraid to use plenty of soapy water. Leave it hanging outside to dry for as long as you can then you should be right to go.

5. Finally I suggest you buy some face wipes from the supermarket. These can be used to wipe out the inside of your helmet. Another area that can get quite dirty, especially your chin strap.

I hope all these tips help. If you have any ideas of your own please feel free to share them below

Skills Session 10: Cleaning your Goalie Gear | rachaellynch.com.au