The First Ever Goalkeeper Coach & Trainer Forum

Martijn Drijver, principal of the Drijver Goalie Academy based in The Netherlands has suggested it’s high time that goalkeeper Coaches and Trainers from around the world get together for a day of sharing, learning, discussions and doing … and of course some fun.

Martijn Drijver, principal of the Drijver Goalie Academy based in The Netherlands has suggested it’s high time that goalkeeper Coaches and Trainers from around the world get together for a day of sharing, learning, discussions and doing … and of course some fun.
There’s so much to learn, so much to share.

We at OBO agreed and together with a small team of like-minded passionate people want to get your reaction to our progress to date. So here’s where we are at ….

Who ■ Goalie Coaches and Trainers who are passionate about improving their coaching… who want to contribute to the world’s body of knowledge about ‘keeping’ … basically those coaches and trainers who want to take ‘keeping’ and their coaching to a whole new level.
We don’t know what we don’t know!

When ■ Wednesday 4th June 2014 (a rest day at the 2014 World Cup)

Where ■ The Leiden Hockey Club (20 minutes via train from The Hague), The Netherlands (it has amazing meeting areas and 3 pitches are already booked)

What ■ A full day of …. presentations, discussions and debate. This is not about lectures. There is no right answer. Let’s share the pros and cons of various approaches.
…. On field sessions showing, doing, talking, sharing. ….. An evening of food, fun and friendship.

Topics in Mind ■ Saving and clearing the ball, Saving within the 6 metre zone, The mental aspects of ‘keeping’, The conditioning/physical training of goalies

Led by ■ Martijn Drijver (Holland), Grahame Mansell-Grace (UK) and several top trainers still to be finalised – hosted by Guus Vogels (Holland) and supported by a number of highly experienced Keepers from around the world.

Cost ■ There will be a cost but we promise it won’t be exorbitant – just enough to cover costs. This is all about sharing, growing, learning, developing and connecting…not making money.

Are you a starter? Tell us if you are interested, if you can come and any suggestions you have for ‘the day’.
Register your comments and interest by emailing

Here is a downloadable PDF with all the information needed!
Global Forum

Supported by OBO because they really care about helping goalkeepers
… Goal Keepers are Amazing People!

Leg Burner!!

Join OBO and USA National Goalkeeper Jackie Kintzer for a leg burning fitness session!

Join OBO and USA National Goalkeeper Jackie Kintzer for a leg burning fitness session!

This drill is a “leg burner” with lots of footwork combined with making a desperation save and a second shot save. You start by doing quick feet (stepping over the baseline and back with both feet 3 times), moving through the cones wither forward or laterally, putting 2 feet between each cone, then drop stepping back toward the far post before diving and attempting to make a desperation save, followed by a second shot. We typically only do this 3 or 4 times on each side because it is very tiring, but will have you in good shape!!!

Let us know how you get on! Good Luck!

FIH own goal rule. Our thoughts so far.

For those not aware the FIH has introduced a new rule where own goals can now be scored if any player from either team touches the ball in the circle and the ball enters the goal.

For those not aware the FIH has introduced a new rule where own goals can now be scored if any player from either team touches the ball in the circle and the ball enters the goal.

Sounds like a good idea or is it?

What we have seen so far is that goalkeepers have become more involved in the play as you have to protect the net from both teams now.  So many more balls that would have previously been let go into the goal and played as a long corner are now having to be kept in play.

The down side is we have seen teams pounding the ball into the circle from all parts of the field hoping that maybe someone will touch the ball or the goalkeeper will make a mistake.  The new rule seems to fly in the face of the current free hit within the 25 rule where the ball can’t be smashed directly into the circle.

Will be interesting to see where this goes in the future.

How has everyone found the change so far?  Have you had many own goals scored?


PS: We have a new website at .

Stick Hand Coordination

Q. I am just wondering how people are improving their stick hand coordination / saves? and if people have any exercises that work well for this?

A. Here’s a selection of comments made by our Facebook followers…

Andrew Wilkie practise ball juggling works for me

Jillian Fraser Practice. If you do repeated amounts of a certain save you’ll get better at it.

Reece Perry Over on she recommends playing table tennis as an off-season exercise – preferably with both hands. Helps hand-eye, reflexes and stick hand fundamentals. During the season I would say practice is the best thing.

Matt Abson-bennett Play badminton or any other racket based sport 🙂

Madeleine Cho Practicing the proper technique over and over again, even without a ball will help with the muscle memory part, then when you have access to someone to throw a bunch at you, you’ll have the muscle memory to save the balls.

Bryttany Duncker soccer keeping helps you move to the ball and have killer dives

Leon van Gass My advice to younger keepers is always repetitive training, often in game or “normal” training sessions are just not adequate because in a whole game or session you are limited to maybe 20 or so aerial saves. However I’ve found that by far the best way is long session with a bowling machine (or a coach with tennis balls and an racket) always shows results. It focusses on specific technique instead of only reaction time and in addition it is always a great confidence booster

Chris Greaney I have always used tennis balls and ball juggling to coach keepers and have found it to be effective,another tip when holding your stick which works is to point your index finger down the shaft of your stick,that way to be accurate you literally have to just point at the ball ! Try it it works 😀

Lilian Brouwer Saving balls with your stick is not so hard, just a few things to remember… Hold your stick a bit angeled in the glove so your wrist get locked and you will see that you won’t try to hit the ball with your stick, but just set your stick to the ball. Another important issue is that you stop the high ball in front of you (you got to see and feel the ball, not only feel it)… The angle make sure that you don’t tip the ball in your goal as well (since the stick will be straight when you stretch your arm). And then it is all about practicing it on the pitch… And don’t forget, you need to still step with your feet as well…

Muhammad Atique Ur Rehman I think that one can improve both side of upper body by standing two players in front of each other and when one through the ball,like at right site you have to catch with left hand and on left side use your right hand by doing this you can improve both site, coordination and also foot work….

Jakim Berndsen Play racket sports that are particularly fast (badminton or squash) and make sure your holding the racket in the right hand, regardless of whether you normally play left handed. Great for reactions, great for footwork, and best of all the forward is going to have to put in one hell of a shot to get it past your stick.

Rotterdamse Hockey Keeper School

This season I started a goalkeeper academy in Rotterdam for all goalkeepers in the Rotterdam Area that are interested in getting the best possible training. Dutch international goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak is in charge of all excercises and together with his keeper trainers we train more than 50 goalkeepers every monday. If you want an impression what this looks like, check out this video. This year we’re overbooked, but we have plans to expand next season (after the Olympic Games).

Spartan with OBO – An evening with Beth Storry, GB and England

Come and join us with Beth Storry, GB, England and World XI for an evening of goalee indulgence with her GB Coach and Co Founder of Spartan, Steve Bayer.  Take a look at the flyer and get back to us.

Its taking place this Friday, 4 Nov 2011 at Oxford Hawks HC, England.  Its very popular and will be a great night

Play nicely!


OBO training equipment review.

I’ve just submitted the following reviews to the Barrington Sports website and thought that I’d share them here too.  I’ve had the Obo training gear since September 2010 so feel that I’ve used the equipment enough for me to write a well informed review.   I have a pair of Deflecta’s, a Flicka stick and a bag of Bobbla’s.


This is an excellent piece of training equipment that really helps to sharpen and hone the reactions.  It is very expensive in my opinion but that’s what you expect for anything to do with goalkeepers and their kit (economies of scale certainly screw us all here).

As they are made from recycled tyres, you should expect them to be quite heavy….. and they are!  This is great in that they stay put once placed on the pitch but they’re a pain to carry to and from the pitch.  As you can’t bend them (because otherwise they’ll break) I recommend you carry them at the bottom of a spare goalie bag with the rest of your coaching equipment or use a couple of ladder lock straps to hang them off your shoulder.

I have found that they work better in pairs as they cover more area in front of goal as not everyone is skilful and accurate enough to get the ball to hit a single Deflecta every time.  It also gives you option of having the mats facing opposite ways and therefore giving a high and low profile for more unpredictability.

I definitely recommend that you have a look at the Obo Goalkeeping YouTube channel to see how they suggest you utilise the mats.

All in all, the Deflecta is an excellent coaching tool but the price is prohibitively high and likely to only be affordable to more well off clubs.  Thankfully I have a forward thinking and supportive club that see the importance of supplying quality training equipment to both outfield and goalkeepers alike. Twitter – @SutColHockey


I had high hopes for the Bobbla balls but have been very disappointed with them.

I was expecting them to be unpredictable and to actually “bobble” about but unfortunately they don’t do either.

The only way to have the balls “bobble” about is to use them slowly but this makes them all too easy to follow and kick.  If you bring them up to a realistic playing speed, it makes the balls act like a normal hockey ball and therefore is totally readable.  I have tried many various ways of rolling, hitting, throwing, bowling and spinning the balls and just do not think that they are worth the money.  I feel that there are plenty of better ways of spending £76 on training equipment (price related to as of 12-April-2011).

My other issue with the balls is that they are made from a very soft plastic compound and they don’t look like they’ll last.  Unfortunately for me I train at a very poorly maintained council run pitch and most of the goals have metal backboards.  Footballs and idiotic vandals do not mix well with hockey goals and the metal backboards are all seriously dented and pulled away from their frames.  This leaves some sharp edges sticking out and quite a few of my Bobbla balls have been damaged with deep cuts.  The normal training balls do not appear to have the same problem and are impacting at much higher speeds.

In conclusion, the Bobbla is a nice idea that just doesn’t seem to work that well.

If you want to see more about how Obo think you can use the Bobblas then have a look at the Obo Hockey on YouTube


The Flicka is so much fun!  It is relatively easy to use and you can become fairly proficient after a session or two.

I feel that the most impressive feature of the stick is the way that it is effective at any speed.  I am able to lift the ball fairly slowly and accurately in order to train with lower level keepers and then ramp the speed all the way up to eleven when I train my National League keeper.

The stick is well made and as it’s made of wood, I’m sure it will give me many years of use (unlike my Obo Fatboy stick which lasted three months before shattering so maybe Obo have improved their quality control).

Like any hockey skill, you need to keep practicing in order to get the best out of the stick.  Most people will be able to lift the ball within 5 minutes and then build it up to being able to hook the ball high and wide to the left after another 10 minutes.  This skill with this stick is being able to flick to the right and you need to learn to open your shoulder and make a deliberate rotation to your right to get it to go that way.  Once you’ve got this skill sorted, you’ll be having great fun with the keepers you train.

As with my other reviews of the Obo training equipment, I recommend that you have a look at their YouTube uploads to see how to get best use out of the equipment

When I first got my hands on the Flicka I hadn’t quite got the technique right and thanks to YouTube and my iPhone I was able to watch the video and repeat the action – easy!

I highly recommend this stick for coaches of all abilities and coaching keepers of all abilities and out of the three Obo Training products would rate this as my number one purchase, followed by the Deflecta.

Inbetween Seasons Training

With this years season finishing in April and the next season not starting till September I am looking at various drill/training that I can do to keep my fitness up whilst keeping my reactions up to scratch, footwork still fast and etc.

Just wondering if anyone has any tips on how they keep themselves going over the break or any drills/training sessions that they would recommend I try?


Tips On Using The OBO Training D’FLECTA Mat


Product info
Balls will be hit at the D’FLECTA, which alter ball directions in both height and width. This simulates deflections and helps train reaction times and hand eye coordination of goalkeepers.

Tips on using the D’FLECTA mat

Fast ball speeds and striker deflections now play a big roll in scoring goals. The mat enables a coach, assistant or even parent to simulate deflected shots targeting high or low shots without needing to include the field players in the exercise. Its also a whole heap of fun for goalkeepers! If not being used the mat can be placed also be used within team drills to simulate defenders who can often deflect the ball.

Here is a video showing a few tips showing the correct technique for using the mat…