Support Young Keepers

It’s obvious some coaches don’t value the goalkeeper position.

At young ages many goalkeepers are segregated from their team and teammates because they’re the goalkeeper. Some coaches don’t know what to do with this odd player and so choose to ignore them completely. As a result many young goalkeepers loose the desire to play such a fantastic position.

I’ve seen the team training and the goalkeeper sitting on the side lines because the team is playing a possession game and has no need for a keeper. Coaches please remember, Goalkeepers are players too! Why not have them improve their touch and confidence on the ball. This will only make them better goalkeepers for your team.

It is very rare that the goalkeeper is mentioned in team talks, unless they’ve made a mistake. This is then highlighted not only in front of the team, but also in front of everybody who’s watching or playing the match itself. Take the time to praise your goalkeeper for doing a good job, and support them the same as you would any other player when they make a mistake. If a goal has been conceded young goalkeepers can usually understand that they’ve made a mistake and don’t need it pointed out. Discuss how to prevent goals against as a team. If you show support towards your keeper as a coach your team will do the same.

Lastly please remember that a young goalkeeper will not be at the same level as you watch each weekend on your TV. They will make many many mistakes. They shouldn’t be held to the same standard as a pro goalkeeper. They do however need to be reminded that it’s about the next save and to move on after a mistake. It’s your job as a coach to create a team environment that our young keepers can learn and grow in.