However, this day was different. A parent who was helping our team out, Nick DaCunha was there with his son, my teammate Justin. Nick was a successful coach at South San Jose Soccer Club and brought over his talented son to join our team. Before we started playing, Nick took me aside and started kicking balls at me.
It was the first time, anyone had ever taken the time to warm me up and give me a few pointers. I felt so excited and so grateful someone would take their time to teach me. It inspired me for the rest of my life to learn more about the position I now call a job. As I look back, I want to offer some suggestions for youth coaches out there.
If you can, at least once a week. Try to get out and kick some volleys at the goalkeeper. Watch his or her hands and make sure he/she is catching with the index fingers and thumb behind the ball. If you put your thumbs together, rotate your hands so that index fingers touch one another, this will push the elbows out. Pull the elbows back in form a straight line down from your hands. Now, pull the index fingers and thumbs away from one another along the same plane about an inch or two. Don't forget to bend the wrists a tad inward (see photos). With younger GK's, try to get more of the index finger & middle finger behind the ball.
This is how you should catch a ball. The shape is almost an upside down heart. I just bought a video camera and I will demonstrate this clearly in the future. However, if you have time to kick balls at a gk, you can demonstrate this technique. Even if you are unsure of the exact technique, a little attention to the GK will go a long way.
For all coaches, make sure to give the GK just a few minutes (5-10) of specialized training. This personal attention will go a long way in making them feel responsible for their position and important to the team. Remember it doesn't even have to be the head coach or a verified assistant. Just delegate someone to go out and make the GK feel special.
Having your team just kick at them is not going to teach them anything. Engagement and involvement are always keys to motivating young players. Hope this helps.
may the posts be with you......