As we start the spring season at BRSC, I wanted to put out a piece about goalkeeping and the unique demands about playing the position. As we are evolving the program to its new base level, there is an importance to understanding the role of the goalkeeper and how it’s different from what other players in the team experience. It’s often the most misunderstood from the standpoint of the demands of excellence that are required even to be considered average. Today’s game needs goalkeepers to be above average field players, shot-stoppers, leaders of the defense verbally and emotionally, and the start of the attack for the team, among other responsibilities. They have to have specialized training to excel at the position, which involves techniques to gain possession, including gymnastic abilities to execute some of these techniques. Because of these added demands, goalkeepers have a bond with each other that is unique. We refer to this bond as the Goalkeeper’s Union. This particular writing will end with an article from the Guardian, which is a newspaper in England, about the bond goalkeepers have.
Let me further elaborate on how this bond occurs. We emphasize the idea that we, as goalkeepers, are a team, and we support each other on and off the field. The ability for everyone to be part of this extraordinary group of young people is a point of emphasis in our work together that should continue to help them as they build confidence and excellence through the work they put in. Keepers should communicate and try to help each other in terms of support and development. Our players bond through training, and as they talk about their position and its demands. For them, it’s a way to communicate with people who genuinely understand what a day playing this position entails. The bond built from training together is a way for our teams to interrelate with each other as the older goalkeepers pass on experience. Mentorship is one of many reasons that goalkeepers come to training and build these relationships with each other.
Mentorship is the next phase of development we will integrate into the goalkeeping program. I will have an older level age group goalkeeper take on a younger goalkeeper to begin the process of passing on experiences to them. This process helps our younger players in many ways. It will help our older players take more responsibility for learning their position, so the younger ones are getting the correct information. Secondly, it will foster a stronger union among keepers to help them through the tougher times in the position.
My mentorships I developed throughout my career are still alive and well today. I am always in communication with my mentor and my mentee about changes that occur in the game. They are not only resources, but I can say that many are close friends, and that developed through our common bond of playing the position of goalkeeper.
It is now an expectation for goalkeepers to come to training to get the specialized training they need. Additional practice is standard for any high-level club anywhere. Although it is a bit of an adjustment this cycle for some, it will be the norm going forward. As our players make themselves better as goalkeepers, they are making their club teams more productive and successful. The training keepers get and gain the benefit of from our staff here at BRSC is an essential piece of their overall development and is part of what you pay for as parents.
There will be a video coming out about the program soon that I would ask you to watch. It will talk about goalkeeper training and its benefits. It will also include an interview with parents and players who are involved and what they see as the benefits. Enjoy the article below about the goalkeepers union.
To learn more about the Goalkeeper’s Union Philosophy read “The goalkeepers’ union: why do they stick up for each other?” by Will Magee.