Last Sunday, August 23, 2015, I finished up my National Soccer Coaches Association of America Level 3 Goalkeeper Coaching Diploma. There was a lot of good information and it served as a clearing house for ideas and training techniques for the coaches who were there. I learned a lot over the three days and when it was over, I had to quickly rush to my U12 boys team’s game. We unfortunately lost, and due to some soft goals.
All week I had the opportunity to work on some of the things that I saw in the game that were issues. One of the biggest is concentration issues. Some of it is the age, some of it is personalities. I have to remind myself that I can’t give the two keepers on my desire. I can encourage but I can’t make them want it if they don’t want it. And that is one of the hardest things. One of the keepers I work with has regressed from where we were last year at this time. My other keeper is frustrated with playing time when he isn’t keeper and it is affecting his keeper play. Both have great potential, if they continue to work at it.
One of the main things that I learned in my class for my Level 3 Diploma is that the keepers will only be as good as they want to be. A coach can encourage that or ruin that, but it is up to the player to realize their potential. One of the things that I am working on with my keepers is to not get so hung up on some of their mistakes. The game doesn’t stop, the other team doesn’t feel sorry for them, they have to keep playing, We can talk about it during a break but they need to keep playing. There are three things all athletes can control at all times during competition. Attitude, Concentration, Effort (A.C.E.). If any of those drop, it drags the rest down.
My boys had some scrimmages today where they let themselves down. Tomorrow we have some more league games. It should be an opportunity for my keepers to show that they have adapted the correct ACE. I hope they have learned from their mistakes and that the hours of practice this week aren’t in vain. I almost spend more time with them than I do with my family when I start counting the session planning and documentation (I write down my training sessions afterwards). I just want them to do their best.