Recently described in the media as the greatest goalkeeper to ever play the game, the incredible Italian Gianluigi Buffon has had a stellar and unique career.
As discussions surrounding the modern-day goalkeeper (GK) has seen an incredible evolution with the way they train, and the demands in the context of match-play, the shift to integrate the GK within the training content has become both popular & significant.
Buffon has not only remained at the elite level of the game for over 20-years, but been at the forefront of the game, transitioning across the change in perception of the role of the GK from a position who was primarily tasked with keeping the ball out of the net, to one who is now the first point of attack in creation.
The demand now placed on the role of the GK when initiating attacking play in-possession, and the need for greater technical qualities when the demand is to play out from the back.
Gone are the days where goalkeepers work alone in the corner of the pitch with the goalkeeping specialist coach, and this has been suggested from a current Bundesliga Head of Goalkeeping coach when they stated that,
“Nowadays, goalkeepers have the ball at their feet more than in their hands….and as a result of this we must incorporate that into the practice design focus of the training session…”
Now the key to all modern training & developments of coaching methods & match-play philosophy at the elite level is integrating the goalkeeper (GK) within all types of technical, possession & strategical based training content with the purpose of maximising the time in-possession.
Now elite level managers & progressive coaches see the goalkeeping coaching specialists not only involved in the preparation of the GK in isolation, but the role of GK coaches in building confidence & working within the playing out strategies, how to penetrate the opponents pressure, areas of weaknesses as well as being able to counter-attack from the deeper positions & direct set-piece situations (attacking & defensive).
Furthermore, the professionalisation of the GK coaching role, has now increased the requirements of the GK coach.
As a result, these coaching requirements have advanced how the top level coaches think about the role, as well as now having a greater understanding of all positional-specific elements of the science surrounding the role of the GK.
All GK specific coaching, & outfield technical & performance coaches now embrace an enhanced GK specific knowledge across psychology, nutritional needs & necessities, bespoke positional strength, conditioning & injury prevention techniques of the GK as well as linking their teams tactical strategy to their training content & through detailed analysis.
The football goalkeeper position arguably represents a unique role within the sport, as despite its highly complex & unique skill demands, research on football goalkeeping has only sporadically examined the position within isolated and limited parameters.
As the game of football is ever-evolving, so are the demands in each position in the game. From the Goalkeeper (GK) to the Centre-Forward, the GK Coach to the Head Coach and Manager.
To form a holistically oriented approach to coaching the game, we must first have a well-rounded understanding into the demands of each position and fully commit to the integration of the well-established 4-Corners of High-Performance in Football Coaching;
ISSPF are about to unveil an online Professional Masters Course in Goalkeeper Coaching Science for youth and senior coaches. The course is designed to provide a more specific and detailed insight into the key elements specific to the role of the GK coach from a football science & performance perspective.
The demand for sports science, tactical analysts, physiotherapists, physical therapists, performance & coaching specialists in football, soccer & team sports is growing year upon year. Thousands of learners at home, university students leaving university with a sport science degree, physio or therapy related qualification, however many of them asking the key question – What now?
This is certainly an interesting question as progressing from completing a sporting, medical or therapy related degree to then working in professional football & trying to understanding all the key components, and soft skills that come with jobs in football or careers within sport is complex.
As a result, the bespoke courses developed by ISSPF Elite Football Coaching & Sport Science, Kinesiology, Athletic Trainers & Physiotherapist Faculty members are a way of further exposing learners, parents, professional coaches, students, or other individuals interested in football science with a thirst to develop & upskill further.
The link below will take you to the hugely popular & expertly designed ISSPF endorsed & University & Football Association accredited Soccer Science & Performance online sport science course, where you will be exposed to football or soccer science with coaching led research, and practical examples used by the game’s leading practitioners.
Module 1: The demands of professional soccer: Physiological costs of the game
Lecturer: Dr. Vasilis Kalapthorakos (Greece)
Module 2: Developing Resilience in Soccer: Mental Skill Development
Lecturer: Dr. Nikki Crawley (England)
Module 3: Game model building & development: Reinterpreting Tactical Periodisation
Lecturer: Dr. Alejandro Romero-Caballero (Spain) Spanish Football Federation
Topic: Training Methodology
Module 4: Injury reduction strategies in professional soccer
Lecturer: Dr. Patrick Orme (England) Bristol City FC
Topic: Injury Prevention
Module 5: Leadership and Culture for High Performance Soccer
Lecturer: Maximillian Lankheit (Germany) San Jose Earthquakes FC, MLS
Module 6: Current trends in leading European soccer teams: In-Possession
Lecturer: Chris Meek (England) England Football Association
Topic: Performance Analysis
Module 7: Soccer nutrition & the role of the nutritionist
Lecturer: Matthew Jones (England) West Ham United FC
Module 8: Competitive soccer training microcycle: Structure & justification
Lecturer: Dr. Manuel Segovia (Spain) Spanish Football Federation
Topic: Training Methodology