Summer is well and truly over. I know, it sucks - and now winter is coming!Unfortunately for us goalkeepers this is the season that makes consistent training a little trickier - sessions get called off because of bad weather or we get caught up in the holidays. That said, we wanted to give you a few tips to help you keep your edge whilst everyone else is eating halloween candy, thanksgiving treats and christmas dinners.
Catch up on life
This one might seem a little weird, but there’s a reason we put this one first. Easily the main reason why people fall behind in their training is because life gets in the way. If they’re a student, they get bogged down in homework or studying for exams. This is a great time to take advantage of your downtime and catch up on everything you need to get done.
Even if you aren’t a student, then just take this time to get caught up on other things that could interfere with your training. Maybe do your taxes. Anything that will help free up your mind for when you can actually get to a training session.
The idea here is that whilst everyone else is taking the time off training to relax, watch netflix, etc - they are losing their edge and falling behind without knowing it. But you’re smarter than that, right?
Take stock of your equipment
Again, this time of year is a great time of year to look at your gear and work out if you need to replace anything. For the younger keepers amongst us - if you do need to replace anything, now would be a perfect time to mention it to your parents as a christmas present idea...
In all seriousness, it’s important to take the time to do any maintenance on your kit to help when training does resume. If you do need some new goalkeeper gloves, you can see our full range here.
Work on your upper body strength
Ok, now for a “real” tip - it’s important for goalkeepers to build strength overall, but one area that gets overlooked is the upper body strength. Most keepers will tend to focus on the lower body, which is obviously important for diving, etc. Now this doesn’t have to complicated and you don’t have to look like arnie to be a good goalkeeper, but upper body strength will help you when it comes to reaching those hard shots or shots from short ranges as well being able to hold onto the ball if someone challenges you after you make the save.
To keep this simple, you can just include a routine of different styles of pushups every day. This will help you build the muscles in your chest, arms and shoulders - the key areas for a keeper. Of course there is more that you can add in time, but this is a great place to start.
Work on your flexibility
This tip is one that is extremely useful for any goalkeeper at any level. It’s simple - you 100% NEED to stretch. If you are a keeper and you’re not stretching properly, you are doing yourself a disservice. Flexibility is an essential part of making those game-winning saves that could make or break your career. On top of that, the more flexible and well-stretched your body is, the less likely you are to sustain a career-destroying injury.
I really can’t stress this enough. And it’s so easy! My first recommendation is to scour youtube and find a stretching routine that works for you. You could even try doing some yoga sessions, either at home or at an actual studio. This is a great way to stay limber and to improve your range of motion for when it comes to the crunch.
Get some sleep!
No, seriously. This is a great way to get your edge over the competition. An easy way to stunt your progress as a keeper is to miss out on getting enough sleep. I wrote an entire article about why this is important and what you can do to improve your quality of sleep.
This will ensure that you are well rested and your mind (as well as your body) is ready to get down to business when the next training session or match comes around.
The bottom line is this, when you can’t make it to a training session, or a session is cancelled - there’s no excuse to fall behind. It’s important to give yourself every advantage if you want to make it as a keeper. There are lots of ways to do that, but these are just 5 of the things that I would consider the most important.