The goalkeeper’s role in a game can cover many areas. It’s not as simple as just stopping shots. There are many other things that you need to think about.
One of those things is the ability of the keeper to effectively communicate with his or her team. This is especially important when it comes to the defenders. They are the last barrier to stopping the goalkeeper having to make a save and every great keeper knows that they need to communicate with those players to help prevent that happening as much as possible.
So what can you do as a keeper to improve your communication with the players on the field in front of you? Here are a few tips which you can take and practice on the pitch.
- Be loud.
Yes it’s important to be audible to the players. Who would’ve guessed! But in all seriousness you really need to practice shouting to your players. Now that’s not the same as shouting at them, remember the keeper should be trying to keep the mental attitude on the pitch positive, instead it’s just a case of making yourself heard.
- Keep it short and clear.
You shouldn’t be having loud conversations across the pitch to your players, you should just be shouting clear, advice that your teammates can react to quickly. As the keeper you have an overview of the whole game and can direct players to be where they need to be if the opposition is pushing forward.
- Keep it positive.
It’s all too tempting when you are 2-0 down and the final whistle is fast approaching to get frustrated and start losing your cool with the other players. It is extremely important that you do not do this! This will get you nowhere and you will only serve to pass on that frustration to the other players. Remember that a game isn’t over until it’s actually over and anything can happen in the final minutes of a game. It’s your job to help keep everyone’s spirits high because that can make all the difference, especially when you get to the changing room.
- Talking to officials.
We all see the professionals shouting at and surrounding the referees whenever a bad call is made or they miss something, but it doesn’t have to be like that. In fact, talking to the officials can often help you, especially if you are a nice, well mannered person to deal with. Screaming will often get you nowhere, but if you can talk to the referee and ask him to keep an eye on a certain problem player on the opposition team, he might have a better chance of doing his job better next time.
- Learn key words and phrases.
So to go with point 2 in this article, it’s helpful if you learn some key phrases to help you direct your players on the field. This can be extremely helpful in the heat of the game when you don’t have the chance to talk one on one to the player. Here are some examples:
- Push up - a signal for your defenders to push further up the field. In turn the rest of the team will push further into the opposition half.
- Drop back - call your team retreat towards you ready for an opposition offensive, say if you see someone looking to make a long ball to an attacker in a dangerous position.
- Clear it - this one is obvious but it’s helpful to motivate your team to get rid of the ball as quickly as possible when it’s in a dangerous position on the field. Just be careful not to be too panicked about this as this could lead a player into losing possession again quickly.
So there you have it. Try to use these tips in your next training session or game and see if it helps make a difference. The biggest takeaway here is to not be afraid to use your voice. It can make all the difference and your players will thank you for it in the long run. Oh, and keep it positive, it’s supposed to be fun, remember?