Awesome training, or is it?

A fellow basketball coach sent this video with the message, “I am in awe of this video – specifically, how the coach broke down the entire job of goal keeping into individual tasks and skills to be trained.”

I am not a soccer coach. When I pushed play, I too enjoyed the drills. It appears to be great training. However, is it?

How often does a goalie have to block shots that are thrown at him? How often does a goalie have to bat a ball thrown from overhead?

I have seen goalies do similar drills, especially the one where the goalie faces away from the ball, jumps 180 degrees to face forward, and saves a ball. How relevant is that to the game?

As I said, I am not a goalie coach. I don’t know if these drills truly work. They may have been proven to be quite effective in developing goalkeepers. However, these drills appear to be drills that look like great training but would not have much transfer.

The drills are good for some things that are important to goalkeeping: visual tracking, hand-eye coordination, and more. However, there is a reason goalkeepers tend to improve with age, and it does not have anything to do with improved reflexes (genetic) or reaction time.

As goalkeepers gain experience, they develop improved perceptual skills. They anticipate better, so they start in a better position. They read the game, so they are quicker off the line. They improve their communication skills.

I understand the need for these types of drills; what else is a goalie supposed to do when field players are involved in their drills? If perceptual skills are the key to developing as a goalkeeper, what should a goalkeeper do when field players are involved in drills like the video below?

The goalkeeper drills from above look good and hard and keep the goalkeepers busy while the field players play tiki taka or do other drills. However, just because the goalkeepers are being kept busy, does that mean the drills are effective?

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