AFA Goalkeeper Training

For a goalkeeper, there is no hiding place

The position of a goalkeeper is of fundamental importance for the success of a team. It is one of the most demanding positions psychologically. Goalkeepers are the last line of defense and the first line of attack. Since the mistakes can be dramatic, the goalkeeper has the potential of sealing the match. Therefore, there are great expectations towards goalkeepers and they are relentlessly exposed to public criticism. Goalkeeper is not a position for everybody.
Often enough, no specific goalkeeper coaching is provided and the training only consists of simple shooting practices. This is not sufficient at all for a goalkeeper to reach his potential. To play the position well, special skills and training are needed. With reason, this has been recognized by professional soccer clubs.

The AFA Goalkeeper training provides high quality specialized training for goalies – not so often available in African countries. A combination of technical, tactical, physical and mental drills forms the basis of each training session, with aims to improve spring, agility, the speed of feet, techniques on shot stopping, cross taking and the ability to distribute the ball with great accuracy.
Our training is conducted by professional and experienced coaches, using the latest training methods. The group-size is limited to a maximum of six goalies, in order to effectively observe the development of every player. The training is entirely tailored to individual needs of players. The drills are repeated as many times as needed for ensuring the automatization of basic techniques, All while having plenty of fun in a friendly learning environment.

The one simple mission statement of AFA is to create the very best goalkeepers in Africa!

Levels of competence

Beginner's level

Our beginner’s level provides the player with the solid foundations of goalkeeping. Basic techniques are introduced and the fundamentals of catching, positioning, diving, distribution & communication exercised. Fun is always in the foreground for the beginners and young players.

Intermediate level

The intermediate level has a continued focus on catching, positioning, diving, distribution and communication with technical refinement. Coordination, strength, speed, flexibility and agility are also developed.

Advanced level

The advanced level is about perfectioning all dimensions of goalkeeping. Particular focus is in the goalie’s mental and physical endurance as well as in reaction speed. We prepare our goalies to become a “second trainer” on the field and help them to learn to choose the most appropriate tactics in rapidly changing situations.

Training priorities

Good techniques are the foundation for solid goalkeeping. The soccer goalkeeping techniques focus on different mechanics of catching the ball, or at least deflecting it. The better command of fundamental techniques, the more effective the goalie will be at stopping shots.

Good footwork is the key: if the keeper’s feet can’t get him to where the ball is going, the hands will be useless. Catching is important, since a sloppy catching technique can allow the ball to slip through the hands and into the net. Proper positioning allows the keeper to cover the largest portion of the goal possible, but occasionally a desperate diving attempt must be made to catch or deflect difficult shots. The keeper also has to know the best way to get the ball to his teammates after the save has been made.

Learning goalkeeping techniques is not just about repetition; it is about exercises that simulate the actual match play and force the goalkeeper to learn how to use a proper technique throughout the play, in constantly changing situations. We focus on providing the goalies with an excellent command of fundamental techniques, in order to fully equip them to stop everything that comes their way.

Goalkeeper tactics is all about decision-making. More than anyone else on the soccer field, the goalie must be able to make split-second decisions that will affect the outcome of the game, taking the rapidly changing conditions into account. Communication is a key for every player on the soccer field, and especially so for the goalkeeper. Good communication between the goalkeeper and defenders makes the defense function as a unit. Goalkeepers are also organizers and generals on the field – they are the only players who face the field the whole time and are the best positioned to see the game development. In short, they have a role of the “second coach” out on the soccer field.

Goalkeepers need to be extremely fit physically and mentally. They have very specific fitness demands. Fitness training for the goalkeeper should concentrate on explosive power and flexibility. Goalkeeper needs strong arms, a strong core and strong legs. He must have a strong kick, be able to punt the ball great distances and jump vertically as high as possible. Strong arms are important for throwing the ball. The body’s intrinsic reaction time is not something that is easily trained, but practice and technique enables the goalie to better read the play and be in the best position to make quicker decisions. We will efficiently train all these, combining physical drills with technical elements.

Good coordination skills ensure stability, balance and the body control during a particular movement. Coordination is needed for movement efficiency, thereby it contributes to the overall endurance – physical as well as psychological – of the goalkeeper. Since coordination and techniques are closely interrelated, we combine coordination with technical and physical drills, in order to improve the goalkeeper’s balance. Our drills are fun, variable and they develop a number of competencies such as reaction speed, mobility and optimal positioning.

The best goalkeepers have the presence needed to fill those around them with confidence, knowing that they have a capable, calm and assured figure behind them. Successful goalkeeping contains mental ingredients such as concentration, unconditional will to win and most importantly – ability to deal with all the ups and downs on the field. Thus, goalkeepers must have the mental constitution to handle the pressure and shake off mistakes. Our coaches help young goalkeepers to develop a mentality of keeping it positive and never giving up, even when things are not going well. Building confidence is the key in our training.