A while ago, we produced a feature with Tony Parks, looking at goalkeeping in the foundation phase and how we could provide the best opportunities and experiences for young goalkeepers, with a full understanding of the long and non-linear development path that awaits them.
Now, we're dealing with a theme that is common among goalkeeper and outfield coach interactions: playing a goalkeeper in the foundation phase on pitch.
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Position rotation in the foundation phase
Over recent years, the trend towards encouraging goalkeepers to play outfield as well as in goal during their formative years has gained much more weight and acceptance within youth development circles. However, it still comes up against resistance by some stakeholders involved in the game, and could be taken even further to holistically develop all of the players within a given academy:
Building on this, we also spoke to Tony about the tools that we can give a goalkeeper to best understand some of their tactical responsibilities, and that of their teammates, beyond the training session. He provides some interesting insight and perspective on analysis, modelling and the most effective way that we can use the technologies we have to support our goalkeepers:
If one question that is often posed to the goalkeeping community is how much time should a young goalkeeper spend playing outfield, the other is when they should make that transition to specialising, fully, between the sticks.
Of course, there is no set rule here, and context will always be key, but Tony see the transition and emergence of the youth development phase (i.e around 12 or 13 years old), as a general guideline for looking to form the goalkeeper's playing schedule more comprehensively towards goalkeeping.
This theme is certainly not a new one in the goalkeeping world, and it is a conversation that has been heavily debated, contested and raised over recent seasons.
Where do you sit on the continuum? How much time do you think that goalkeepers should spend as outfielders, and what is the evidence or thinking process that supports your philosophies?
It'd also be interesting to hear from many of you about the different approaches that you take in your context, and what the goalkeeper's playing schedule looks like: we know that there are some great ideas out there being regularly practiced and preached!
We'd love to hear your thoughts!
Want to challenge an element of the blog? Something that you agree with? Have you experienced some of the ideas discussed in your environment? Let us know on the forum and it'd be great to share thoughts further!