Through necessity and stay at home orders, goalkeepers have had to find creative ways to train and stay sharp. For those of you that have read the article [The perfect training area in your own back yard], you may have recreated something similar and gained an edge.
The inspiration I got for creating a training area in the garage of my house came purely by accident. I was due to provide a live virtual session to a group of players in my back yard when it started to pour down with rain. – Oh no! Where could I go where I could be noisy, not break TVs and actually not have neighbors think I was an idiot yelling at a computer screen.
The session was a success. In the garage, I had the same amount of area as the participants had either in a basement or their garage or a patio. The area was also small enough that players can watch the coaching points, exercises, and hear feedback.
The mini arena has evolved over the weeks. Below, I’m sharing the different stages.
The different stages of the garage soccer area
- For my first session, which needed to be done quickly, I just took the cars out of the garage, cleared away any potential dangers such as sharp gardening tools! I put my computer on a table and ensured everyone could see me. Job done.
After the success of the first class, and after jumping around on concrete, I thought it might be best to get some sort of carpet. This would also cover up the oil stains on the floor. I looked up green carpet and turf and ended up getting 2 x 8x10ft green mats from Ocean State Job Lot.
Having done a session on the mats I was slipping so I used duck tape on the corners and on the underneath of the two mats to keep them together. I used cones on the corners to cover the tape.
In order to get good educational video footage, I realized I needed two camera angles so I bought a mini phone tripod and had that filming from the side whilst the computer was in front.
All good stadiums have advertising banners and I just so happened to have some laying around for Goalkeeper HQ and L1 Goalkeeper gloves so I put them up, if nothing else than to hide the random stuff that was on the shelves in the garage. This is certainly not a necessity but if players want to add posters or inspirational quotes that will help, go for it.
The purchase of white duck tape really added a nice finish to the edge of the carpet. It looks like painted lines that denote the edge of the field and provided a neat way to stop the carpet from moving during the sessions
In order to give good feedback to my students, I found I was kneeling down on the concrete floor, which was hurting my knee. I added a fitness mat that I had. This inspired me to create a Premier League style surrounding of the turf with a continuation of the mats along the side.
When doing my videos, I have kept equipment to a minimum, knowing that students may not have access to everything. Here, though is a list of equipment that will help with all types of goalkeeping drills that don’t necessarily involve diving around like a crazy person.
- At least two soccer balls
- Balance ball
- Strength bands
- Foam roller
The garage soccer field or anything that you create in your own back yard can be used to get the additional training that is required for you to be the very best. This is the training that no one sees, but ultimately everyone will see the benefits.
The Goalkeeper HQ course – [The Goalkeeper in Isolation] provides session plans, videos, and ideas for goalkeepers to perfect as many of the goalkeeping core competencies as possible.
The Goalkeeper in isolation course is one of an 18 course bundle which is part of the [Goalkeeper HQ Membership program] which also includes a free pair of L1 Goalkeeper Gloves.