It was my first full weekend of goalkeeping evaluation last week and I got to work with a fair few of my goalkeepers at Everton America. As Goalkeeping Director, I warm up the goalkeeper before the game, give them any last minute tips and / or encouragement and provide match analysis for us to review.
One thing I found was the lack of a sports bottle from each of the goalkeepers. There were sports drinks in their original twisty caps, there was water in rock climbing bottle…..again needing twists and from my observation not much control over how much water comes out at once, and lastly there was a flask which needed the lid taken off before a twist action was needed to access water. None of these items were kept in the goal, which is where the goalkeeper is standing.
These observations inspired me to write the 5 reasons to carry a squeezy bottle with water for games and training.
1 – Water is what you need if you are thirsty. You need water by your goal. You will need it to hydrate. Lots of small doses at a time. Keep the bottle in a place you can access it. ( i.e. in the goal )
2 – Gloves get dry. Wetting them provided better grip. A small squeeze provides the right amount of wetness in a quick action. No turning of caps with gloves on and balancing the bottle enough so that you don’t soak your gloves, and then trying to find the cap which went on the floor and then trying to pick said cap up off the floor with gloves on.
3 – If you are doing your job correctly in goal, you will be providing good communication. In doing so you are likely to get a dry mouth. A quick squeeze of water into the mouth allows you to continue to do your job communicating.
4 – Speed is key. As a goalkeeper, you need to live every moment of the game. A quick squeeze when the ball is out of play on the other side of the field does not detract from your focus on the game.
5 – A squeeze allows for no mouth contact… These squeezy bottles were designed for helmet sports where the bottle can’t reach the mouth. This is good for hygiene purposes if your defenders need to hydrate during the game. Dealing with a corner or during a goal kick is often a good time when an otherwise flagging defender can get much needed hydration. You never know… your help could mean the difference between a defender not being able to get to a ball and getting to a ball.
I am lucky as a parent of one of the goalkeepers I work with manufactures bottles for the NFL. I have been using one he gives me. It has a gage of how much liquid is in the bottle, it has grips on and is shaped for easy pick up off the ground and has a one way valve with no lid so you can squeeze away with no need to lift anything, bite anything and has no leakage.
You can purchase the latest Gatorade bottle here.