As we say sometimes, every master has his tricks and this statement is no exception for goalkeeper trainers. Each of us uses different techniques and methodologies adapted to the objectives pursued based on the profile of the goalkeepers we manage. However, it is true that all or most of us use common elements when designing the goalkeeper-training plan throughout the entire season.
In this post we want to share with you those common elements on which we rely to design the plan and adapt the training methodology that we will apply during the year.
The first thing we do is a separate the season into large blocks or structures of work and preparation. Thus, we have a first preparatory block more identified in soccer as pre-season, one or more COMPETITION blocks and finally a TRANSITION block. These large blocks in which we divide the season are called MACROCYCLES.
WORK AND PREPARATION STRUCTURES
A MACROCYCLE is a training cycle made up of smaller time structures that we define in the next paragraph. A MACROCYCLE typically consists of time units based on trimesters, quarters, semesters, or years.
Once the largest time structures are defined, we break them down into smaller structures that we call MESOCYCLES. The period covered by a mesocycle is usually monthly, although it may be different depending on the sport to which the planning is directed.
A mesocycle serves to fit the goals to be achieved in this fraction of time. It is a very useful unit of time to schedule the set of tasks to be performed to achieve those measurable and quantifiable short-term goals. Based on the results that are obtained, the mesocycle allows to readjust tasks according to the evolution of the season (knowledge or skills not acquired in time that must be reinforced, training sessions not performed for any reason, unforeseen injuries, etc.).
Each mesocycle defines the level of training load to be applied.
In this way we reach the MICROCYCLES that are the breakdown of the mesocycles into smaller units of work constituted by the training sessions. Sometimes but not always, a microcycle can last one week (weekly cycles).
A graphic example of everything indicated so far would be as follows:
TYPES OF MESOCYCLES
There are different types of mesocycles depending on the objectives established for the preparation of the goalkeeper being as follows:
- Base mesocycles
They correspond mainly to the pre-season period. In this phase we work with the aim of increasing the goalkeeper´s functional possibilities creating new habits and helping them to internalize those acquired previously.
- Developmental mesocycles
Possibly this is one of the most important periods in the training since our goal will be to get the goalkeeper to acquire new work skills thus increasing their professional level. The correct handling of weights and intensity required during this period are of vital importance.
- Stabilization mesocycles
During this period we suspend the application of weights and intensity without resulting in a decrease in performance. It is about allowing the goalkeepers to adapt their organism to assimilate the new capabilities developed during the development of the mesocycle. It is a good time to incorporate the stabilization mesocycle, elements of technification and dexterity to help the goalkeeper´s gestural improvement.
- Competition mesocycle
There is a fourth type of mesocycle that corresponds to the cumulative volume of minutes played in competition and the skills worked during the development of the same. It is especially important to incorporate scheduled coaching sessions into this mesocycle to accompany the goalkeeper in their evolution, analyzing experiences and feelings generated, helping them overcome any identified barriers.
TYPES OF MICROCYCLES
In the specific goalkeeper preparation, there are several aspects that must be worked on during a recurring basis in microcycles throughout the season to achieve maximum goalkeeper training.
These aspects provide the basis for the foundation on which any readiness program should pivot when planning its training:
– Technification microcycle
– Activation microcycle
– Psycho-motor microcycle
– Resistance microcycle
– Coaching microcycle
Within each foundation, we incorporate specific aspects, as are for example propioceptive work, coordination, speed, agility and displacement technique , dexterity among others. All these specific aspects would be part of the Psycho-motor foundation by sharing some of them with the Resistance foundation.
Another important aspect that needs to be taken into account, refers to the level of training intensity and supported loads. As noted above, one characteristic of each mesocycle is the consideration of the load level that will be applied cumulatively in that time period. Thus the training loads during the Pre-Season macrocycle will increase progressively, raising the intensity of the exercises with a controlled increase in speed, pace and explosiveness in their execution.
In this way we will move to the Macrocycle Competitive Phase 1 in which the mesocycles that make up it, will be structured as indicated above, in base mesocycles, development, stabilization and competition.
From HO SOCCER and our Club, we want to show you the approach we take as coaches to show you the intense planning work behind each goalkeeper training and development with a single goal: to help you become better and better.
JJosemi Rodríguez | C.D. Leganés
First Team and Youth Squads Goalkeeper Coach