There are several capabilities to be developed that are pursued with the goalkeeper improvement and preparation of programs, but without a doubt one of the most important are the maximization of coordination and the increase of explosive force with all the benefits that both offer.
Regarding coordination improvement, we can affirm that a goalkeeper with good coordinating abilities will better dose his level of effort and resistance in each match. Their displacements will be more precise, the body requirement in each intervention will be more adequate and most importantly, the propensity to suffer injuries will be lower thanks to greater control of their body.
In relation to the explosive force, the constant state of alertness in which the goalkeeper must remain during the course of any match will require an immediate physical reaction.
For this, it is necessary to have an optimal physical and mental state that allows us to perceive and interpret situations specific to each match, process the information received for an effective and rapid decision making, thus offering an answer that will be given by the execution of a physical action made in milliseconds. This automatic and voluntary physical response to a visual stimulus is known as, proprioception not to be confused with reflexes. Commonly, people talk about reflexes (eg, that goalkeeper has many reflexes) when an individual reacts in a surprising and quick way. Reflexes produce involuntarily physical actions of our body (eg functional nerve test when hitting the knee) while a proprioceptive action occurs automatically, voluntarily and desired.
As we can see, in proprioception these are psychic-physical tasks that are not easy to carry out that imply two qualities used as a resource: COORDINATION and EXPLOSIVE FORCE.
The greater our capacity in each of them, the more effective we will be in our actions thus increasing our security and confidence, raising our self-esteem and building trust with the rest of the team. Therefore, we should not overlook these attributes as fundamental elements to be developed in any high performance goalkeeper improvement program.
What is SAT development in goalkeeping training?
SAT (speed, agility and technique) corresponds to a training methodology that combines exercises in which speed, agility and techniques are developed simultaneously to maximize the CEF. These exercises would be worked as if in a gym with a training routine carried out in superseries incorporating the work of different muscle groups sequentially without rest.
The level of demand for physical effort through SAT training models is maximum and continuous, so the sessions in which this methodology is used should be not close to game days. It would be counterproductive and even dangerous to incorporate explosive strength training sessions the day before a match with the consequent risk of injury that would exist in the absence of sufficient time to recover from the effort made.
How do you prepare a SAT training routine?
The first thing that the coach must evaluate are the basic capabilities of each of his goalkeepers to be able to design a joint training program. There are indicators that every experienced coach quickly identifies as the goalkeeper’s body position, his state and level of alertness, the execution of movements and technical gestures, as well as the response and recovery times in each action. When these indicators are homogeneous for all goalkeepers, we will be able to design a global SAT program for them.
First objective: Speed
Exercises that require speed in their execution should be designed performing movements of frontal, lateral, diagonal or backward displacement. It is recommended to carry out series that require no more than three combined movements at most (eg lateral and diagonal displacement touching cones) to achieve a correct work performance thus ensuring the internalization of the movement.
Second objective: Agility
The agility concept is closely related to motor skills and precision. Exercises performed in an agile and fast way but in which cones, pikes or any intervening obstacle are demolished during their execution, completely annul the result. Agility requires optimal motor skills and precision, hence both concepts are inseparable for the purpose of the subject we are dealing with.
When developing agility, it is very important to always keep the center of gravity low during the execution of the exercise unless the elements used are fences in which case the center of gravity must remain in an intermediate position.
Third objective: Technique
The last exercise to be carried out under a SAT model must correspond to an action that requires a specific technical gesture. As the series progress, the level of fatigue will increase and the energy demand will be higher. Therefore, it is in this phase where we seek the goalkeeper´s explosive force where after the accumulated exhaustion of the previous sequences, a purified and effective technical execution is demanded.
Example, a specific CFE training routine using a VAT model is shown below:
SAT exercise model (example)
- Side skipping jumping between 4 rings
- Diagonal shift by touching 2 cones to the left or right as directed by the Trainer (use different color cones)
- Zigzag frontal displacement between 4 pikes
- Stretch flight over a rope located at a height of 50-60 cm from ground
The training routines elaborated under this methodology, will allow to accelerate the progress of the goalkeeper exponentially by acquiring simultaneous skills in the two key aspects discussed throughout this article: Coordination and Explosive Force (CEF).
In accordance with what is stated in this article, we can summarize everything mentioned by the following equation: VAT = CEF (2)
From HO SOCCER we trust that this training methodology will help you accelerate your progression as goalkeepers by increasing your sports capabilities and results.
Josemi Rodríguez | C.D. Leganés
First Team and Youth Squads Goalkeeper Coach