Once a session is over, wind-down elements are essential. These are designed to tie the session objectives together and give coach a chance to evaluate progress.
We start with reverse-reflex, where 3-5 keepers stand next to each other on the line, but facing away from coach.
On the call of “go”, all keepers flip around to face the coach, and ready for a thrown or kicked “save”.
Coach throws towards one keeper.
Only one will make the save, the others expected to go down on one knee.
The purpose of the drill is to sharpen the reflexes – the keeper goes from seeing nothing to having to find the ball, judge its flight, the intensity of shot, and whether it’s shot at them (make the save) or a colleague (and go down on one knee).
This is a great drill for sharpening reflexes, and also for driving home other lessons which have been covered in the session. The coach can see if the keeper moves their feet quickly and precisely, makes good decisions (save or kneel) and picks the ball out quickly.
After 8-10 attempts, some with thrown “shots” some with kicked shots, the keepers will all be sharper and faster and more decisive. They also learn to cope with “obstructions” – other players also going for the ball, and how to deal with the melee of a goalmouth.
Tips for coaches – Confidence Cohesion Technique
Any coach can utilize these drills with their keeper. The objectives are the same – enhance footwork, follow the ball better with the eyes, and judge the flight of the ball.
A coach can use any one of the drills independently, and involve multiple players, especially attackers, to sharpen their skills too.
Try to encourage the keeper to use these skills – their footwork, their eyes and reflexes, and be brave to make the judgement calls and decisions that will come up regularly in games.