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.
One of our personal favorite ways to end a session, especially one where the brain has been worked so hard, is 1,2,3.
Have three shooters set at the “corners of the clock face” eg 9o’clock, 10o’clock and 12o’clock. They each have a number, 1,2 or 3, and the keeper waits until the coach calls a number before setting for hat save. If 1 is 9o’clock, the keeper move to expect a shot from the angle/side. Then 3 would be straight on, 12o’clock, followed by 2.
Obviously the keeper is encouraged to parry each shot and ready for the next almost immediately, and the coach should give the keeper time to adjust for the next shot. The key to the game is after you’ve face 1 and 3, you know the next one is 2. But otherwise, the keeper has to listen and adapt.
A variation is to have the keeper face away, then upon hearing a number, flip around and set for that shot. The challenge is everything is in reverse, so the mind has to adapt to that complication.
The shot-bombardment is a great way to wind down with real “shot stopping” but at the same time allows the coach another angle to evaluate the speed of decision making and precision of feet and body shape.
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.