Goalkeeper Training Philosophy
Academy and U11 Pre-ODP Level
GK's are welcome at the various NYSWYSA Academy/U11 Pre-ODP sites - but we still will work primarily on each player’s footwork/technical ability in these young age groups (regardless of whether they are GK's or field players). If a GK attends, they train as a field player for the first half (approximately) of the training session and the last portion of these Academy/U11 Pre-ODP sessions they would be utilized in goal when games are played. The philosophy of the Academy/U11 Pre-ODP is that all players in these young age groups need to be better and more comfortable with the ball at their feet, including goalkeepers - if a player commits him/herself exclusively to the GK position at such a young age and subsequently receives the majority of their training exclusively in the form of GK training, when they get older, they often become GK's who are good with their hands but deficient with their feet.
Playing in the field in the early years is critical in developing foot skills (which the game dictates the modern GK needs more than ever before), decision making (a critical dimension that is commonly deficient in GK's that have minimal field playing experience) and cultivating a player’s overall tactical understanding of the game.
If you are looking for position specific goalkeeping training, this may not be exactly what you’re looking for (in that the GKs will not be off to the side with a position specific GK trainer). We feel though that the training they receive and the manner in which we integrate them is age appropriate for GKs U11 (and younger). We begin position specific goalkeeper training in our ODP program with the U12 age group. Please feel free to follow up with your Academy/U11 Pre-ODP site director regarding more specific information as to how he/she integrates GKs into their training sessions.