The Goalkeeper Warz Philosophy
A new season is fast upon us, and with it some exciting developments and progressions to your goalkeeping opportunities.
You might have seen that, over the summer, we’ve been undertaking a great deal of research and communication with our goalkeepers, parents and coaches to help understand best the objectives, context and purpose of Goalkeeper Warz, with one clear goal:
Be the best we can at serving you, as a community of goalkeepers and goalkeeping parents.
As a result, we’re doubling-down on what’s going well and trying to make more effective other areas of our practice, with everything from the behind-the-scenes logistics to your weekly goalkeeper sessions.
We know that so many children and young people look forward to their weekly goalkeeping session, and we look forward to continuing to develop a fun, positive and developmental environment for best supporting and enhancing your child’s opportunities.
Our continued commitment to keeping you informed of our development, and the exciting improvements we’re making to the Goalkeeper Warz experience, means that we’ve produced this informative whitepaper, outlining what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and how we hope that it will positively impact the Goalkeeper Warz goalkeeping experience and community.
As always, you will always be at the heart of every decision that we take, and we hope that this will become clear over the ensuing pages and information, outlining our strategies for 2019-20, the opportunities that our goalkeepers will have and the steps that we’re taking to provide the best possible goalkeeping experience.
Of course, if you have any questions, ideas or feedback at any point, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org; we can’t wait to hear from you! In the meantime, we hope that you’re ready and prepared for another nine months of glove drying, boot cleaning and taxi rides – who would have it any other way?
We wish you all the best for the upcoming season and hope it’s as fun and enjoyable as it deserves to be; we will certainly be doing everything that we can to ensure that it’s the best one yet.
STARTING WITH THE END IN MIND
At the start of developing any environment in which we’re going to help young goalkeepers flourish and thrive, we must first put in place our objectives. Speaking to goalkeepers, parents and coaches throughout the Goalkeeper Warz brand, three primary objectives have emerged:
However, we know that – whilst these encapsulate our values and ‘why’ – they are slightly wordy… Therefore, we’ve refined our objectives and goals to the below:
‘Using goalkeeping as a vehicle to provide fun, development and confidence in young people’.
So, what does this mean?
It means that every decision that we take as a business will revolve around these three pillars of fun, development and confidence. From session design to how we recruit our coaches and communicate with our goalkeepers, everything will fit within our core values.
Internally, it’s helped us ask ourselves some questions that will drive forward the way in which we can support your goalkeepers:
MAKING IT HAPPEN
It’s important to note that none of the above areas of priority will work in isolation. Instead, they’ll all be intertwined and integrated with all elements of and beyond our Goalkeeper Warz sessions.
However, naturally, there will be moments where one aspect takes the priority, and we’re designing every aspect of our Goalkeeper Warz experience to encapsulate these moments.
There is a long-held expectation of what goalkeeping sessions ‘should’ look like. We expect them to show very explicit technical details, often include queues of goalkeepers waiting for their turn and be generally coach-led.
However, with the support of experts, leading practitioners and educators from the goalkeeping and coaching worlds, we’re committed to ensuring that our session design fits our mission statement, and the key principles that science would suggest are vital for skill acquisition.
For the coming season, we’ve designed a comprehensive and thorough framework for all of our sessions, that achieve those key principles:SESSION FRAMEWORKSArrival activity – 5/10 minutes, box game (set the tempo with energy and enthusiasm)Small-sided game – 15/20 minutes, theme dependent, handball or bombs away style gameTechnical theme – 10 minutes, theme dependent workElimination – 15 minutes, to finish sessionFinisher – As desired by coach, remembering Warrior of the Week and GKWarzTV interview!We will supply a theme for each week, as well as a couple of suggested games and potentialconstraints coaches can use with them.
Full details of our session frameworks for the year, as well as further supporting literature, are available upon request!
In order to develop and foster the principles and objectives that we have for all goalkeepers in the Goalkeeper Warz community, we recognise coach communication and relationship building as a key part of the Goalkeeper Warz experience.
All of our coaches are highly trained and enabled to foster positive relationships with the goalkeepers within a session, ask deliberate questions to accelerate learning and build confidence through a fun, engaging and enthusiastic demeanour.
You won’t find our coaches overloading young goalkeepers with piece after piece of technical information. Instead, they will careful and deliberately choose moments to support goalkeepers with more direct technical support, as well as utilising individually crafted challenges and questions to bring out the best in every individual within a session.
The art, and science, of coaching can sometimes be one that is counterintuitive. However, there is a large body of evidence and research that offers guidelines to effective coach behaviour; these are embodied within the training and continued development that all of our coaches are committed to.
Goalkeepers are special. Often described as crazy, unique, different and (slightly!) mad, there is something special and individual about the player who chooses to volunteer themselves between the sticks.
A key part of our mission with Goalkeeper Warz is to ensure that every young goalkeeper has the opportunity to feel part of a true goalkeeping community. In the senior game, the goalkeepers’ union is known for its mutual sharing of individual experiences, and we seek to achieve the same with Goalkeeper Warz. In the youth game, we know that many goalkeepers, parents and carers alike share moments that will be entirely foreign to other positions (how are your goalkeeper gloves thatmuddy, again?!).
Regardless of ability, age and background, all goalkeepers are part of our goalkeeping community, and the feeling and sense of belonging to a unique group is a likely driver in continued sport participation, fostering a love for the game and a want for development.
Not only will this community be alive through our session design and coach behaviours, but we are also running a number of exciting and inclusive initiatives within the Goalkeeper Warz experience to amplify that sense of belonging and celebration of goalkeeping.
It will underpin all of our actions both on a weekly and strategical basis; we can’t wait to continue that journey with you!
AN EVIDENCE-BASED APPROACH
Every decision that we take at Goalkeeper Warz is grounded in the evidence and justification that exists within academic and scientific environments, as well as from the leading practitioners on the grass.
The goalkeeping world has infamously lagged behind in many of these developments, for a number of reasons, and therefore there are not a large number of goalkeeping-specific publications outlining what an evidence-based approach might look like.
However, there is more generalised literature, guidelines from leading practitioners and other evidence that we can contextualise for our objectives and a goalkeeping-specific environment. In fact, the Football Association undertook a large body of research and consultation a couple of years ago, leading to the production of the ‘England DNA’, which moulds playing style with coaching philosophies. It merges and embodies many of the principles that we have already referenced:
THE ENGLAND DNA
One element of the DNA is the coaching fundamentals, which are the core principles for every England session delivered, from youth teams to the seniors. Whilst some of these won’t directly transfer, and our contexts and objectives differ greatly, they provide an excellent insight and starting point as to what a conducive and productive coaching environment looks like:
In addition to the philosophies produced by the Football Association, there is also considerable academic work in the fields of talent development, skill acquisition and the role of recreational sport.
Some areas where we have taken inspiration from in designing our Goalkeeper Warz experience:
For those who are interested, we’re more than happy to point you in the direction of the philosophies and ideas that help to underpin how we carry out our Goalkeeper Warz experience, which is ever emerging and developing in-line with latest research and how it parallels with our objectives.
Arrival activity – 5/10 minutes, box game (set the tempo with energy and enthusiasm)
Small-sided game – 15/20 minutes, theme dependent, handball or bombs away style game
Technical theme – 10 minutes, theme dependent work
Elimination – 15 minutes, to finish session
Finisher – As desired by coach, remembering Warrior of the Week and GKWarzTV interview!
We will supply a theme for each week, as well as a couple of suggested games and potential constraints coaches can use with them.
EXICITNG OPPORTUNITIES IN 2019-20
This coming year will, no doubt, prove to be another exciting opportunity for fun and development.
We’ve got so many exciting plans on the way, from more camps, masterclass events and more, as well as some fun around Christmas to celebrate the turning of the year!
In the meantime, we hope that you enjoy getting back into the swing – or joining! – your weekly sessions and look forward to welcoming you all as part of the Goalkeeper Warz community.
We’re having a great time and can’t wait for you to join us!
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