Friday, June 20, 2008

National Collegiate Scouting

Students and Parents if you think you have waht it takes to go all of the way... Plese go and visit this site and complete the forms

Welcome to NCSA: Your #1 Resource for the Collegiate Recruiting Process
The National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) matches college coaches with qualified student-athletes.

Watch the videos, read the profiles, gain a deeper understanding of how the recruiting process works and see first hand how NCSA is Redefining Collegiate Recruiting.

Goal Setting: A crucial skill in a keeper’s development

Goal Setting: A crucial skill in a keeper’s development.

There is a point in each keeper’s development that they realize that being a keeper isn’t just fun and games. They realize there performance and development directly impact the team and in many cases the win or loss column. I think I realized this around 14 years old, which was my freshman year of high school. Like the majority of keepers I didn’t have a goalkeeper coach or a head coach that new much about my specialized position. I realized that in order for me to increase my technique and game awareness I needed to start developing my own training regiment to the best of my abilities. Without knowing the psychology of it all I started developing practice goals for the day and short term goals to attain before my next match. I shared these with my back up and the JV keepers.

Learning to set goals will give a keeper the ability to develop a clear course of action on where they want to go (performance level) and how to get there. The first stage of this is to set “Performance” based goals rather than “Outcome” goals. Outcome goals are not entirely under our control. An example of this could be number of saves. Performance goals are something keepers can control. Such as “ I am going to attack floated crosses played in the air above my head at my highest point”. There is nothing wrong with a keeper stating a goal such as “ I want to make All Conference or All State”. Ambition is great. More importantly is the “how” will that goal be attained.

Make the performance goals realistic; goals that challenge you but are attainable. If a goal is too easy there will be nothing learned or gained by the exercise. An unrealistic goal may also be a detriment since the satisfaction of an accomplishment may never be felt or measured. Set goals in measurable and behavioral terms. “This training session I want to ……” or “This game I will organize and communicate effectively with my central defenders.”

Detail the performance based goals in short and long terms. Short term range goals provide the opportunity to see immediate improvement. Short term goals help to motivate and are steps toward your longer range goal. Longer range goals could be season goals our yearly goals. An example of a Long term yearly goal could be “ Before I return to camp next year I would like to become better at timing and patience when coming out on breakaways”

It is important to write your goals down on a paper. Seeing them in writing helps keep a clear focus. In my mind, it also makes them real if they are on paper. Weightlifters keep a journal that documents their daily workouts to track their progress. Keepers can modify this technique and write down each practice goal as it progresses or builds to a short term goal for a specified date. This allows them to track their progress, reflect on where they started, how far they have come, and also helps detail training exercises that worked well to achieve the desired result. This technique helps make their commitment to achieving the goal stronger and also creates a sense of accomplishment at competition. Once these goals have been identified it is not only important to document them but to also identify target dates. “By When”. Again be challenging but reasonable when selecting a date. Don’t expect to be proficient with breakaways within a week.

Goals should be set for practice and for competition. Practice goals as mentioned are often critical to achieving game goals. The daily practice goals should be positive statements. “Today I am going help improve my catching and absorbing of harder shots at the body to limit my number of rebounds”

The next step in goal setting is to identify a keeper’s support and feedback network. Keepers are under constant scrutiny from fans, teammates, coaches, and the opposition. Keepers should identify a support network that can help achieve their goals. Identify who amongst the network can provide constructive feedback. Obtaining feedback from others helps keepers attain a sense of accomplishment and helps keep the focus clear. Often we are our own worst critics, which is why keepers rely on others also for positive feedback. In the right mindset and at the right time self-assessment is vital to a keeper’s individual development. It too can keep the mind focused and driven.

The time for self-assessment is after practice and especially after games. Teammates feed off of a keeper's emotion as do the other team. Other than excitement a keeper should not show much emotion. If a soft goal is conceded it must be filed away in a keeper’s head for after the game. The best way to deal with the situation and the resulting emotions is to correct the mistake in their head quickly, file it away, and then begin focusing their energy on the next play. That goal is gone. To help prevent another mistake it is important to stay in the present. No need to think about the past goal or anticipate the future. After the game the keeper can sit with their support network, coaches, and reflect on the mistakes to identify development opportunities and goals before the next game.

Example Of Goal Setting

Long Term Goal: Dominate the box on crosses

By October 15th

Short Range Goal: “ I am going to attack floated crosses played in the air above my head at my highest point”

By: September 30th.

Day 1, Sept 23rd: Work on driving the appropriate knee up and landing on two feet. Attack the ball above my head at my highest point. Hand Services from shorter distance

Day 2, Sept 24th: Continue with using the appropriate knee and attacking the ball at my highest point. Introduce pressure and harder services.

This will build by day until the Sept 30th. Long term and short term goals should stay constant within a date range but the daily goals should be written down and crossed off when completed or accomplished.

Each time a keeper steps on the pitch it is a learning experience whether it be a practice or game. Goal Setting will help prepare a keeper for match play and guide their technical as tactical development. Each keeper learns and progresses differently. The introduction of goal setting techniques will help young keepers focus their energy on one technical element rather than trying to be Tim Howard after one session. The result will be a sense of accomplishment and noticeable growth. At times we are our own worst critics. As coaches, we are also responsible for providing positive feedback and managing expectations.

Each summer I make this a lecture topic for advanced keepers at Star Goalkeeper Academy. Dan Gaspar, the founder of Star Goalkeeper Academy, details many of these points in his instructional manual “The Ball Stops Here” is a website dedicated to goalkeepers by keepers that know the products and training needed to be game ready.

By: Christian Benjamin, Owner, Central Connecticut State University Assistant Coach, CT Olympic Development Staff

Communicating With The Defense On Corners and Crosses

Communicating With The Defense On Corners and Crosses

Crosses and corner kicks are considered "high concentration" situations for a keeper and his/her defense. Obviously, the keeper must focus on the ball as the service is taken so that he/she can properly judge the flight of the ball to handle the situation.

What should a keeper do to help keep his/her defense organized and concentrating during these situations?

Preventing the cross by the defender ("No Service!"). ORGANIZE YOUR DEFENSE THROUGH COMMUNICATION!!!

Your defense should be man - marking when their opponent is within the 18 yard box; and following is the correct position for the defender:

defenders should be goal-side of their mark.
defenders should be ball-side of their mark
defenders should touch their mark
When a crossing or corner kick situation occurs, the keeper should steal a quick look at his/her defense to observe any dangerous situations that may occur in marking. Then, as the keeper turns his/her focus to the ball, communication should begin loud and clear instructing the defense to stay goal-side, ball-side and touch your mark UNTIL the ball is either in the keeper’s hands or the ball is out of harms way. Too many times a defender will lose his/her mark after the ball has been touched by a player in the box but it has not been cleared out of danger.
Always keep reminding your defense to stay goal-side, ball-side and touch their mark and the possibility of needless goals may diminish.

Thanks, Paul

Paul Blodgett Goalkeeper Training School, (NJ, Flemington) The PBGKTS goes well beyond training and drills, instead providing a full spectrum approach focused soley upon the goalkeeper position. Paul Blodgett Goalkeeper Training School offers camp and small group training environments, game analysis, as well as online resources. Contact Paul Blodgett at

By: Paul Blodgett, Founder of Paul Blodgett Goalkeeper Training School, (NJ, Flemington), Rutgers University Assistant Coach, and NJ ODP

California Cup At Cherry Island Soccer Complex

Well it was good to see Soccer Mentioned on the local news(news10) however it makes me wonder if the anchors children were not playing in the tourney would it have been mentioned?

I am happy it was, our children deserve to be mentioned ,.they Play soccer and it is HOT on the fields.

7 states and Australia teams are here this weekend and next weekend..

Parking is 5.00 per day to enter the complex. you will love the Complex.

The Ref's are AWESOME and FAIR, please remember what you see on the side lines is not what they see being in the center and in the middle of the play, be respectful and please NO FOUL LANGUAGE. Not everyone is going to agree with the calls of the play and you do not have to, however you have to remember your not the player on the field and your actions do affect their playing time and the way they play.

Bystanders and Parent's We love seeing you here to cheer the teams on! But we need you to understand it is the teams game and that means let them play. Don't yell at the players(even if it is your child) unless you are yelling positive things to them, remember it is their game once again let them play it with good sportsmanship.

The way we act and react off the field is brought on to the field through our children and if you show frustration and anger towards your child on that field, they will in return take it out on the other team and possibly hurt one seriously, we do not need that,

already today on field 7 we have a team with a player with a broken leg...

Let's all ENJOY the weekend and enjoy the GAME!

Hope to see you all out there!

Friday, June 13, 2008

travelling for soccer?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Do you like MAssages?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Great Articles from Christian Benjamin

The Myth of Advanced Goalkeeper Training

Through the years I have been constantly asked by parents, players, etc. that they are searching for “advanced goalkeeper training.” Their previous training has taught them the basics and now they are ready for something else. They have learned how to catch the ball, move their feet, dive, deal with crosses, etc. Now their question is what is the next progression of my training?? The truly unfortunate thing, advanced training does not exist! There is no such thing as “advanced goalkeeper training” where you will progress to these big, grand training exercises that are extremely complex in nature. In fact, the higher level that you play at, the training gets even more simplified.

Goalkeeping is a very simple position. To be successful at this position though you need to be very technically sound. Meaning, you are comfortable with your body and you have the ability to move and catch balls cleanly…all the time! All it takes is ONE mistake, and we lose in our position. Field players do not have this pressure on them at all, if they make a mistake, they just lose possession. Big deal! This is not a punishment as they still have the opportunity to win the ball back before conceding a goal. But, when the goalkeeper makes a mistake, it almost always leads to a certain goal.

So, what does this mean? Goalkeepers, whether you are a U12 player or the full professional, you will always train the same sort of things. The difference? The professional will deal with more pace on the ball, will be forced to be quicker, stronger, etc. in their movements. This is what “advanced training” is all about. But, the core training exercises will not change and that is where people get confused or led in the wrong direction. You will not reach a point where all of a sudden you say, WOW, these exercises are so complex, look at how advanced this training session is today. If you are proficient and clean with your training, to make it more “advanced” all you need to do is increase the speed/pace of the incoming service or shot, force yourself to get set quicker, etc. But the exercises do not need to change…just the elements within the exercise like service, angles, etc.

As a former professional goalkeeper I can honestly say that goalkeeper training is extremely boring! Why? It is boring because of the nature of our training being SO repetitious. We see repetition after repetition in training. But we need to have this boredom from repetitions because of the things I mentioned above about making mistakes. All it takes is one mistake and we lose. So our training must work on our technique on a daily basis to limit these mistakes and stay sharp and confident. Training will revolve around repetition after repetition of simple things. It is about conditioning our body and our muscle memory so we do things efficiently and clean…thus no mistakes and less goals conceded. But like anything in life, the more you do things over and over, the more it becomes boring. I always ask the question though, how boring is it on a Saturday when you just kept a clean sheet against the top team in the league? Now that repetition after repetition in training all week long does not seem so bad because you were sharp and confident going into the match.

A few years ago at one of our residential goalkeeper schools we had a great dose of reality to a lot of our players. We are constantly discussing muscle memory in our sessions and the purpose behind all of our very simple exercises. Our motto is “Train Like a Professional” and we emphasize that professionals train the exact sessions and exercises that we are doing on a daily basis. Most new players to our sessions think we are crazy and that the pros train much more difficult exercises, it is not just move your feet and catch over and over again…Well, as luck would have it that week, the Chicago Fire were training on the same fields we were holding our sessions. After our session we allowed our goalkeepers to sit and watch the Fire goalkeepers train for about forty-five minutes. About 10 minutes into the training session our staff began noticing all of our players whispering to each other and pointing at the Fire goalkeepers. We called them all in to ask them what was going on…They quickly said, they are doing “exactly” the same exercises that we just did this morning. All the exercises consisted of were moving your feet and catch…quickly move to get your feet set and deal with a simple shot. It was at that moment they all truly saw for the first time that what we were saying was correct. The pros do train the simple things!

The position of a goalkeeper is not a rocket science! You will get out what you put into it and if you are consistently working to fine tune your technique so when you react you are reacting perfectly, you are on the right path to be a big-time goalkeeper!

ONE on ONE Soccer Goalkeeper School (National) -, National Director - Todd Hoffard The Goalkeeper School is by far the most technical environment you can find in the nation. We are the only staff that is made up entirely by Division I college coaches, regional/national team coaches and or professional goalkeepers. Also, we monitor our goalkeepers for the entire year to follow their development.