When to Specialize in Goalkeeping
Posted by: Brandyn Bumpas | Assistant Director of Goalkeeping
As players become older and more invested in their soccer training, parents and players alike begin to wonder when is the appropriate time to specialize in goalkeeping. In general, it is advantageous for players to have experience playing all positions on the field at some point to better assess game situations fellow teammates are in from at any position. However, there are important technical, tactical, psychosocial, and physical training attributes to shape goalkeepers for their unique role on the field. Rapids Youth Soccer offers one of the top Goalkeeping programs in the country to help train players in these areas with Rapids professional goalkeeper coaches involved at all levels.
At Rapids Youth Soccer, we recognize there is no right or wrong answer to the question of when to specialize in goalkeeping. Development happens at different rates for every player, so the appropriate time for your son or daughter to begin specializing depends entirely on their development timeline. We offer goalkeeper training opportunities for players as young as eight, nine, and 10 years of age, teaching them basic knowledge of the position so they are comfortable when playing the position on game days.
As a player gets older, Rapids Youth Soccer’s coaches begin to ask the following questions to determine if full-time goalkeeper specialization is right for your child:
- Has this player shown an interest in goalkeeping?
- Has this player shown interest in goalkeeper training over field player training?
- Is the player timid when it comes to contact with the ground, ball or other players?
- How can the position of this player help the team have success?
At the Competitive level, Rapids Youth Soccer goalkeepers attend training ‘in goal’ with their team and additional training sessions with our goalkeeping staff. Specialization allows players to become more technically advanced as a goalkeeper. As a result, when younger players choose to specialize, they are able to gain a more in-depth understanding of the position as they continue to grow.
If you think it might be time for your child to specialize in goalkeeping, talk to your coach. For more information about the Rapids Youth Soccer Goalkeeping program, visit RapidsYouthSoccer.org/goalkeeping.