What is a modern goalkeeper?

Tanguy Jourdan, Académie Gardien de But

Today’s goalkeeper needs to be as much of an all-rounder as possible if he is to be decisive in matches. To this end, his specific training sessions comprise elements of technical/tactical work, as well as athletic and mental preparation. Nothing is left to chance, so that he can be as effective and efficient as possible in a match.

The goalkeeper is the team’s last line of defence, yet he is still too often forgotten by those in football. Today’s goalkeeper plays a crucial role alongside his teammates. Like any other player, he has to be decisive for his team, but he also has to be involved in the game alongside his teammates. In fact, the modern goalkeeper is an all-rounder who is capable of being a part of the team with his footwork, his positioning relative to the team block, his poise and his communication skills. For this reason, mental preparation is one aspect that a keeper must not neglect. He must exude a certain charisma, shoulder his responsibilities, be a reassuring influence on his teammates and be assertive in the penalty area. We should not forget that he is the player with the greatest vision of the game, so it is up to him to guide his teammates by communicating as accurately as possible with them. 

Adapting the technical/tactical work to the intensity of the match

The speed of play has increased significantly over the last several decades, with players raising their game to a higher level. They are increasingly athletic and technical, and the goalkeeper must adapt to this intensity. 

In specific training sessions, goalkeeping coaches work on the technical aspects of the game to ensure that goalkeepers are as effective as possible, particularly in terms of footwork, taking the ball to the ground, diving, aerial clearance and duels. This aspect is practised in relation to match actions so that the goalkeeper can keep up with the speed of play. He must then raise his technical level to match the high speed of the match action discussed in training. 

Keepers who understand this logic take their standard of play to a new level, which will help them work their way up in the sport. 

However, the goalkeeper’s physical preparation is an essential element that must be taken into consideration.

Increasing emphasis on explosive strength

Today’s goalkeepers are increasingly better prepared as athletes. They benefit from bodybuilding, weightlifting and physical preparation specific to their position. 

The aim is to develop the two fundamental qualities of maximum strength and speed in young players, to give them a solid base on which to build over time in accordance with their age, weight and height. The goalkeeper will then develop the qualities of strength and speed, explosive strength, low and high plyometrics with the fundamentals of weightlifting, so that he is able to perform repetitions at a very high level and at very high speed on the pitch and can be as efficient as possible.