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Training goalkeepers in Dutch football

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One of the most discussed problems in Dutch football: the goalkeepers. Because only a few Dutch keepers are active at the highest level. It's not as bad as in the Premier League yet. But the times when people first looked to the Netherlands for a good goalkeeper are far behind us. It is not easy for the Dutch national team to name three names that everyone is convinced of. There are a few simple reasons for this.

The role of the goalkeeper has changed and the training forms are lagging behind. Due to the tactical changes in football, the goalkeeper functions more and more like a libero. The goalkeeper is expected to be able to continue, move or even open the game. Some trainers find this so important in the system that ordinary ball catching is underestimated. That is why people often opt for nice footballing, but slightly less goalkeeping keepers.

In addition, training goalkeepers is relatively expensive. In the youth academy, a team quickly has 18-20 field players. During a training, a head trainer and 1 or 2 assistant trainers are involved to give this training content. That means 1 trainer per 6 to 7 players. However, there are only 2 keepers within the same age category. If you have these 2 keepers supervised by a goalkeeper trainer, that is pricey per keeper. That is why it is often chosen to put several ages together, which reduces the quality. After all, it is good to train with older keepers, but less good to train with younger keepers. Due to the high costs involved in training a goalkeeper, professional football organizations often look for other options just below the top. For example, they attract a foreign keeper, or they take over a keeper from the youth academy of one of the top clubs. As a result, the need to invest in one's own training is decreasing.

Also, little video analysis is used for youth keepers specifically. By placing the camera on the keeper and perhaps filming from his perspective, you can make many choices transparent. This allows the keeper to quickly gain insight into his set pieces and his position in the goal.

But the most important is recognizing that goalkeeping is really a different sport to a large extent. In many clubs, the goalkeeper simply goes along with the sporting regime and is subjected to the same physical tests as the players. A goalkeeper is not a football player. It is a multi-athlete who also needs to be able to play football. A top goalkeeper has the balance of a gymnast, the jumping power of a basketball player, the timing of a volleyball player and the reflex of a handball goalkeeper. A good keeper should be trained from an early age in precisely these parts and should work with these specialists. And of course, just catching balls in the field and every now and then an assist from the rear!

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