Every year for the past six years, I have taken part in the EDP Regional College ID Camp, at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. The event is a great experience for many reasons, but one of the not so obvious benefits is, the opportunity to swap training ideas with the numerous college coaches who work the camp. This year I was able to listen to the camps GoalKeeper Coach, Giovanni Pacini, as he spoke about developing communication skills and awareness in Goalkeepers. The exercise Giovanni described was a simple 8v8 game, with traditional goals and rules, but with one exception, the Keepers must play behind the goal. “What do you mean behind the goal?”, I thought to myself. He went on to explain, the only job the Keeper was responsible for, is to talk non-stop, organizing and supplying the team with current information, ensuring they didn’t let up a goal. I really liked this idea, because it provides the Keeper with a unique experience, that places an extra demand on reading the game and instructing the team. This type of exercise fits my definition of cognitive soccer development, because it demands the processing of information, provides a unique experience and enhances the soccer IQ. Simple, yet very effective!
Thank you Giovanni, you are one of the best coaches I have had the pleasure of working with!