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Colorado Storm Pre-Game GK Warm Up

By Jeff Oleck - August 24, 2017

This edition of Tech Tuesday focuses on the Goalkeeper Warm-Up​
Often times when I am out at the fields watching games, I will observe goalkeepers doing what they think is a proper warm-up.  They will jog around with the team, play some keep-away with their buddies, bounce the ball off the ground a couple times, then the whistle blows to start the game.  That routine is NOT EVEN CLOSE to being enough to prepare physically, emotionally, tactically, or technically for the match.
It does not matter if you are playing the worst team in your division, or the US Youth National Team - your preparation should be consistent and thorough every time your step on the field.
Most goalkeepers need to warm-up in THREE ways to be properly prepared for a match:
  1. Physically: Increase heart rate, increase core temperature, increase blood flow to muscles, prepare for the physical demands of the game (hitting the ground, physical contact, explosive movements)
  2. Mentally/Emotionally: Building self-confidence, establishing rhythm, lowering anxiety, progressing from simple to complex actions, competing with/against teammates (keep-away, shooting drills, etc.)
  3. Technically/Tactically: Making clean catches, performing efficient footwork, negotiating angles and positioning, preparing to deal with crosses/through balls/services into the box
You may already have a copy of the recommended Colorado Storm Pre-Game Goalkeeper Warm-Up.  If not, I have attached a copy as well as provided a link to the activities HERE.  PRINT THIS OUT AND KEEP IT IN YOUR BAG!
I have performed this warm-up 100+ times since being here at Storm, and it always takes 30-40 minutes.  This means that the goalkeeper, YOU, may need to start your warm-up routine before the rest of your team.  Go to any professional EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, MLS, etc. game - and you will see the goalkeeper on the field well before the team.  There should not be a rush to get through the warm-up, it should be done with a steady pace and allow time for rest/stretch/water.
Here's a video of a League One English club, Walsall FC, and their GK coach leading his players through a warm up: 
80% of the Colorado Storm warm up does not require a goal and can simply be done with a ball and two cones.
You need a partner to help you - whether that is the other GK on your team, a coach, a teammate, or even a brother/sister/parent (please get permission from the team coach before using a family member).  The goalkeeper needs to be responsible for learning the progression of the activities, getting the reps he/she needs, and timing the routine so that when the whistle blows to start the game the goalkeeper is prepared.
As you get into the heart of your competitive season with League and Tournament games around every corner, make sure you are taking the time to prepare yourself and step in the goal with a confident mindset!
As always, if you have questions please feel free to chat with your regional GK coach or email me directly.
Have a great week and good luck in your games this weekend!
Coach O.