Having been involved in goalkeeping education for many years, I took a trip to Holland to learn from some incredible coaches at the Bilderberg International Goalkeeping Conference. While I was there I had the pleasure of meeting Maarten Arts and was fortunate to watch some of the top goalkeeper coaches in Europe work.
While talking to Maarten, who is the head of the Bilderberg GK Conference and is also the Head of Goalkeeping for Wadi Degla, I recognized that there is a need for a similar event here in the U.S. After returning from Holland, I set about trying to put something together that would be a non-licensing, non-affiliated event specifically for goalkeeper coaches.
Kwik Goal and Uhlsport USA immediately supported the idea and SoccerSpecific became the official software sponsor of the conference. Their backing has made the event possible and will make it special for all that attend.
What did you learn in Holland?
Watching goalkeeper coaches from Juventus, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Benfica was fantastic. It’s great to get a different look at the way they train goalkeepers and their theories in preparation off of the field.
The sessions were just a small part of it though. One of the best things about the conference was the open discussions with the other attendees about goalkeeping, the game, their theories and networking with other coaches from around the world and also learning from their experiences.
What can the attendees of the 2016 IGCC expect to gain from the conference?
Much like my experience, the attendees will get to watch some of the top goalkeeper coaches in action, watch their body language, their tone, their methods and presentation skills as well as their theories and practices on the field. The hope is also that attendees come with an open mind and share their thoughts and experiences with each other.
Many people are talking about a goalkeeping crisis in the US. We need to develop as coaches to help our goalkeepers reach the next level. There are VERY limited resources for goalkeeper coaches to watch and learn and develop. That is the aim of this conference: to share knowledge, experiences and enhance the coaching of our goalkeepers.