► What workspace do I have? And how do I adapt to it?

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What workspace do I have? And how do I adapt to it?

Borja Fdez. Freiría, goalkeeper coach of Valencia CF and Athletic Club talks about how to structure the space within the session and the task.

One of the handicaps that most coaches face, regardless of the club and the category in which we are, is the space we have to carry out our tasks or sessions. Often, we are conditioned by the space. And what should be secondary, becomes the main trigger. Staying in the complaint:


“I just do not have enough space to be able to work properly …”

“If I could have the space I want, everything would be better …”

Adapt, adapt and adapt. This ability, no doubt, is something that will make us more complete. Could we stay in the complaint? Yes. But; Is it my part? No it isn’t.

So once we have reflected on the above, and seeing it as an opportunity rather than an advantage, let’s establish a some criteria. And I say criteria, because they will determine, with the space we have, how we structure the layout of the session and the structure / space of the task.



In both spaces, we can carry out both an “express” warm-up, so that they can quickly enter with the team, as a 30 – 45’ totally specific session. Let’s give some examples:


In an express warm-up, from my point of view, the ideal is to carry it out mainly out of goal. Focusing on more physical and technical aspects, and cutting off the goalkeeper from the concern of the “goal”. I will later explain what I mean by this. And if in the best case, we could have both spaces, we could finish with a task focused on positioning in a shooting situation, 1 × 1, highballs or support-help.


If the time we have is 30 – 45 minutes, it is assumed that after finishing the specific work, they join the team. We will act in a very similar way to the previous one. The chosen space, will determine the objective or content that we want to work. This could be at the goal or any field space.

And finally, we have a totally specific session. Here the ideal is that, if we can have the goal, we use it, seeking situations of positioning and interpretation. Being able to be in a larger space (1/4 of the field) or more reduced (penalty area). The whole session does not necessarily have to be in the goal. This will determine once again the objective to work and the intelligent usage of space.
It is clear then, that the objective limits the space and the space conditions but does not limit the objective. There are some statements that our method, or task/session structure, must take into account. And sometimes to within the complaint, we ignore.


Making this reflection is almost as important as the previous one we did: What objective do I plan? Since that “how” is what will highly determine the quality of the task and session. In the “how” are the sensations that I will generate to the goalkeepers. Since if I use the space intelligently I will get a greater number of stimuli. I am going to provoke a greater attention status in the goalkeeper. And that they are more comfortable with what we propose.
Therefore, alternating the workspace during the session, if I have the possibility to rotate, would be ideal. Change the direction of the different exercises, make the session in another different from yesterday field place, despite working with any goal, to alternate and do it under three sticks one day and the other not … These are necessary aspects to avoid monotony and keep the goalkeeper motivated and involved in his training or performance process.
We have talked about the “how” within the session. But to finish, I would like to talk about the “how” inside the task. In the structure of the exercise, space is fundamental. Sometimes, we become obsessed with a certain task in which, perhaps due to space, things are not going as we expected and we focus on making corrections and orders. Forgetting that, the “problem” may lie in the distances and not so much in them. That is why, when setting up the task, we look at the distances. These should be appropriate because, if our tendency, due to lack of space, is to reduce the task even more, it is quite probable that, mainly technically, it does not run as it should. Under my humble opinion, it is better erring giving amplitude when having a minimum doubt.

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