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The physiological aspects of goalkeepers training prescription introduction
The physiological aspects of goalkeepers training prescription
How many of us have heard that football is a sport of details? I believe we all have, right?! Even
more, when it comes to the goalkeepers, where errors and possible failures are pointed by
numbers "specialists". Yes, it’s a special position, and details really make great and repercussive
difference. But there are thousands more details, not seen, behind that one centimeter between a
goal conceded in the last minute and the "miraculous" save that will give the title to his team.
"Happy is he who transfers what he knows and learns what he teaches”, Cora Coralina. It may
look cliché, but I could not find another better way to describe my satisfaction and my intention
in writing for the "voagoleiro.com". Today I will start a series of articles about the physiological,
biomechanical and cognitive aspects of the goalkeeper position. This series aims to provide
"tools" to the goalkeeper coaches, so that, when planning our training, we can have the ability to
raise the performance of our athletes to the highest possible level.
As I said at the beginning, there are thousands of details; and I will try to write as simply and
practically as possible. Before starting a training plan, we must understand how the body of the
human being works, or better, how the body of an athlete works. The beginning of everything is
the energy sources, responsible for every movement of the athlete's body. And the first and most
important source of energy for a goalkeeper is known as the phosphagen system. And that will
be the theme of our first articles in the series.
To improve athletic performance, there are several training principles that must be followed to
get the most out of each training session. Failure to do so is the same as delaying the
development of specific skills and / or performance. In addition, to better plan the correct
intensity, frequency, and duration of the training program, there are other factors that must be
considered according to your reality, such as age and gender, technical and motor level, physical
condition, experience, genetics, nutrition, environment, calendar, etc.
Any and all physical activity provides great demand for energy transfer. In short duration
actions, such as an attempt to cut off a corner kick, or a simple dive motion, the energy demand
exceeds by 120 times the values when at rest. Intensive activities of short duration require
immediate energy; this energy comes almost exclusively from within the muscle itself, called the
phosphagen system, producing chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and
phosphocreatine (PCr). The amount of these energy compounds can be completely exhausted in
5 to 8 seconds or up to 30 seconds when under extreme stress.
If we imagine a specific goalkeeper action in games, very rarely, or never, we will see this action
taking more than 30 seconds, be it a 1 on 1 situation, or even an incredible sequence of saves.
Therefore, we should pay special attention to this energy system when planning our training.
"The art of prescribing exercise involves the successful integration of exercise science with
behavioral techniques in a manner that results in long-term program compliance and attainment
of the individual’s goals."
In the next articles I will give emphasis on how to train the phosphagen energy system.
1. Boone, T. (2013). Introduction to exercise physiology. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
2. Ehrman, J. K., Gordon, P. M., Visich, P. S., & Keteyian, S. J. (2013). Clinical exercise physiology.
3. McArdle, W. D., Katch, F. I., & Katch, V. L. (2015). Exercise physiology: nutrition, energy, and
human performance. Wolters Kluer.