Indian football coaches learn the 'art of German goalkeeping’

Oct 12, 2012

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is conducting a weeklong goalkeeping course, ‘Art of German Goalkeeping’, in association with the German Olympic Association (DOSB) in Mumbai from 8 October, 2012. This first-of-its kind course is being led by former German goalkeeper Lutz Pfannenstiel. 

It will comprise of theory and practical sessions, stressing on various positions of the goalkeeper and how the dynamics have changed in recent years. Pfannenstiel, a scout for Bundesliga outfit TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, also spoke on the basic role of a goalkeeping coach and explained the difference between a normal coach and a goalkeeping coach citing examples.

“The position of a goalkeeper has transformed over the years. Now a goalkeeper has to be a good footballer as well. Manuel Neuer is the best example of a modern day goalkeeper.  He is a motivator in the side,” he said.

“Shot stopping skills alone are not enough anymore. A goalkeeper needs to distribute the ball well and on counterattacks he plays a key role in building the first block of a move,” he added.

“In the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Lehmann got the nod ahead of Oliver Kahn because Lehmann was more a modern day goalkeeper than Kahn, who was of course the best shot stopper.”

28 coaches, including those contracted with AIFF are attending the course. “A goalkeeper is a team player and a lone warrior. He trains differently as well. But again he is the motivator if the side,” Pfannenstiel further added.

German goalkeeping trainer Lutz Pfannenstiel Enlarge image German goalkeeping trainer Lutz Pfannenstiel (© dpa - Report) “Goalkeeping coaches are not like normal coaches. You see Jose Mourinho perhaps never kicked a football. Arsene Wenger was not a great player. But they are world class coaches. But a person who cannot kick the ball well cannot be a goalkeeping coach. In training you need to shoot the ball perfectly and in chest height for your goalkeeper to get good practice.”

Pfannenstiel, who has the unique distinction of playing in six continents, maintained that it is the responsibility of goalkeeping coaches to make their second and third choice custodians ‘feel important’.

“A goalkeeper’s position stays static on the football pitch. You can have two world class strikers playing but not two great goalkeepers. So for a coach it is very important to keep his second and third choice keepers happy and make them feel important. They should be fielded in friendlies and less important matches.”

© AIFF, German Embassy New Delhi

Art of German goalkeeping

Training session in the art of German goalkeeping in Mumbai