How do you deal with an untrainable keeper and parent

How do you deal with an untrainable keeper and parent

I coach a U14 Boys team with a majority of them returning from the past couple seasons. My main loss from this past season was my keeper. I have a kid that has played keeper before, so I was told, but he is letting too many soft goals go by and costing us games. When I try to work with him, he just gives me a blank stare. I tell him to catch the ball but he continues to knock it down and then try to catch it which lets the other team score. I have told him to do some drills at home to help him but he tells me that he has not done them and does not want to. When I replace him, or try to, his mother throws a fit and gives me attitude. How do I handle this situation? I have been coaching for seasons and I have never had this happen before.

Football CoachCoach
Sportplan TeamAdministrator, United Kingdom

Hi Matt,

We put this question out on our Facebook page to see what other coaches thought. One coach said "Drop him until he improves in training. If the parent is not happy tell them to find another team. We are to scared to tell boys they are not good enough and your other boys will be looking for other teams if you do not sort this."

Hope this answer helps.


Football CoachCoach

Looks to me that this player, by his attitude, doesn't really want to play in goal. This is one of the most important positions on your team and if the player won't take instruction or coaching then you have no alternative but to replace him. Sometimes, there will be another potential goalkeeper "hidden" within your squad and by playing games where everyone takes a turn in goal you may uncover him. It would be better to have a player that may not be as talented but willing to learn how to become a goalkeeper. After all, while we need to try and keep all players involved, the most important thing is the team and all of the players in your squad. If you can't find a goalkeeper among your team then maybe ask your players to try and find someone else to add to the squad maybe through school. 

Football CoachCoach

Have you tried getting someone other than your teams coaches to work with him? we have paid a GK coach for a couple of sessions which has made an instant impact, people respond differently to people outside immediate group and coaching for GK is a specialist field.

Football CoachCoach

It sounds to me like this lad doesn't want to play in goals. You have to be strong with his mother and explain that his form has to improve if he wants to remain in the team...simple! If it doesn't then he must be dropped. I'd also run a training session that gives everyone a chance in goal and then just keep a look out for any hidden goalie in the team. Reward the 'new' keeper with the captain's armband or something. My son plays in goal for my U13 team. It's not his choice or his preferred position, he is a great defender, but he is the chosen goalie in our team. I play him outfield during cup and shield games to reward him for doing me a favour.

Good luck

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