Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Tim Howard's advice for keepers, parents and coaches
by Mike Woitalla, July 11th, 2014 8:34AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  world cup 2014, youth boys, youth girls

MOST COMMENTED

In light of Tim Howard's extraordinary performance at the 2014 World Cup, where he set a World Cup record with 16 saves in the round of 16 overtime loss to Belgium and set the record for most U.S. national team appearances for a goalkeeper at 104, the Youth Soccer Insider republishes this 2012 interview. The 35-year-old Howard now returns to Everton of the English Premier League, in which he has played nearly 350 games since arriving in England at age 24 in 2003. The New Jersey product made his professional debut with Major League Soccer's MetroStars (now Red Bulls) at age 19 in 1998.

Interview by Mike Woitalla

SOCCER AMERICA: What advice do you have for parents of aspiring young goalkeepers?

TIM HOWARD:
Lots of encouragement. My mom tells the story about when I was playing recreational ball, and they would score a goal and I would start crying [laughs]. I was 6 or 7. And my mom would come around from the sideline to the back of the goal and tell me everything will be OK.

Encouragement is important. Goalkeeping is very unforgiving, at 6 years old or 33 years old.

SA: Looking back on the goalkeeper coaching you got as a young player, what was especially important to help you reach the highest levels?

TIM HOWARD:
One of the things I learned at a young age, particularly with Tim Mulqueen, is the importance of training at a high tempo. Make training sessions high tempo. Make them game-like.

Goalkeeper training is manufactured, but you must strive to make it like it would be in a game.

I take that into my daily training sessions at Everton and the U.S. national team – keeping the tempo really high in training so the training is difficult and when you get into a game it’s the same feeling. …

As trainers and coaches you have to nurture children, of course. But we believe you hold goalkeepers to a higher standard.

If you pamper and baby a young goalkeeper, you’re not really helping him and doing him justice. Because the game becomes more demanding and the pressure increases as the keeper moves on to higher levels. You have to be able to deal with pressure as a goalkeeper. Demanding excellence from 9- and 10-year-olds prepares them for what they’ll face when they’re 30-year-old goalkeepers.

It’s like the oldest kid in the class, or the oldest kid in the household, you hold them to a higher standard because they should know better.

SA: How important was it that you also played in the field during your youth days?

TIM HOWARD:
It helped me a lot. Little did I know back in the 1980s that goalkeeping rules would change, that we would have to play with our feet. [Editor's note: Since 1992 goalkeepers are prohibited from handling passes from their teammates.]

The opportunities we have in America, because of the climate, kids are playing fall ball, spring, they’re playing in the summer. They’re playing indoor. Our indoor facilities in America are amazing. I’ve traveled the world and people don’t have that everywhere.

So kids are playing year-round. A really good goalkeeper coming up is going to have the opportunity to play on three or four different teams. I think it’s important he selects a couple teams that allow him to play in the field and play different positions.

I played midfield and striker in high school at the same time I was on the U-17 national team playing goalkeeper. For my travel team I was playing goalkeeper while on my high school team I was playing in the field.

SA: What advice do you have for young goalkeepers?

TIM HOWARD:
Play whenever you have the opportunity.

Goalkeepers have to play as many games as they can, whether that’s in the park, with a travel team, as a guest player for another team. Play as many games as you can.

With goalkeeping, the amount of games it takes you to get to the highest level is a lot more. Why does a goalkeeper mature at age 30 when you have a striker who plays for Inter Milan at age 22? Goalkeepers need more games under their belt to be top-level than the average field player.

At a young age you’ll make a lot of mistakes – but that’s good because you learn from mistakes in a game. Mistakes in training don’t really count, because there are no consequences. It’s important for young goalkeepers to get in as many game-like situations as possible. Training is good, but games situations are more important.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Insider
Jill Ellis: Players like to problem-solve (Q&A Part 2)    
Coach Jill Ellis, currently leading the USA in qualifying play for the 2015 World Cup, has ...
Jill Ellis: Coaches must find their own voice (Q&A Part 1)    
Coach Jill Ellis, currently leading the USA in qualifying play for the 2015 Women's World Cup, ...
Is there a place for 'small' clubs in the USA?     
There is not only a place for small soccer clubs in this country but small youth ...
The 'Sisterhood' factor in coaching girls (Joan Steidinger Q&A)    
Sport psychologist Joan Steidinger's female clients often reported that their coaches told them they need to ...
Kids love going for goal     
The article A Great Start to Practice: Free play!, which questions the traditional training formula of ...
The Two-Ref System Revisited    
Two years ago, I wrote about The Two-Ref System: Its Flaws and How to Cope. The ...
The case for a full-service club: rec to comp    
How important is it for a club to offer all levels of play -- rec to ...
Crucial Concussion Evaluation Info for Coaches     
How should a coach evaluate a young athlete for a possible concussion?
A great start to practice: Free play!    
I have often wondered what goes on in the minds of 6-year-old American children who are ...
The College Quest in 2014: 'Technology can help bridge the access gap'    
It's been a decade since Avi Stopper penned a guide for high-schoolers on how to navigate ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives