Thierry Barnerat (FIFA Instructor) – James Nauffray (CEO of OAKland Group)
The role of the goalkeeper within the team is becoming increasingly important in modern football. Changes to the laws of the game and tactical developments introduced by certain coaches mean that goalkeepers are developing along new lines.
In this even faster, more athletic and more tactical sport, the risks are multiplied, and for the goalkeeper every detail counts. Yet the approaches and methods for evaluating goalkeeper performance are still a long way behind those available for outfield players. More often than not, they consist of just the bare minimum. It is high time we closed this gap.
Why do goalkeepers have fewer methods of evaluation ?
When we talk of objective evaluation, we mean data. But we still need to understand what data are necessary to make a meaningful evaluation.
In terms of the type of data, outfield players fit into relatively standard typologies, whereas goalkeepers face a double challenge:
- Knowing what really needs evaluating in terms of performance
- Understanding what data to collect for an objective evaluation.
Why was there nothing before the KIM application ?
In amateur football, as a general rule, matches are not filmed. This is one main reason why the goalkeeper’s performance is left open to all manner of subjective interpretation and beliefs. Consequently, goalkeeping coaches lack information, even of a basic nature.
In response to this problem, Thierry Barnerat, over the course of years of experience as a top-level coach/instructor, has developed a systemic approach to the goalkeeper’s activity and created pertinent indicators. His unique methodology has made it possible to identify the range of data necessary for an objective evaluation of goalkeeper performance.
Given that data and objective evaluations are inextricably linked, it became clear that we could incorporate this simplified approach to the goalkeeper’s activity into an intuitive and practical application.
This application, which is unique in its field, is called Keeper In Motion (KIM).
But why evaluate goalkeeper performance in such a specific way ?
Given the goalkeeper’s unique role and playing style in a match, it is normal that he should have a different training programme from that of the other players.
A goalkeeper’s progress will depend on the degree of personalisation his coach can bring to his training sessions in order to work on his areas of improvement.
To personalise this training as much as possible, coaches need tangible, individualised and objective elements, even though the coach will always bring his own personal feelings and his own reading of the keeper’s profile to a training session.
The only way to provide these elements is to produce data and real key indicators collected over the course of matches in order to make an objective performance evaluation.
What dimensions do KIM’s indicators take into account ?
Our application follows the systemic approach to the goalkeeper’s activity created by Thierry Barnerat in 2023.
It contains three distinct blocks: defensive, offensive and transition, and covers all possible playing actions in a match.
There is an option to tag each action as “decisive or responsible”, and (a stand-out feature) to define responsibility by theme. There are four categories: TE (technical), TA (tactical), COG (cognitive) and ME (mental).
In addition, collecting all the data in a single application makes compiling extended statistics that much easier. The coach can then highlight points aimed at improving knowledge of the goalkeeper and his development in order to devise a more personalised approach to training sessions.