Goal Keeper Training - Through-balls and Breakaways with Oli Gunnarsson

This week we had the privilege of talking soccer - I mean football - with the ex-Icelandic goalkeeper, Oli Gunnarsson. Oli took his experience on the field and turned it into a coaching career. He is currently working as the goalkeeper coach at The Governor's Academy and the Director of Coaching at GPS North Shore of Massachusetts Youth Soccer. Oli has an extensive resume having played on the Iceland national team, F.C. Valur, F.C. Akranes, and even on MASS United here in the U.S. amongst many others. He was an All American all three years of his soccer career at Flagler College and was even inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame before going pro in the American Soccer League. In addition to his time on the field as a player, Oli has over a decade of goalkeeper coaching experience, working with players at all levels. Coach Oli is USSF Certified and knows what it takes to help each player succeed in the sport.

Oli's work with goalkeepers involves a lot of different components, with coaching sessions tailored to each player's needs. Sometimes he focuses on technique and sometimes he focuses on running drills to improve stamina and confidence. Since most players also run drills to improve their skills, we thought it would be fun to go over a diagram of one of Oli's goalkeeper exercises and have a brief Q & A session with the man himself. Check out the interview below to find out what Coach Oli loves about his job, what inspires him and how Bownet Goals help him in his day-to-day training.

Us: Oli, tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into Goalkeeping.
Oli: I started in goal at an early age (9) but went on playing as a field player as a teenager. When I was 16 I was asked to come back to the goal and before my 17th birthday I had played a full season of semi-pro soccer as a goalkeeper.

Us: That's impressive! What about goalkeeping do you enjoy most?
Oli: I have to admit, I do love playing any position on the field but goalkeeping was my calling. For me, I enjoy organizing the defense to minimize my workload. The position requires good game understanding and mental focus, but making a great save to keep the ball out of the net is always fantastic.

Us: Who was your keeper hero growing up and why?
Oli: Van Der Sar when playing for Ajax and the Netherlands made great saves look easy. Peter Schmeichel, the big Dane, had a fantastic career and a master of the one-on-one situations.

Us: What do you think about the Bownet Soccer Goals and how have they have added to your organization 's functionality?
Oli: I love my Bownet Goals. They are easy to set up and break down and extremely portable. I've used my Bownet goals for goalkeeper training from U10 all the way up to the professional level. It's great to be able to pull a full size goal out of the trunk of the car and run a session anywhere.

Us: We love hearing that our goals are truly helping with your training efficiency. Tell us what you like most about this great exercise that you 've shared with us below.
Oli: Breakaway saves are game winning saves. The pressure is on the attacker, but making those saves can define the outcome of the game so every goalkeeper should have the breakaway techniques in their arsenal.

Us: Thanks, Oli! We've enjoyed our time with you and we hope our fans can benefit from your breakaway and through ball GK training exercise.
Oli: My pleasure!

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