Serious Goalkeeping Academy has partnered with GK Icon to offer the most
comprehensive goalkeeper program in North America and the UK.
Richard Lee (Watford, Brentford FC, England U21) is the man spearheading this project and here are his thoughts behind what he has helped create.
'My passion is goalkeeping, hence the desire to pursue a project aimed at helping the next wave of goalkeepers fulfil their dreams.'
In creating GK Icon my thinking was simple, I wanted to focus on two things. Firstly, to offer a fantastic array of goalkeeping content, provided by some of the world's best, all available via a world class website. Secondly, offer the chance for high quality goalkeeper coaches to branch off this iniative and help raise the standard of goalkeeping.
I also knew that I alone couldn't provide all the content needed for this, so I called upon some of my goalkeeping friends who were keen to help with the structure of what you see now and in doing so add even further credibility to the project.
My story in a nutshell - At the age of 8 I first started playing in goal, initially due to the fact that no-one else wanted to play in goal! But nonetheless I soon fell in love with the position. The idea that you are the last line of defence, your team's hopes and dreams often resting on your shoulders and with it the opportunity of making that match winning save, or my personal favourite, a penalty save!
Playing in goal has brought me some of my very happiest memories, from when I was a 9 years old saving my first penalty as my team went on to edge the game 2-1, or playing for England u18's live on Sky, to playing in the Premier league with Watford or more recently being awarded several awards on the back of my first season with Brentford.
Throughout my youth I would always have a ball in my hands, unknowingly practicing my technique at every opportunity. I didn't have goalkeeper coaching until I was 16, by which point I had picked up a lot of bad habits, simply because I hadn't had the necessary coaching at a younger age.
It's only in recent times I appreciate how I made it to the level I have done and how perhaps I could have made it even higher had certain resources been available to me.
I was very aware that goalkeeper coaching was, and still is, in short supply. Our position is hugely different to that of an outfield player, we do need specialist coaching in order to improve. Without a knowledgable goalkeeper coach, bad habits WILL appear, it's as simple as that.
For me, goalkeeping is a game of percentages. If the variety of techniques you have acquired are solid and consistent, if you have the mental capacity to maintain focus and deal with the external pressures put upon you, if you are dedicated to improving your physical strength and if you treat your body in the way it deserves, with the right nutrition - then you give yourself an great opportunity of playing to an excellent standard on a regular basis. It really is as simple as that.
I don't believe that people are born to 'play in goal', I believe that reaching a level of excellence comes with dedicated, focused, high quality training, adding the many different ingredients needed to be a fantastic goalkeeper.
It's on the back of these beliefs that GK Icon was born. A website that offers our goalkeepers the opportunity to learn from the very best via Keepers Corner or for those wanting to take it a step further to attend one of our many fantastic centres, I've no doubt you'll have a fantastic time and learn a lot in the process.
My goal with the GK Icon project is to help provide each of the goalkeepers we coach, a platform to build from and in doing so ensure they avoid many of the pitfalls that you may encounter.
As I said, goalkeeping is my passion, it really is as simple as that
GK Icon website : www.GKIcon.com
To find out more about Richard Lee's career visit www.richardleegk.com
See highlights of Richard at www.socceredits.com