Old School Panini.
Fabrizio Lorieri, the goalkeepers' coach for U.S. Sassuolo in the Italian Serie A, has chosen a rare topic for his UEFA Pro thesis: the psychological aspect of goalkeeping.
1. Thesis Overview
2. Writing Style
3. Images and Diagrams
4. My Ratings
5. Link to the Italian Federation source document.
IL PORTIERE E LA SUA PSICOLOGIA
"The Goalkeeper and His Psychology"
by Fabrizio Lorieri
UEFA Pro Corso Master 2006/2007
Italian managerial candidates for a UEFA Pro coaching license present a thesis to their colleagues and teachers at the Italian Federation (FIGC) site in Coverciano, Italy. This oral discussion finalizes a three-part training process that currently lasts over nine months according to the FIGC. You may click the link above to download a PDF file to view the original in Italian.
Lorieri in action for Torino versus Fiorentina and
Roberto Baggio in 1987.
1. Thesis Overview
Fabrizio Lorieri was born in Massa, Tuscany, in 1964 and came up through the Internazionale youth ranks. A much-traveled player, he was forced to leave Inter to seek playing time elsewhere due to a certain Walter Zenga.
Lorieri made his professional debut in 1981 for Sangiovanese. He had 192 appearances in the Serie A for Ascoli, Genoa, Lecce, Inter and Roma, respectively along with 139 Serie B appearances before his retirement in 2005 according to Transfermarkt.it. He was not capped by the senior level Azzurri although won the UEFA U-21 championship in 1986 with the Azzurrini.
Mister Lorieri is the current goalkeepers' coach for Sassuolo who have become one of the revelations of Italian football under manager Eusebio Di Francesco.
This intriguing thesis was 33 pages in length and divided into six sections. I was attracted to this particular thesis since we rarely read about this role from the protagonist's perspective. The author's introduction of a psychological element, specifically, psychological isolation, was also appealing.
I will translate a few key excerpts from various sections in this educational thesis. Let's take a look at what Fabrizio Lorieri had to say.
Training the goalkeepers at Lecce in 2010.
"The first thing I used to think about (before playing games with his friends) was 'to build' the goal with whatever was available at that time: two rocks, two jackets, two tree branches, two scarves. In other words, anything that could be carried away by hand. What followed, without anyone discussing it, was that I would position myself between the sticks becoming for everyone, the GOALKEEPER."
Chapter 1. The Football Goalkeeper
"For a football keeper, the capacity of concentration is surely the primary ability... The capacity always to maintain an elevated level of concentration is therefore a fundamental element to evaluate a goalkeeper. Frequently in my opinion, it's the discriminating factor that crosses the borderline between a 'normal' keeper and an excellent interpreter of the role."
"It seems like a paradox, but in modern football, you shouldn't ever think right away about a conceded goal. Even if, above all, in the case where it was caused by your own clear mistake."
"The objective of the keeper is one of 'feeling' an utmost self-confidence without minimally affecting himself in the view of future games."
"The pitch must almost remain an inviolable kingdom which is absolutely impenetrable to 'bad thoughts' that can reduce the self-esteem of your own technical abilities."
"The survey showed that for a great majority of respondents, maintaining one's concentration for the duration of a match represented the greatest difficulty. (1) Precisely because the lack of continual stressors for the entire 90 minutes made the keeper fall into a state of psychological isolation...
In these above cited situations of psychological isolation, the keeper is often led to think about things that have nothing to do with the game at hand. He can think about his wife, girlfriend, other friends, or 'lose himself' in the choreography (tifo displays) and in the chants from the fans."
(1) The author cited a 2006 study that was presented by two psychologists at the FIGC who interviewed 30 professional goalkeepers from Serie A to Serie C2, respectively. The study was from a magazine called L'allentatore (September/October 2006), and entitled, "The goalkeepers speak out."
Chapter 3: Relational Problems
"The ideal behavior of a keeper should be one of trying to instill security in his own teammates also beyond the playing field. Perhaps also accepting the assumption of responsibility to communicate collective decisions of the team to his manager and club."
"A coach should never minimize the confidence of his first-choice keeper and renew his respect even during the times of a drop in form. And above all, when he commits serious and sensational errors."
"Frequently, when a reserve keeper feels dissatisfied with his role, he can put into play a few strategies during the week to reduce the confidence of his teammate. And to 'earn points' in the eyes of the manager and rest of the team."
|Image credit: U.S. Sassuolo.|
The author cited scientific research pertinent to the psychological aspect of his profession which lends additional credibility to his theories. The discussion about the bond between a goalkeepers' coach and his players, along with interactions concerning a club's manager, was enlightening. The latter topic is one that we rarely see analyzed in great detail.
Lorieri explained the intricate balance, and at times, power struggle, between the manager and his keepers' coach. The author stressed that while the manager is responsible for the entire club, a line is drawn in the sand with regards to the keepers that should not be crossed.
3. Images and Diagrams
COME ERAVAMO…di Fabio Milano. 11 febbraio 1964, nasce a Massa Fabrizio LORIERI che compie oggi 50 anni. Auguri! pic.twitter.com/OusOJw5pUp
— ToroAmoreMioTV (@ToroAmoreMioTV) February 11, 2014
There was only one image in this thesis. It was a cartoon image of a goalkeeper with his coach.
4. My Ratings
|Photo credit: Hobnobia.net|
Unique theme: 10/10
Writing style: 8/10
Overall: 35/40 = Five Stars.
Fabrizio Lorieri has written an important thesis on a specialty area of world football. He took a detailed look at the psychological, physical and environmental components in the craft of goalkeeping. Observances from his own playing career, the fundamental importance that a goalkeepers bring to their teams, why they require a positional coach and the special relationship of the "Keepers Union" make this thesis a seminal body of research.
5. Link to the Italian Federation source document:
Tesi corso Master per allenatori di prima categoria Uefa Pro
Corso Master 2006/2007Autore/i: Fabrizio Lorieri
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Steve Amoia is a freelance writer and translator from Washington, D.C. He is the publisher of World Football Commentaries since 2006 and The Soccer Translator since 2008. You can follow Steve @worldfootballcm on Twitter.
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