Hi All,

I have what (on the surface) appears to be a very simple question.

"Should a GK take all of their goalkicks ?"

Now...for background info...

I coach an Under-12 grassroots team where the coach last season never let the GK take any of his kicks in favour of a "bigger kicker" taking all kicks (goal, free, corner, etc). We are currently not cup-contenders or division-toppers so worrying about gaining an extra 6 feet of distance is not high on my priorities.

The GK has been playing in goal for a few years now and is very competent, however his teammates and other local teams and schoolmates have been known to take the mick due to him being the only keeper in the league to not take kicks.
This has obviously taken a toll on his confidence, albeit him being quite thick-skinned as he needs to be.
This season, he is back taking all his kicks and they are getting better every week.

The issue I have, is that it has been questioned why he is taking all the kicks when there is someone (defender) with a more powerful kick.

There are Pros and Cons all round, however my firm belief is that at 11/12 years old it is more about them rather than making the ball go 6 feet further.

Where I stand at the minute is to allow the GK to make the decision - if he is battling against wind or is having a bad day, then he should make the choice to get the defender to take a kick, NOT for us coaches to TELL him. I also need to work more with the back line to give more options and to mix things up rather than just booting it upfield.

I would be very interested in some impartial opinions.