DALTON — Local coach Alan Rubin, owner/coach of Just4Keepers in Western Mass., is running a camp for soccer goalkeepers this June.
The camp, called "Just4Keepers ID Camp," will take place on June 27 and 28 at Wahconah Regional High School. It's for goalies from ages 9-18 and of all skill levels, including those new to the position.
Pittsfield resident Rubin is a coach at the high school level, volunteering as goalkeepers coach for the Taconic girls team the past two falls. He started coaching high school in the area as goalkeepers coach for the McCann Tech boys back in 2008, and after four seasons there, coached goalkeepers for the Wahconah boys for one season.
He returned to McCann for one more season, before heading to Taconic in 2014.
As a player, he was a four-year starter at Lehigh University. He was first-team All-East goalkeeper one year and had the best goals against average in the league his sophomore and junior year.
He started with J4K in January 2015, and will be running this camp for the first time. In talking about the camp, he consistently spoke about the development of players and how essential that is, and how goalies shouldn't be afraid to make mistakes in order to learn.
"To me, it's really important that parents know that the coach who's coaching their kid, no matter what sport it is, has the interest of the kid at heart," Rubin said, "and is looking to the overall development of the youngster."
Rubin will run the camp with Founder and CEO of Just4Keepers, Ray Newland, a 10-year professional goalkeeper in the UK. That includes time with Everton of the English Premier League.
Newland has also coached goalkeepers for the Wales' national team and advises goalkeeper coaches in professional academies.
"J4K is not a cookie-cutter approach," Rubin said. "I start with an overall session plan, I start with what I know I want to cover. But things happen. You adapt to what they're doing. ... Goalkeeping is a long-term process, but within one hour, you see improvements."
For the camp, the schedule for both days includes check-in, warm-up, a couple of sessions, lunch, another session, fun/games and Q&A. The camp will be broken up into two age groups, 9-12 and 13+. Within each age group, students will be grouped by ability.
According to the brochure for the event, "the technical sessions will address many aspects of goalkeeping, including proper set position, footwork, basic handling, positioning and angles, reaction saves, corner/crosses, 1 v 1 breakaways, diving techniques deflecting and parrying and distribution."
The fee for the 13 hours of training is $197, which also includes a pair of goalkeeper gloves and a Just4Keepers t-shirt.
Registration space will be limited to 50 goalkeepers.
To contact Rubin, call 917-734-2399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org