• Kasper Als
  • Dan Dodensig Christensen
4. semester, Idræt, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Aim: The aim of this thesis was to investigate how peer feedback and the Community of Practice theory
(Wenger, 1998) can help elite-youth goalkeepers, in their handling of Critical Situations (Villemain & Hauw,

Introduction: The modern goalkeeper has to be a versatile player (Mulqueen, 2010). And like most elite youth
football players they are under a great deal of pressure to be selected for the lineup (Williams & Reilly, 2000).
We started by interviewing Goalkeeping coach Kresten Vedstesen about the characteristics of goalkeeper
training in Denmark. He told us that it is characterized by being very technical and without any drills that
stimulate the goalkeeper’s decision-making abilities (Bilag 4, L: 110-120). In general, it is conducted in a
deductive way, where the goalkeepers were told exactly what to do, by their coach (Bilag 4, L: 178-180). We
therefore find it necessary to use a holistic training approach which include both the technical, tactical and
mental aspects of the goal keeper performance.
Villemain & Hauw (2014) found that goalkeepers often struggle with handling four Critical Situations:
“coming off the line, goal-line clearances, one-on-one, and diving” (Villemain & Hauw, 2014: p. 816). In order
to practice the Critical Situations, we aimed at creating a holistic training on the basis of enabling game
situations, in order to stimulate the goalkeeper’s information processing and decision making (Ibid.). Studies
have shown that greater autonomy in the training, stimulates decision making competencies (Kaya, 2014;
Dyson et al., 2004). Further Holt et al. (2012) shoved that peer feedback in youth elite football have a positive
effect on transferring skills from practice to match.
Peer feedback is student centered approach to learning, where pairs guide each other through formative
feedback (Liu & Carless, 2006). Studies have shown that through peer feedback students are more motivated
to participate in PE (Østergaard & Curth, 2014), are more critical about the subject (Orsmond et al., 2000)
and that there is a strong relationship between the peer feedback students provided for others and the
quality of their own final project (Li et al., 2010).
The Community of Practice theory is a socio-cultural theory of learning, which is centered around mutual
engagement, joint enterprise and shared repertoire (Wenger, 1998). Although this theory has been widely
used to understand learning in PE, it is rarely used in an elite sports setting (Christensen et al., 2010; Culver
& Trudel, 2008). We used the Community of Practice theory in order to understand how football skill is
learned through relations on an elite-youth Danish football team (Christensen et al., 2010).

Method: We conducted a case study consisting of a training intervention with four Danish male youth elite
goalkeepers, two U17 and two U19. The intervention consisted of six 30-minute sessions. Six forwards from
the U17 team were part of two of the sessions, where they gave the goalkeepers feedback in order to
stimulate game-intelligence and meet the demand of making the training set in a team centered and holistic
The analysis was based on qualitative data consisting mainly of two group interviews with the goalkeeper
pairs conducted after the intervention (Kvale & Brinkmann, 2009), supported by player-logbooks filled after
each session (Hettich, 1990) and video observation conducted in each of the sessions (Ottesen, 2013). We
used a thematic analysis, with data driven coding used to derive the themes, which was discussed in the light
of relevant research (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The study was founded in a hermeneutic-phenomenology
approach with a socio-cultural ontology (Dysthe et al., 2003).
Results & Conclusion: We conclude that the use of peer-feedback and the community of practice theory can
take part in stimulating elite goalkeepers handling of Critical Situations. This is partly from an increased
mental awareness in training and increased articulation of their knowledge and observations. The data
indicated that the goalkeepers were mostly focused on the tactically aspects of the game, with an emphasis
on the technically aspect being more intuitive, which could be a challenge to the learning outcome.
By giving the goalkeepers the responsibility for each other’s development, they increased their mutual
engagement. We further conclude that by receiving peer feedback from forwards, they increased their
handling of Critical Situations, which could be through a stimulation of their game intelligence. But there was
also an element of resistance to the feedback from forwards. This puts emphasis on the role of the trainer in
a more autonomic structured training. He should be both a facilitator of the session, but also a
translator/broker between two very different ways of understanding football. Finally, the results indicate
that the goalkeepers hat difficulties in identifying there learning outcome of the intervention. But their
trainer stated that their communication skills had improved. This could be a way of improving their handling
of Critical Situations through improved collaboration with team members.
Udgivelsesdato7 jun. 2017
Antal sider98
ID: 259248559