Name: Steven Cox
Current Position: Goalkeeper Coach at NC State, Founder of USA GK Academy
Years Coaching Goalkeepers: 12 Years

What is your background?
I grew up in Canada and was involved as a player with the Youth National Teams. I ended up going to College in the States and got into coaching at the College and Club Levels right after graduating. Before NC State I spent 3 years at Butler University.

What got you into coaching?
I really enjoyed my experience in College as a player and wanted to coach at the College level upon graduation. Kevin Muldoon was the goalkeeper coach while I was with the U17 and U20 National teams and exposed me to GK specific training. I really developed and grew as a player and wanted to have the space impact on players.

What is your coaching philosophy?
The biggest thing I encourage goalkeepers to do is to get better every single day. Whether in GK specific training or team training. I always try to create a competitive and fun training environment between the goalkeepers that stretches them to get better but they also enjoy.

Who has been a mentor to your through your coaching career? Is there a coach who impacted you to get into coaching? Kevin Muldoon (Former Canadian National Team GK Coach) was the guy that got me started in GK specific training. There have been many coaches that have had an impact on my career and life, I am always trying to surround myself with great coaches to make me better as a coach.

Do you feel that the role and importance of a goalkeeper coach has been fully realized in the coaching community? It is getting better for sure. I have seen that more coaches are having their GK coaches involved in team training and planning. It is getting away from coaches just sending their GK’s away for the first part of training.

Looking back, how have you seen your coaching develop from when you first started to now?
Details have become a lot more important to me over the years along with building great habits every day. I have also tried to be more positive and focus on things GK’s do well and not mistakes that they make.

How do you design your training sessions?
In the college game we meet everyday to talk about what the team will be doing. I have an idea of everything I want to get in for the week for our GK’s. Depending on the team session I will make sure my session fits into that. Once that is set I have an online database that I have created with all my training sessions and I start building progressions, rotations and number of reps from there.

How do you motivate your keepers behind your first string to ensure competition for the position?
First , we have a great training environment that GK’s want to be apart of and get better. I treat all our goalkeepers the same, number 4 is just as important to me as number 1. I spend as much extra time with the guys that are not number 1 as they want. I also work really hard in the Spring to get the guys as many games as possible.

What is your ultimate coaching goal?
The number one thing is to make the players I coach better as a player and person. I want to win a National Championship in the college game and would like to coach in the MLS and National Team level at some point in my career.

Any advice for young goalkeeper coaches just entering their careers?
Surround yourself with great coaches that can help you get better, find a mentor.

If you weren’t a goalkeeper coach, what do you think you would be?
I have no idea, I love what I do and thankful I get to coach full-time.