When speaking to my players about vision, I focus on peripheral vision. I don't agree with yelling at players to "get their heads up." I think it's one of the most overused phrases in youth soccer coaches because at the top level, it's not true. Go and look at any goal scored and see when the last time the goal scorer looked at the goal or the goalkeeper. You'll find more often than not that the last time they looked up was 2 or 3 touches prior to the shot or up to 1 second before the shot. The primary example of this is Messi when he scores a goal or Ronaldo when he is dribbling. Focus on being able to see the ball, AND the surrounding players, not one or the other.
DON'T get your head up
I hated practice
When I was a junior in high school I basically HATED training. As a goalkeeper, I hated training because after hitting the ground dive after dive it takes its toll on your body. So during my junior year, I basically "mailed it in" during practices. That resulted in me being the backup goalkeeper at the start of the year. After a preseason tournament, I was told by the varsity coach that he didn't trust me as a goalkeeper. I remember being furious and wanting to quit. Luckily, I ended up not quitting. I ended up developing a bit of a chip on my shoulder against that coach that I carried with me when the starting goalkeeper went down with an injury. When he went down with the injury, I seized the opportunity and never gave the spot back to the original starter. We ended up tying teams that we had previously lost 5-0 to (we weren't very good my junior year due to only returning 3 players from the previous year and the previous head coach gutted the program). At the end of season banquet, the same coach that told me he didn't trust me, called me a GAMER.
I tell this story for a multitude of reasons. The first being that sometimes I feel that players these days lack the "I'll prove them wrong" mentality. I think players these days tend to move teams, move schools, quit sports, or have mom or dad write a scathing email to the athletic director trying to get the head coach fired. I think developing the "I'll prove them wrong" mentality is one of the best things that comes from sports.
The second reason I tell this story is truly why I'm obsessed with coaching. I was never really pushed to become a "practice player" and to work harder in training. My thing with soccer was always studying the game rather than working to become the best I could be on the field throughout hard work. I'd rather study a professional goalkeeper than go out and run 5 miles. I'd rather go into my backyard and hit the ball against a brick fireplace and work on reaction saves, then go to an hour and a half training session where all we would do is scrimmage. I don't want that to happen to the players I work with. I want to help get the most out of the players I work with. I want to help them realize that they have more potential than what they are currently getting out of themselves.
The third and final reason is that, when I first started coaching, I enjoyed games WAY MORE than training teams. All of my enjoyment game during the competitiveness of game day. I used to actually mock "trainers" that didn't get to coach the game. Funny how my philosophy changed. I now realize that the most important part of a players development is what they do during the week leading up to the game. I was a firm believer in "the game is the best teacher." While it still is, the best teachers are the ones that help players realize the importance of training and make them WANT TO train even more. The players that enjoy training have a HUGE advantage compared to the players that despise training.
My favorite thing in training
One of my old soccer players in Michigan, after I had her team and moved onto another team, would occasionally do some additional training with me on the side. Nearly every time, when her mom would ask her how the session went she always answered "humbling."
I absolutely love it when I work with a player for the first time and they walk away knowing that they have a lot of work to do.
I also believe that with the methods I use in my training, that players can easily point out the faults in a certain technique after countless repetitions. Which is like a golfer that mishits a golf shot and immediately knows that they lifted their head. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, knowing exactly what you did wrong, ADDS CONFIDENCE.
I consider myself a soccer teacher. Not a soccer coach. Many coaches will tell a player what to do, when to do it, and where to do it. My focus is to give each of my players the WHY.