Being a goalkeeper can be a tough job. You're the last line of defense and the pressure is always on to make key saves and keep the ball out of the back of the net. The modern goalkeeping game also relies on you to be extremely competent with you feet. With the right attitude and a few helpful tips on how to improve goalkeeping, you can become a top-notch goalkeeper and an invaluable asset to your team. Here are a few thoughts to help you succeed between the posts:
I know it sounds a bit cheesy given the name of our goalkeeping brand but focus as a goalkeeper is extremely key. As a goalkeeper, your job is to always be ready for the unexpected. Whether it's a long-range shot, a quick counter attack, or a penalty kick, you need to be alert and focused at all times.There are so many different aspects of focus that you need to pay attention to. Focus during games is one of the most important. It is very easy for goalkeepers to get distracted during the run of play because we typically aren't as involved in the action as everyone else. There are plenty of ways to stay engaged that will keep you focused on the task at hand. Find what works best for you and utilize that throughout your games to keep you keyed in for 90+ minutes. There is also focus in training. This is a similar, but also different, type of focus. Determining what you need to focus on to improve goalkeeping is essential for growth and development. If you are focusing on the wrong things in training then it may stunt your development as a goalkeeper.
One of the most common questions young goalkeepers ask is "how do I improve as a goalkeeper?". It is a vague question that can be complicated to answer but one of the best ways that many goalkeepers don't think about is how they communicate with their teammates. Communication is one of the best ways to prevent opportunities for the other team. Oftentimes, goalkeepers don't understand how to effectively communicate to get their point across concisely and in a digestible manner. It takes time, practice, and building relationships with your teammates. Over time, you will begin to develop your own form of communication that works best for you and those around you. Not all goalkeepers are animated yellers; some goalkeeper prefer to maximize the impact of their words. Regardless of your style, you have to be able to share pertinent information with your team that will help organize them in the best shape possible. Talk to your defenders and let them know what's happening on the field, but that doesn't mean you have to narrate every second of the game. Let them know when you're coming out to collect a cross or when you need them to cover a specific area. Communication is key to a strong defense, so make sure you're talking to your teammates throughout the game.
Just like any other position in soccer, being a good modern goalkeeper takes practice. Being consistent with your training is one of the biggest parts of developing as a goalkeeper. Think about the goalkeeper-specific training you get throughout the year. How often are you training? Are there long breaks in-between seasons? Are you developing all aspects of your game or just going to goalkeeper training and saving shots? Consistent training also requires a good development plan to help you continue your growth as a goalkeeper. You can also do things on your own to help you improve your goalkeeping. Work on your footwork, positioning, and fitness on your own time. You can also join a goalkeeper training program, like the Prime Focus Goalkeeping Academy, to help you reach your goals. The more consistent, and quality, goalkeeper training you get; the better you'll become.
The goalkeepers that train with me know the phrase; "confidence is the key to success in life". The more confident you are as a goalkeeper, the easier it is to make the plays you're capable of making. The position requires a lot of mental fortitude because of how much pressure is on goalkeepers to save their team when mistakes happen. Sometimes you're able to be the hero and sometimes you aren't. Regardless, you have to remain confident in who you are as a player and what your skillset is. This is where consistent practice and staying focused can help. As a goalkeeper, you need to believe in yourself. You're going to make mistakes, but it's important to learn from them and move on. Don't let a bad goal or a mistake get you down. Stay positive and believe in your ability to make the big saves.
Develop your own game
Not all goalkeepers are built the same. Some goalkeepers are taller, others are shorter. Some goalkeepers are really quick and others rely on their positioning to make saves. Some goalkeepers are really athletic and others aren't. There are so many different types of players that become goalkeepers, and succeed at the position, so it is important to understand what type of goalkeeper you are and how you can be most successful at the position. Obviously, listening to your goalkeeper coaches is a great place to start. Hopefully, you have coaches that understand the basics of goalkeeping and can help you fine tune your goalkeeper training technique to make sure it translates to success in games. You can also watch other goalkeepers around you. Whether it is other goalkeepers you train with, older goalkeepers in the club, or professionals on tv; you can learn from all of them. Try different things that you may not be comfortable with and see if it is something you should add to your game. Goalkeeping is a learning process, even when you are at the professional level, so don't be afraid to take advice and craft a technique that works for you.
Enjoy the position
Being a goalkeeper can be a challenging and rewarding position. It is a lot of responsibility to take on for one person. The team looks to you as a leader in the back. Your performance can often dictate the team's success. That is a lot of weight to put on your shoulders but it doesn't have to be a bad thing. Embrace the opportunity to play a different role than the rest of your teammates. Relish the chance to lead your team. Cherish the moments when everyone is relying on you to keep them in the game, whether it turns out well or not. Very few people in the sport understand the demands of being a goalkeeper and that should make you feel special and unique. With hard work, dedication, and the right attitude, you can learn to really love being a goalkeeper.
If you want more great tips for goalkeepers about modern goalkeeping, or how to improve goalkeeping, head over to our YouTube channel now. Be sure to subscribe so you can stay up-to-date on the latest video releases. We have plenty of educational videos that talk about goalkeeping for beginners, goalkeeper training techniques, best goalkeeping tips, and more! Goalkeeper training is an ever evolving art and we want to help you stay as current as possible. You can also head over to our resource page to see what other great goalkeeping content we have for you. Make sure you follow up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest as well. If you are looking for youth goalkeeper training in the Charlotte area, be sure to check out our training page and academy We offer the best goalkeeper training environment in Charlotte!