What an honor to bring you this next interview! Pablo Rivera is a standout goalkeeper in the UPSL and also a rising talent in the goalkeeper coach ranks in the United States. He has plenty of experience on the field at various levels and his knowledge of the game continues to increase as he provides excellent training for youth goalkeepers. Learn more about Pablo in our interview below!
1. When did you start playing the goalkeeping position? What got you interested in playing?
I began goalkeeping when I was about 12. I used to really like defending and it all started because one day, at my school, we had a soccer tournament and we needed a goalkeeper. Since I was the tallest one (of course) I decided to step in the goal for my team. Little did I know, I was beginning to discover a tremendous passion under those 3 posts.
2. You play for Queen City FC in the UPSL, how has that experience helped you to develop as a goalkeeper?
The experience playing for QCFC in the UPSL has been something amazing. Lots of learning along the process. It has helped me by having the opportunity every weekend to apply everything I train during the week, at a very good level. It has also been a great experience playing with and against players who are at the edge of going professional. It definitely has helped me see small details I need in order to make that next HUGE step, which is signing professionally.
3. What led you to become a goalkeeper coach?
Initially, the reason I started coaching was because I wanted to help other young players. Sharing my experience, from the technical side all the way to the mental side. That itself has helped me grow as a player, it has forced me to grow more. I ended up discovering the passion I had for coaching as well as it is unraveling .
4. What are some of the most important aspects of being a successful goalkeeper?
I believe some of the most important aspects of being a successful goalkeeper are:
-Being confident. If you are confident, you will not only feel secure during games but also allow your entire team to feel secure to get the win. It is vital in order for you to commit to the decision you make during a play. Even if you make the wrong decision, this confidence playing the decisions can save you at moments. Insecurity can completely destroy you mentally and limit your full potential.
-Awareness. It is important to be aware of what is going on 100% of the time. Goals can happen in split seconds. As a keeper you must read the play and make that decision with pure CONFIDENCE.
-Communication. Many goalkeepers have heard this before, yet they haven’t really understood the importance of communication during a game. Since you are the last player, who pretty much can see the entire field, it is important to communicate with your team at ALL times. Letting them know where they are, where the opponents are, when to fix positions, etc. This is something I understood more when I got to play as a right back and realized how vital it was for the keeper to let me know what was going on.
5. Who is your biggest goalkeeping inspiration?
My biggest goalkeeper inspiration is Gianluigi Buffon. GOAT!
6. What do you enjoy most about being a goalkeeper coach?
What I enjoy the most about coaching is being able to help other goalkeepers get better. As I said earlier in a previous question, I also learn so much from coaching; it helps me become a better player.
7. What is your ultimate goal as a goalkeeper? As a coach?
My ultimate goal as a goalkeeper is to play for my national team one day. As a coach, I would love to continue helping tens, hundreds and even thousands of goalkeepers, of all ages and levels. I dream of having a goalkeeper academy/facility with everything a goalkeeper could ever need to receive appropriate training.
8. What is your favorite soccer team?
I have two! They are Real Madrid and Manchester City.