The goalkeeper position is a very isolated and lonely spot on the field. The majority of the game is spent by them observing what is going on and not being involved very much with the run of play. The time the goalkeeper is involved usually is the difference between a goal being scored or not. If mistakes are made by the goalkeeper, they are magnified, as their errors usually result in goals. The goalkeeper needs to deal with these stressful situations with composure and confidence.

Characteristics of a successful goalkeeper consist of:

  • Motivation – Desire to play the position
  • Confidence – Self-belief and faith in your ability to excel
  • Leadership – Manage and guide the team
  • Concentration – Eliminate distractions and focus on task. Staying focused during long periods of no physical action
  • Positive Outlook – Forget mistakes, recover quickly, and move on within the game and the next games
  • Courage/Bravery – Disregard for bodily harm to save ball (dive at feet, collisions, etc)
  • Competitive – Striving each day to win every activity (training exercise, small sided game, 11v11 game, league game, tournament, etc)

Goalkeepers Learn by;

  • Regular, specific, structured training
  • Playing with and against better players
  • Playing small sided and full-size games
  • Listening and acting upon constructive feedback from coaches
  • Watching games on television or in person
  • Watching other goalkeepers train
  • Asking questions
  • Challenging themselves – technically, tactically, physically, psychologically
  • Emulate top level goalkeepers
  • Learn from mistakes