Three Golden Rules for Becoming a Great Goalkeeper

The position of goalkeeper is perhaps the most thankless task on the football pitch. An outfield player can make several mistakes during a match and still score the winning goal, but a single error from the goalkeeper is often what a game is remembered for.

But while it may be thankless, it is also arguably the most crucial role in the team. A good goalkeeper is often the difference between teams, so the very best keepers are in high demand.

Manchester City's Joe Hart

Manchester City’s Joe Hart

As a young footballer, it’s probably not a good idea to specialise too early as a goalkeeper. Much better to move around and learn about different positions – even if your heart is set on becoming a goalkeeper, you may discover that you’re actually better suited as a full back or central midfielder.

For those who do go on to specialise as a goalkeeper, we thought we would use this blog to put together three golden rules that will serve you well at whatever age or level you’re at.

Golden Rule 1
Don’t be a shrinking violet. One of the most important aspects of being a goalkeeper – and something that doesn’t come across too well on television – is the need to be loud. Be dominant in your box. Let your defenders – and any approaching striker – know where you are.

Golden Rule 2
Practise your kicking. Many people don’t realise the importance of kicking for a goalkeeper. Modern-day keeping involves a considerable amount of footwork – accurate and long goalkicks, control under pressure after a backpass, and clean distribution to team-mates to start a move. A skilful goalkeeper is a huge asset to any team.

Golden Rule 3
Diving should be a last resort. People sometimes confuse good goalkeeping with the ability to dive well, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. A good goalkeeper reduces the need to dive by being in a good position – they should stay on their feet as long as possible as once they’ve dived, they’re committed.

There are a few other rules, but these are three that will stand you in good stead throughout your goalkeeping career. Happy saving!

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