The goal keeper is one of the most important players on the soccer field. They are the last line of defence and essentially the first line of attack. To be a great goal keeper many skills are needed. The goal keeper is able to see the entire field and must be able to read the game. Goal keepers must be able to make split second decisions that can win or lose the entire game.

Focus is key when goal keeping. The goal keeper must be focused during the game even if the ball is on the other side of the field. Look at your central defenders and ensure both forwards are covered. Check for any untracked runners in the midfield. Check these factors as the ball is crossing the half way mark as if it is in shooting range it will be too late to make any adjustments. Communication is very important, if you notice anything you will need to ensure that your team is aware of it.

As a goal keeper your primary goal is to prevent goals going through. Don’t stay on the line and wait for your opponent. If you find yourself in a one on one situation, run at your opponent and stretch your body to make yourself bigger. By doing this, your opponent will need to react fast which will lead to mistakes.

You must develop the ability to deal with crosses into the penalty area. Be decisive and come to get the ball or stay on the line to save the shot. Make sure your decision is communicated to your defence.

Lastly, you have to remember to have confidence in yourself. This is one of the most important things for a goal keeper and without confidence your performance on the field will suffer. Don’t let mistakes discourage you, instead analyse what you have done wrong and use this to improve yourself for the future.

If you are part of a local soccer club, sign them up to the Sportsmart Club Advantage program. It’s free to join and is designed to support local sporting clubs. Your club will receive many benefits, including a 5% discount for all club members. Visit the Club Advantage website for more information and how to sign your club up.

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