10 Tips to Being a Better Goalkeeper in Soccer
The semi-finals of Euro 2020 demonstrated the importance of having a great goalkeeper in your team. If you have watched Italy outplay Spain in the penalty shots, then you probably have asked yourself – how can you avoid the same fate as Spain’s team, and how can you be more like Gianluigi Donnarumma, who fended off two penalty shots, essentially securing his team’s victory in the Euro 2020. Now, if you do follow soccer odds 1×2 and have got the penalties right, you are probably happy as a clam, but there is more to the game, of course. For one, being a better goalkeeper is one of the main things that many players want to ensure.
#1 Be Fearless
The first rule is that goalkeepers actually have to work past a self-preservation instinct. Plummeting towards one of the goalposts is not actually easy, and if you try throwing yourself at the metal poll, you will see that your first reaction is – no, thank you! However, great goalies are quickly taught the correct technique and how they can protect themselves even if they go after the ball in one of the far corners of their goalie. Of course, even with this tip, it’s never easy, and it’s not supposed to be. You will face all sorts of challenges in bringing yourself to make the important leaps. However, that is why our first piece of advice is to be fearless.
#2 It’s About Mind Games
#3 Never Allow Yourself to Relax
You may be thinking that just because a goalkeeper is rooted in one spot, it’s an easy game. That is not true. Strikers can fail as many times as they want to, but goalkeepers don’t have that luxury. They must be alert, analyze incoming attacks, and even give directions to the defenders who will do their best to protect their goal from the opponent(s). Therefore, allowing yourself to relax as a goalkeeper will have the exact opposite effect of what you expect.
#4 Be in Good Physical and Mental Health
Goalkeepers have to be healthy and spry. Since they are under a lot of pressure to perform in each game, they have to make sure that they are calm and focused. Goalkeepers are actually the players to get the most help from team mental health specialists because they feel solely responsible for the team’s winnings and failures. That is a misunderstanding, of course, and everyone from the mid-fielder to the defender will help determine whether there will be a goal in your own post.
#5 Train Your Reflexes
A goalkeeper’s strongest asset is his or her reflexes. Training your body to sense a ball’s direction is important, and it will determine whether you manage to play the game and protect your goal successfully or cave in too many of the attacks. Reflexes are built over a long time, so you need to get started early and work your way up.
#6 Fill the Goal Space
Now, you know that the goal behind you is too big, but you have to have the aura and attitude that projects confidence. When striking against a great goalkeeper, a striker knows that his chances are significantly slimmer. You can actually project your confidence on others and quickly lessen the resolve of a less experienced striker, and that is precisely what you have to do. Sure, physically, you cannot fill the goal space, but you can trick others into believing you can, and besides – your skills will really allow you to cover a lot of the area.
#7 Follow the Ball
There are many strategies for fending off an attack. Do you target your opponent and lock eyes with him in a game of chicken? Or do you follow the ball? You must follow the ball and your opponent’s feet. Remember, your opponent is in a hurry, and they are prone to make mistakes, so they won’t have time to really assess the situation and toy around with you – they will seek a quick clean strike. That is why it’s important to follow the ball and see how it plays out.
#8 Read Your Opponent
Of course, you want to read your opponent because you can spot some small quirks in his attack that will help you really get him down to bangs. You should follow with his playstyle and see if he has idiosyncrasies that would allow you to predict what way the striker is going to shoot next.
#9 Play Preemptively but Don’t Jump the Gun
Yes, you do have to play preemptively as a goalie. You have seen penalty shots performed, yes, and you will always see the goalie jumping in one direction. The goal space is massive, and most goalies don’t have time to react, so they have to make a choice – which way is the opponent going to shoot and why.
#10 Use the Right Equipment
Not least, you want to be well taken care of, and this means that you should have the right gear to do just that. Players who wear better gear are going to avoid injury, remain healthier, and generally perform better because they won’t have to deal with some minor uncomfortable issues that would otherwise crop up. Just imagine a goalie without the gloves. That is definitely not easy!