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About the soccer goalkeeper

Soccer Goalkeepers are truly the backbone of the team and have helped teams over the years win more games than the players themselves.

When it comes to regular game play, tiebreakers and penalty shootouts, the goalies are often the center of attention as they are the very last line of defense. If the soccer ball gets by them it’s rare that the other team isn’t celebrating.

Forwards put pressure on the goalies.

If you’re playing the soccer Goalkeeper position, the Forwards on the offensive team should be the ones you pay the most attention.

The Forwards typically find themselves in the best positions on the soccer field to take advantage of the goalie’s positioning – scoring goals in the process.

The Forward’s advantages often extend beyond their positioning, as many have superior experience and speed as compared to the other players on the field, including your team’s defenders. These discrepancies often lead to the breakdown of the defense and the Goalkeeper.

Being aggressive and the caution that comes with it.

As a Goalkeeper, it may feel natural to move out toward an approaching opponent in an attempt to cut down on their possible angles of attack. This can often be the correct tactic. However, you must be very cautious of being overly aggressive when your adrenaline is at its highest.

Being overly aggressive without considering your teammate’s defensive positions, or the opposing team’s positioning, can easily cause problems for you and your team. As you move out, if your teammates are not in position to help block out your opponent’s players from your goalie area, those players can easily slip in behind you for the goal.

About the soccer goalkeeper

As a soccer goalkeeper you have to be completely aware of where everyone is located on the field – both your teammates and your opponent. Losing track of anyone can turn an overall good performance sour very quickly.

So, when being aggressive, continue to beware of your surroundings, judge where the ball is coming from and be prepared to prevent the goal.

Aggressive vs. defensive Goalkeepers.

There are essentially three types of soccer Goalkeepers … aggressive, defensive, and a combination of the two.

Many European soccer playing countries tend to have aggressive Goalkeepers tending the net, while others carry defensive goalies who allow the team as a whole to handle the bulk of the offensive pressure instead of relying on the goalkeeper only.

While many teams would ideally like to have their goalkeepers tread the middle ground between being aggressive and defensive, goalkeeper style is often a direct reflection on not only their individual skills, but also those of his or her team.

If a team is more aggressive on the offensive side of the ball, as a Goalkeeper you would naturally be put in a position to be more aggressive on the defensive side as you would have less help. This type of play has more risk and greater rewards, as your team puts more players in a position to score rather than back to help you.

However, if your skills are up to the challenge, the risk decreases – which may be the reason your coach implemented an aggressive offensive approach to start with.

Stay focused and on your feet.

It’s important to stay on your feet … literally. If you must dive to the ground, using your body to stop the ball, then it puts you out of position to deflect any second attempts on goal by your opponents off of rebounds.

Attempt to remain on your feet and agile if at all possible. Don’t drop to the ground unless it is absolutely necessary. Yes, your first priority should be to block the soccer ball at all cost, but if you can do so without falling to the ground, then do that.

Quickly read and assess each offensive situation and then make the split-second decision if you really need to go to the ground to make a play.

Good goalies, like good players, visualize the ball and the shot in their head before it happens and before they execute the block. If your visualization tells you to drop to the ground to block the shot, then do so. But, then be quick back to your feet.

Know the positions.

In the end, Soccer Goalkeepers need to keep tabs on where each position player is located throughout the field. You should also have a good overall knowledge of the game, particularly offensive plays that may be implemented by your opponents. This will give you an edge as play approaches your territory.

The reliance upon you as the last line of defense, your ability to see the entire field, and the knowledge strategies truly makes the Soccer Goalkeeper the backbone of the team.