The soccer goalie, or the goalkeeper is a very important position in the game. As a goalkeeper, you are the only one who can touch the ball with your hands, and you are almost single handedly in charge of preventing the opposing team from scoring a goal.
If you are a goalie, then you are the last line of defense in a game of soccer. Being a goalie is an important role, and vital in your team’s success on the field.
This is why there can be a lot of pressure on the goalie to perform, as just one small mistake can cost the team the whole game.
Luckily, if you are a goalie, you do not need to feel this immense pressure anymore, because we have created a guide of how to dominate as a soccer goalie.
With this guide, we will tell you exactly what makes a good soccer goalie, the role and responsibilities of the goalie, the traits a keeper should have and give you our top tips of being the best goalie you can be!
So, how can you be a good soccer goalie? Let’s find out.
How to be a good soccer goalie
A good soccer goal will need to perform well, act in an appropriate manner and have all of the skills to give the team the best chance of winning the match.
As such, to be a good goalie, you will need to always be in constant communication with your team defenders, and work together for the best chance of success.
In addition, the soccer goalie will need to keep a clean sheet, be a strong communicator, physically fit, and be able to alert your defenders of any risks and possible dangers from the opposing team. This will give your team every chance of being on the ball, shall we say.
One of the most vital skills a good soccer goalie should have is the ability to remain focused at all times.
Sometimes, the ball may be at the other end of the pitch, and the goalie may feel like they are not needed, but that can quickly change, and your team’s goals can come under threat in a matter of seconds.
This means that they will have to have quick reflexes, and shot-stopping skills in order to prevent the ball from going into the goal, removing it from a threatening position, and ensuring that it is in a safe position.
Being a soccer goalie is one of the most challenging and important positions in the whole team, as there is a lot of pressure for you to perform, and many responsibilities that you have.
Roles and responsibilities of the goalie
One of the main benefits of being a goalie is that you are the only player on the pitch allowed to use your hands, and so you are the one responsible for preventing the ball from going into your net.
The main role of a soccer goalie is to stop the ball from going into your net, and preventing the other team from scoring goals. But there are many more responsibilities for the soccer goalie that you should be aware of!
Keep the ball away from the net
The main responsibility of the goalie, as you may have guessed, is to keep the ball out of the net. The goalie will need to ensure that the other team does not score goals, and they will have to get a hold of the ball from the other team, or defend the goal and deflect the ball from entering the net.
This means that, as a goalie, you would need to have strong hands, and quick reflexes to block the goal.
This is because they may need to dive across the net to block a goal or parry the ball to the side, but then they would also have to move quickly to get back up again and prevent the next shot.
Organize the defence
Another important responsibility that the goalie has is to organize the defence.
This means communicating with the members of the team that act as the defence to alert them of any rising threats, or doing anything that they can to stop the opposition scoring.
The goalie is able to watch, and see if there is any danger of the opposing team gaining the upper hand, and can shout and alert the defenders of any possible risks. Communication is so vital in the success of the whole team.
Keep possession in the team
Sometimes, keeping possession of the ball is more essential than trying to score goals. If your team has possession, then you already have the upper hand.
All team members need to be skilled with the ball, able to use their feet, and have good distribution and aim.
This will mean that the team can pass the ball perfectly within each other, and keep possession of the ball out of the reach of the opposing team.
As a goalie, you will need to be able to pass the ball and kick it across the field to your team, ensuring that it stays away from the opposing players.
Cover the defenders
As the goalie, you will also need to cover your defenders, and rush off the line to clear the ball away or prevent it from going any further.
If an opposing striker is able to break through the defense, then you have to launch into action.
If there is a one on one situation, where a striker is trying to score, then you need to be able to stand your ground and defend the goal, only diving to the ground if it is completely necessary.
6 traits of a great soccer goalie
In order to be a successful goalie, there are a few traits that you will need to possess. We recommend demonstrating all of these six traits and qualities of a great soccer goalie.
Have good reflexes
One of the most vital traits you will need to have is good reflexes. Without strong reflexes and the ability to react quickly, you will not be able to defend the ball or the goal, which is your whole purpose in the game.
You will have to have exceptional shot-stopping qualities and be able to react fast. This means being incredibly agile, fit and focused, and able to make quick decisions.
A goalie will also need to be courageous. They will need to act fast, and disregard their own thoughts, focusing only on the outcome of the game.
This means that if there is a ball heading into the far corner of the goal, the keeper needs to move quickly, diving to save the ball without worrying about hurting themselves.
As a goalie, your body may come into contact with the ball, or you may get hit often. You will need to be brave, and able to ignore this, for the success of the team.
Remain calm and back up defenders
A goalie must also be capable of remaining calm in high-pressure and stressful situations. You will have to be calm, composed and confident in your skills to ensure that you save the ball, and put up a good line of defence against strikers.
You will also instill confidence in the rest of your team members as long as you are full of confidence yourself. They will know that you have their backs, and are capable of protecting your team.
As previously mentioned, it is vital that the keeper or goalie is focused at all times. No matter how the game is going, whether you are ahead or behind, the goalie must be engaged and ready to defend the goal at all points during the match.
You must remain alert and focused if you want to be successful as a soccer goalie.
Have good technical skills
In addition to good communication skills, confidence and focus, you will actually need to have good technical skills with the ball.
Although you will be staying near the goals most of the time, you will sometimes be required to launch the ball across the field, or to your defenders.
This means that you will need to be competent and confident with the ball, not only with your hands but with your feet too, so that you can accurately pass the ball and help your team retain possession during the game.
Another important quality that you will need as a soccer goalie is your fitness levels. You need to be physically fit enough to play, defend and have the physical ability to stop the ball, and move quickly.
This means staying on top of your fitness and having good athletic skills. Although you are not required to run up and down the pitch, you are required to move very fast, and react quickly, so physical fitness is very important.
Our top tips for soccer goalies
If you are a goalie yourself, then you may want to improve your skills and increase your chances of success. To do this, take a look at our 5 top tips for soccer goalies:
Communication is key
You have to have communication skills to be a good goalie. Without strong communication skills, you will not be able to alert your team members or work together effectively and efficiently.
A lapse in communication and concentration will lead to goals being conceded, and you could lose the game.
A great way of keeping focused and involved in the game when the opposition is not near the goal, is to keep communicating with your teammates and defenders.
Spur them on, give them help and keep them engaged in the game. As the goalie, you are in a good position to see every player on the pitch, and so you may notice something that your teammates do not. Use this to your advantage.
Practice your distribution skills
Maintaining possession of the ball can be very effective in winning a game, and so you will need to keep practicing your distribution skills, and ensure that you are fully confident in moving the ball.
You should be capable of passing the ball accurately to your teammates, and being able to attack opposing players, defend and boot the ball across the pitch to get it out of a threatening position.
You may be great with your hands in saving the ball, but without good footwork too, you will be at a disadvantage.
Claim the ball
Make sure that you are being assertive and confident in claiming the ball. Do not be afraid to assert yourself, push through crowds and get to that ball.
Your purpose is to make sure no one scores against your team, so sometimes, you may have to play it tough and even a little aggressive in order to reach your goal.
If you are pushing through a crowd to get the ball, make sure that you communicate this with your defenders, so that they know to protect the goal.
Improve athletic skills
There's always room for improvement. As stated previously, you have to keep on top of athletic skills and your physical fitness, so take part in lots of fitness drills, working on your sprints, acceleration and ability to jump quickly.
You have to be physically on top of your game if you want your team to be successful in the game!
Become a shot-stop master
It is not only your fitness and ball possession skills that you will need to practice. You will also need to practice your shot stopping skills.
In training drills, you will need to try catching and stopping the ball from a wide variety of angles, distances, shots and positions.
This will ensure that you are prepared for anything, and any type of goals, so that you can successfully defend your team in future games.
To conclude, a soccer goalie’s main purpose is to prevent the other team from scoring, and so they have a huge responsibility to the team, and can be under a lot of pressure.
To ensure that you are the best goalie you can be, you will need to be aware of all of the roles and responsibilities that you have, and know which qualities and traits you need to exhibit in order to be successful.
A good goalie should be confident, focused, fast acting and diligent. They will also need to be dedicated to protecting the team and defending the ball.
This means having exceptional fitness levels, ball possession skills and communication skills if you want to dominate as a soccer goalie.
With our guide, you will have all of the tools, tips and hints that you need to be successful and support your team!