What Makes a Good Keeper?
There are many different goalkeepers playing all over the world. Some of them will hold at least one of these traits, if not all. The traits that I perceive to contribute to making a good goalkeeper may not be totally the same as what you would believe.
The position of Goalkeeper needs to be a person who can think and act immediately when a decision is required. Below I have outlined what I think will make a successful goalkeeper and why this is so.
Good Basic Skills
The key to your success as a goalkeeper is having good basic skills. If you do not have good basics you will find it very hard to make even the simplest of saves. Basic saves of importance include instep saves getting wide clearances, hand saves left and right and many more, please refer to previous tips pages for more details.
Reflex saves are vital to the performance of every keeper. If you don't have natural reflexes it is important that you work on these to make sure that you make those match winning saves. As mentioned in previous tips, a good way to improve your reflexes is to get someone to hit tennis balls at you. The balls generally come faster than most hit hockey balls, thus making you react quicker than usual. You can also do this training with hockey balls and getting some one to hit or flick them at you one after the other.
Decision making is something that comes naturally for most and with time it can be greatly improved upon. Decision making comes in two forms: when playing in goal, deciding where to call your players and deciding what save you make and how you are going to make it. The best way to improve this is to simulate match like situations in training.
Speed & Strength
Speed and strength are vital components for success as a goalkeeper. Both of these components are ones that you can work on if you are not naturally gifted in this area. You will need to consult your coach or a physical trainer for more specific detail that is relevant to you as an individual.
With field players getting better every day it is important that the keeper keeps on top of the situation. An easy way to do this is to be an attacking keeper. By taking charge of the area around you and closing down players as soon as they receive the ball they don't get the chance to have a shot at goal. There is much more information on Attacking Play in the previous tips pages.
The Ability to Accept Responsibility for Actions
Some goalkeepers tend to blame others around them when a ball goes in the back of the net. In many situations this may be the right thing to do, however, on occasions the goalkeeper has neglected to call a player into line or just made a bad save. It is important for the goalkeeper to admit when they have made a mistake as it keeps the team cohesive, and when it is not the fault of the keeper the team will usually recognise this.
After reading this you may think of many other traits you or another goalkeeper may possess that make you a great keeper. . This is only what I think and is here to make you think a little more about your keeping.
Good luck with the keeping!
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