6 Techniques for Developing a Strong Goalkeeper Mentality
Mental fortitude is a characteristic that all good soccer players must possess, but if you're going to put on the gloves and play between the sticks as a goalkeeper, it's imperative that you cultivate this trait to withstand the heavy pressure and intense spotlight that comes from having your every move magnified.
As a goalkeeper, you've got to develop these six techniques for improving the mental side of your game.
1. Own The 18 Yard Box
Each time you take the pitch, it's important to know in your head and your heart that the 18-yard box you patrol is yours and yours alone. Field players that enter the area are guests in your house.
Your mindset has to be one of complete and utter domination, rule the roost, own the box, believing that anyone who enters is under your jurisdiction and subject to your will.
2. Play with Confidence
Exude a steady and unfaltering confidence that inspires your teammates and strikes fear into the psyche of the opposition.
Never let doubt creep into your mind, don't allow it the chance to breathe, or the room to exist, take the field with a winning mentality that never allows the thought of losing enter your mind.
You are a human wall that cannot be compromised, will not be beat, and does not know the meaning of defeat.
3. Emit Positivity
Encourage and support your teammates no matter the situation. Negativity never breeds anything good for you or your teammates.
Demand accountability and set high expectations, but spread a gospel of positivity amongst your peers and build them up to be the best they can be, by highlighting the good things they are doing, and encouraging them to work harder to take the next step to playing at a higher level.
4. Communicate Like a General
Shout constructive and specific commands throughout the match to ensure that players are being marked, runs are being tracked, and your defenders are pushing out when they should.
It is your job to be the great communicator, heard above the noise and din of the fans, coaches, and other players, your voice must be unique, commanding, and clearly decipherable on the field of play.
5. Process The Game Around You
Your goalkeeping brain must become a supercomputer that analyzes and writes algorithms that help you read the game and make split second decisions.
Examine and investigate the ongoings around you in real time so that you are equipped to help your team achieve success.
Speed of thought, and the power of your mind muscles need to be sharp and explosive, prepared to make major decisions in the blink of an eye.
6. Let Mistakes Go
If you make a mistake let it go. It's done and there's nothing you can do to rewrite history or turn back time.
Focus on what is the road ahead and the other challenges that are sure to come your way during the match. You will no doubt be called upon again to make a big save, at a key moment, and as a keeper you must have a short memory.
Keep your head, stay calm, focus on the fundamentals of your game, and believe that your teammates will help rectify any mishaps that might have occurred.