Being a Soccer (Football) Goalkeeper - The Bad and the Good

There are a few common misconceptions about soccer (called "football" everywhere other than in the United States) goalkeepers. Let's take a look at these and then examine how things really are.

Misconception #1 - Being a soccer goalie is easy because you don't have to run around very much.

People who aren't familiar with the game will see all the players running around on the field and then see the goalies who are "just standing there" and assume it must be easy.

The truth is that goalies have to be 100% aware of what is going on at all times. While it may not be as physically demanding as the other position, they do still need to be able to move around a lot -- and quickly -- especially if the ball is equidistant from the goalie and an opposing player and they are both running for it.

A goalkeeper also has to be precisely aware of where he is on the field, and know where the goal is without needing to look back and see it. Taking your eyes off the ball for even a split second can result confusion which can lead to the other team scoring.

Misconception #2 - Goalies only need to be able to stop shots.

When people think of a goalkeeper, they think of the person blocking the opposing team's shots on goal. After the goalie stops a shot, however, he needs to be able to put the ball where he wants it. Sometimes this is a short little pass to a teammate, but other times it is a throw or kick halfway down the field or more. Being able to precisely get the ball to go where you want it, rather than into the control of someone on the other team, is an important skill for a soccer goalie.

Misconception #3 - It is the goalie's fault if the team loses.

The goalie is the last line of defense before the ball goes into the net, so goalie is often unfairly blamed for a team's loss.

There may be some instances when a loss is actually the fault of the goalkeeper, for example, if he makes an obvious error in play, but in most cases the loss is no more the goalkeeper's fault than it is any other player. Why not blame the defender who let the scoring player through? Why not blame the forward to lost possession of the ball and allowed the other team to begin their attack? If those things hadn't happened, the other team wouldn't have scored.

Being your team's goalie means that you may have to bear more than your share of the burden for a loss. While you know it's not your fault, some of the fans may not be so clear-headed.

Being a goalie can also be the most exciting position on the team, and goalies usually love playing that position. One reason is that you're the only one on your team. It's a big position with big responsibilities, and with these responsibilities can come big rewards. If the opposing team is especially aggressive but the goalkeeper successfully stops their shots, he or she may get a lot of praise from teammates and fans. Furthermore, certain people enjoy the challenge; staring down your opponent as he runs toward you with the ball. It becomes a battle of sorts with you protecting the net; like a one-on-one duel. While some people don't do well under that kind of pressure, others thrive, and for those who enjoy it, there is no other position on the field that could take its place.

If you're interested in improving your skills, check out this goalkeeper training site to learn more!

Article Source: Irma_Hearne

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