An individual in a team sport


Written by Allan Haynes

In my previous blogs, I’ve spoken to you about both defence, and attack. This time I’m going to focus on you goalkeepers out there, who need a helping hand with your game. Especially when it comes to impressing a scout. So warm up those wobbly legs, Bruce Grobbelaar, and get ready for me to hit these tips at you like a Stuart Pearce penalty kick at Euro 96. Are you ready?

Who’d be a goalkeeper?

You need to be mad to be a goalkeeper, right? Take one look at René Higuita’s ridiculous scorpion kick, and you’ll probably agree with this old saying. The psyche of a goalkeeper is important. You not only need to be a leader and boss your defence, making them accountable for their mistakes, but you also need to be prepared to have blame placed at your door for just about every game that your team loses. I guess you’re reading this blog because you’re already a goalkeeper, which means you’ve already ticked the ‘mad’ box - So keep reading for some tips.

Step 1 - Hard work

I’m very aware that I keep talking about the importance of working hard when it comes to turning pro. You need to be just as fit as the midfield players. You need to be able to focus for the full 90 minutes without losing concentration, and you need to practice your basic skills every day. Repeating your technical skills like catching, position, movement and kicking will give you a strong base to work from. You need the ability to keep practicing long after the fun has disappeared.

Step 2 - Attitude

Scouts look at a goalkeeper’s attitude more than any other position on the pitch. You need to show courage - standing strong and making yourself big, even though you know it’s going to hurt. Showing ownership and decision making - coming out to collect a cross confidently, which will give your team (and the scout) confidence in your ability and a trust that you are ready to take responsibility. Physical strength will help you to become a goalkeeper, but mental strength will help you survive as one.

Step 3 - Dominating your area

The penalty area is often described as a goalkeepers home. Showing the opposition players that they aren’t the boss in your home is important. Show your dominance by coming for crosses and taking them comfortably or punch them as far away as possible if you can’t catch them. Practice from both sides, both of your hands should be equally strong. If you can dominate your area, you will have the mental edge required to show the attackers that you’re in charge.

Step 4 - Communication

As a goalkeeper, you might not always have work to do. Those are the times when the goalkeeper scout will be watching you closely to see how you make your presence felt on the pitch. That doesn’t mean shouting at the defenders constantly, it could be simply letting them know where you are just in case they need to make a hasty back pass. Communication with the players around you is key to forming that bond as a defensive unit.

Step 5 - Organise

This is very much linked to my previous point, but really deserves it’s own heading. Just because you aren’t making 10 crucial saves in a game, doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing your job right. Ultimately, your job is to keep the ball out of the net, so if you can organise the defense in front of you to help them to be more solid, that will reflect very well on your trial. Yes, making great saves makes you look like a God, but if you don’t even need to make a save, you’re going to impress the scout.

So that was 5 steps on how to impress a goalkeeper scout. I hope you can use some of the ideas I mentioned to help you step-up your game!

Below you will see a recent video we made about how to impress a scout. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more ‘How-To’ blogs in the coming weeks for more awesome #Unisportlife content.