Goalkeepers: Do your teammates blame you if you’re scored on? And how do you handle it?

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They do blame you if you make a mistakes and lose hold of the ball or if the ball skips over you when you break away. If the strikers shot was perfect and there was nothing you could do you’ll always have that ass on your team that will blame you. Being a goalkeeper puts a lot (if not all) pressure on you. If any of the other 10 players make a mistake there is always someone that can recover that mistake for them, but if a goalkeeper does a mistake… No one is behind you but the goal!!

I remember being criticized all the time, High School was the best for getting laughed upon when I made a mistake. In 75% of the goalkeepers 18 or younger, this thing will push you back mentally, that’s what I always tell my keepers that: “Goalkeeping requires mental strength more than physical strength”. If you’re fit mentally, if you’re confident, but most of all you believe in yourself you can do it irrespective of what people talk about you. All the crap teammates and their parents talked about me I used it as a motivation tool for myself. At the end of the day I kept on playing, while they went out and found themselves a job.

That is one of the hardships of being a goalkeeper, people only remember the ones you miss and not always the decisive save that brought home the victory! It’s a classic!

What I can suggest: Unless you allow the ball to pass the goal line or make a mistake that was clearly your fault, I would suggest to immediately get up and bring it to the defense attention, what they could have done to avoid the goal. This usually shifts the focus from you and helps them to look at their own low-performance during that attack.

This past winter I must have attended at least 30-35 high school games, I drove up to 70 miles to see my boys and girls play and I noticed more than once that the keepers were getting the blame from their defense right under the eyes of the coach, it was something that he had to have head, as I heard it standing 30 feet behind him. However he did nothing, he let it pass as ordinary communication between players. I asked the keeper if the coach got on to the defender after the game and he told me no.

If a coach is not clamping down on this type of bad-communication between players, then this coach needs to be told to sign up at the DCC at US Soccer and take the basic F course to learn how to control a team.

During the academy sessions I remain positive, I try to transmit that positive attitude to the keepers, but I also poke the older ones now and then to get a reaction and if I don’t get one I stop the drill and go over with them, how they need to mentally be during a game.

Goalkeepers are the coaches on the field, be sure that everyone respects you!

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