New Stats Suggest Elite Shot-Stopping Goalkeeping Matters a Lot.

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The Goalkeeper is arguably the hardest position to play effectively. People think its the easiest. At least in my experience, goalkeepers are the most underappreciated players on the pitch.

Let’s ask anyone under the age of 21 who their favorite soccer player is. Messi, Ronaldo, Pulisic… the glory always goes to players who score goals, not the ones who stop them from happening. The only goalkeeper ever to win the Ballon d’Or, (soccer’s most prestigious individual player award), was Dynamo Moscow’s Lev Yashin 50 years ago.

In a sport where a goal saved is just as good as a goal as a goal scored, it’s very strange to see that fans are tilted toward players who put it in the net rather than them that keep it out. I think that it’s simply because we really ever think what a goalkeeper has to go through during training and the game. Many soccer fans think that the keeper who gets dozens of clean sheets just has a good defense. 

Making great saves is only a small part of a goalkeeper’s job, which also includes organizing his defensive line, passing out of the back (Redistribution) and “Owning” the 18 yard box with detailed-passing, loud directions, something that we call “The modern goalkeeper”. 

I think some of it has to do with the higher level you play: The better you perform and the easier you make it look with proper technique and positioning. When you make it look easy a lot of the time, people will assume what you are doing is easy to do and not really praise worthy.

Underappreciated and Sideline Criticisms:

Criticisms from the sidelines can be heard loud and clear by a goalkeeper more so than any other player player on the field. Playing inside an 18 yard box for 90 minutes (or more) means you’re a very easy target. If you’ve ever been to the stadium and sat right behind the goal, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Most of the time the criticism on the sideline comes from parents or fans that have zero experience with goalkeeping and have no clue what they’re talking about. Even if you the keeper know this, it can still bother you!

The bottom line is that you have to give the def ear to all those pathetic distractions. Stick strictly to what you’ve been trained to do and you’ll prove them wrong.

For this reason, the psychology that goes into a goalkeeper is very important and even more so in the high-performance psychological preparation through which their cognitive and mental strength capacities are amplified, reinforcing their self-esteem, raising the level of consciousness and dealing with distractions.

Let’s end saying that the goalkeeper is arguably a team’s most influential player on the field!… FINAL!

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