If I had a dollar for every time another Soccer parent would say to me “I really donâ€™t know how you do it,â€ Iâ€™d be able to buy myself a brand-new truck! The standard reply is always the same: â€œYou’ll get used to it overtime.â€ I’m my sonâ€™s number one fan and I will always be proud of him. I admire his and all his fellow keepers that have that willingness to stand in the goal and not only face all the shots coming from all directions but also face the scrutiny that comes along with being the last line of the teams defense.
Being a Goalkeeper Parent means facing so many more emotions during a game, a lot more than the outfield parents will see, many of which are very stressful. Â
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Being a parent of a goalkeeper means most of all that youâ€™re going to go into games with the unique knowledge that youâ€™re either going to watch your child gain total confidence because he/she made that outstanding save, or torn down emotionally because they let in the goal that (in some cases) cost the the team the game.
Itâ€™s knowing that you canâ€™t take the family to a hotel at the beach for the weekend because the cost of his/her padded shorts compression pants and shirt, goalkeeper gloves are going to be the equivalent. Each year, you settle for less, but with the knowledge that your Goalkeeper is protected on gameday. I don’t know about you all, but I’m constantly hitting the the parent standing next to me because I’m soo focused making imaginary saves from the sideline. Or on one of them really “bad days” back when Blake was playing in Volusia County, I’d overhear the non supportive parent say “we could have won this game if he saved that shot”
I’m sure many of you goalkeeper parents have been rewarded with the classical sympathy look you get after your child had a bad game. You can almost see in their eyes that they’re happy their child isn’t a goalkeeper!
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Yes, these are many (but not all) of the challenges of being a Goalkeeper Parent, but all of that doesn’t come even close to the emotion you feel each time they walk up to and stand in the goal. There is nothing like watching your young boy/girl breaking away at that ball, making the perfect tip-over, saving that penalty and commanding their defense and all that comes with a GK… it makes them feel like a super hero.
So the next time you see a goalkeeper warming up to the side, getting all muddy even before the game takes placeÂ I would ask you to think about this: They made the team by trying out for only one spot. They are required to be always at their best for the full game, of the game will be lost. A goalkeeper will dive at someone’s feet, someone that is taking a full power shot in goal, GK’s are brave, they know that at any time they could be booted in the face. Yet in spite of all these challenges, your little keeper still wants to put on their gloves and take their spot in the six yard box and be that, “Brick Wall”, the last line of the defense!!
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Goalkeeper parents see the game in a totally different way and tend to get defensive when they overhear other parents describe goalies as strange or even weird. As a coach and a goalkeeper dad, my description of a youngster that wants to be a goalie would be that they are resilient, very brave, and strong minded.
It’s been 5 years now and when someone asks me “Hey, what itâ€™s like to be a Goalkeeper Parent?” I very proudly say: â€œYou have no clue!… Thereâ€™s nothing like it and I personally wouldnâ€™t change it for anything in the world.â€