GOALKEEPER 101: WHAT SKILLS ARE NEEDED?
Goalkeeping is a unique position in soccer and takes a lot of different skills from the other 10 players on the field. We wont touch on tactical in this post but we will stay with physical and technical skills that will be needed. So take a look at the Physical and Technical skills needed to be a Goalkeeper.
Here are the 4 technical areas we need as a goalkeeper. Footwork, Handling, Diving, and Kicking. Footwork is our must simple and fundamental skill that is critical to any type of success as a goalkeeper. Our footwork is what gets us to where we need to be so we can make the save. It also allows us to prepare for the shot and make the save. Handling is next on our list as its how we win possession for our team. Making a save is wonderful, but winning possession for our team is the objective. Diving steps in to round out the shot stopping skills we need. Diving gives us that extra special gift that no other player on the field has and sets us apart. It allows us to make saves that we cant otherwise. Finally kicking, this is how we help our team keep possession. We punt the ball, side volley the ball, receive back passes, and take goal kicks. All these are ways that we can help our team maintain the possession we have won.
Along with technical qualities we will also need physical abilities to pull off the technical skills to the highest level. The 4 physical areas for a goalkeeper are Strength, Speed, Quickness and Power. Strength comes in many forms but for us as goalkeepers that strength needs to help us keep the ball out of the net. Arm and shoulder strength is a massive area of need. For those extended dives we need to put more strength behind the ball to make sure the speed of the shot doesn't out match the force we put behind it. For clean handling we need to have strong hands so we don't spill the ball for rebounds. Another area will be in our core. To be able to perform many of the goalkeeper movements at a high degree it will take a strong core to pull off. When we talk about speed we are discussing the ability to run at a high velocity in a straight line. Goalkeepers don't need to be able to do this over 50 plus yards but over 5, 10, 15 yards. When a team plays a ball over the top, or a through ball on the ground a goalkeeper must have the speed to beat the forward to the ball to prevent having to deal with a shot. Quickness is our ability to move side to side and cover the area in and around our six yard box. Deflections, rebounds, and many other scenarios will cause difficulty for goalkeepers and our quickness will allow us to reposition to make the next save. If you want to be a poster goalkeeper then power is the ideal. Making upper 90 saves is a dream for all goalkeepers, and power is what gets us to that ball. All extension dives, high balls, and crosses come from the legs. All goalkeepers want to make sure they put extra energy and effort to have powerful legs that can get them to this bigger saves.
Goalkeepers come in all different sizes, and are gifted with different skills, but all of them need to have levels of these technical abilities and physical traits to find success in the position.