The report scratches what is important for a goalkeeper in order to be considered “top class”. Yes, it is the details that make the difference. In many ways and in many different areas. The position in itself is special. You are alone. That’s why you prepare or practice for a big part separated from the others. While a lot of the skills necessary to be a good soccer player also help in the goalie position, if you don’t have a few other major skills and requirements you can only play in the field. As the report stated, there are lots of details that you experience throughout your career. It is impossible to mention them all here.
So, let’s talk about the 12 mentioned in this report. If I am a scout and I have been told there is a good goalie and you need to see him, then I don’t worry about the shots he is going to stop in that game. If he wouldn’t be a good shot stopper or couldn’t catch a ball, nobody would inform any scout about this goalie. Here is what I would look for:
- Fitness. Absolut physical fitness. Without fitness, nothing goes.
- Quick feet. If you have quick feet, you don’t have to “fly” to much and too early and you are quick at the “loose balls”.
- Player qualities. How good is he with his feet? Deliveries(!!)? Ball handling (feet)? Can a defender play the ball back under pressure and not worry that the goalie makes a complete mess of it? Can you use him as the “11th” field player.
- Is he participating in the game, can he read a game?
- Body control and forward move in pressure situations, is he on his toe’s (literally)? Body in front of his feet (if you get caught on your heels and upper body behind your feet you are done)? This one is very important. If this is not in the goalie’s mentioned in this report, it will probably never set in at their age. You can watch games in all leagues, it happens everywhere. In the English premier league even the best get caught on their heels from time to time. It happens in situations with shots from short distance and it is a natural reflex, you try to protect yourself. It is important to overcome this and it must be practiced over and over again.