THE MODERN GOALKEEPER by Garrison Goodner

Garrison Goodner is the Director Of Coaching for Goalkeepers at Colorado Rush. 

The modern goalkeeper has transitioned far beyond that of a specialist. The position demands proficiency, as much in a goalkeeper’s passing and distribution, as it does in his/her ability to execute goalkeeping specific techniques. It demands even more than the basic ability to successfully play the game. The goalkeeper’s role in the game sees him/her as both a leader and a coach.

Goalkeeper coaches will say, any save is successful if it keeps the ball out of the net. The goalkeeper must go beyond this thinking and talk efficiency of play. If a save can be made and held or deflected away without further opportunities on goal, then we have been successful. If a save had been made but further chances are created from that save, the goalkeeper has NOT done the job. “One shot, One save”. To be the most efficient and successful, he/she MUST have the mindset that if any actions towards our goal are taken, the goalkeeper must deal with it the first time.

The most successful teams and goalkeepers in the modern game are those that are just as comfortable in the goal, as playing off their line as an extra player. Goalkeepers must have the ability to play with his/her feet at the same level of better than the team with which they are playing. The goalkeeper by position is a coach on the field. The knowledge and understanding of all tactical aspects of the game is imperative to success. Goalkeepers must know and be able to effectively communicate each player’s role in all tactical situations under the most intense of circumstances within games. This is the end goal. In this way the goalkeeper is able to instill confidence within his/her team and provide a presence of authority and certainty to the role.

The goalkeeper position must not be viewed in isolation; it is vital that he/she is integrated fully with the team. The demands of the game will continue to evolve in such a way that to be successful, the goalkeeper must have the willingness and ability to be the 11th player. The goalkeeper must have the willingness and the ability to embody the #1 jersey. The position requires that they are the first line of attack and the most important in defense. First and foremost, the goalkeeper is a soccer player; as such, he/she must embrace the belief that they affect the ability of their team to win or lose games.

Please watch this video of Liverpool #1 Allison Becker.

His composure and confidence with the ball at his feet, his ability to handle a shot or cross and if he does not hold it, it is paired into a non-dangerous area.