ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Goalkeeping Psychology

Updated on August 2, 2012
The penalty area is the goalkeepers domain.
The penalty area is the goalkeepers domain. | Source

Goalkeeping Psychology Overview

Goalkeeping Psychology covers topics that require self-reflection and these topics cannot be physically practiced, but can be mentally applied and learned over time. These topics encompass critical thinking when playing goalkeeper and can still be applied outside of matches and training. Learning to remain focused is critical in goalkeeping, especially when action is limited to the opposite goal. Showing confidence is very important for the keeper and the team. Visualizing a great save from a previous match helps build and prepare the psyche for similar circumstances during future matches. Visualizing also allows keepers to critique their performances and style.

This article complements Goalkeeper Mental Training, which summarizes the usefulness and blockades of nervousness, acceptance of mistakes, and importance of team communication.

Goalkeepers must remain focused.
Goalkeepers must remain focused. | Source

Stay Focused

The goalkeeper position experiences extended periods of little action. This can cause focus to drift and allow the keeper to be susceptible to a quick counter-attack. Avoiding daydreaming and mental sidetracking is a bit difficult, but can be overcome fairly easily by a few suggestions.

One way to stay focused is to talk to the nearest defenders. Compliment them on tackles and good work rate, but also point out mistakes and give tips on defending a certain opponent or opposition's style of attack. Doing this will keep the goalkeeper and defenders focused when action is at the opposite end.

Studying the opposition team and key opponents also keeps the mind focused. Take mental notes of how key opponents attack and the routes they like to run. Point these observations out to the defense as well. Study teammates also. This can help when directing punts, goal kicks, and throws. Learning the routes of teammates can help when distributing a long ball down range.

Select goalkeeper gear that is comfortable and reflects personal style.
Select goalkeeper gear that is comfortable and reflects personal style. | Source

Appear Confident

Professional goalkeepers stand their ground within the penalty box as if they are bulletproof. This puts apprehension into attackers and most attackers will not take wild chances in attempt to slip one past the goal line. Confidence comes from within and only the goalkeeper can promote an aura of confidence. Confidence is vital no matter how many training sessions, matches, and saves the keeper endures. If the goalkeeper is not confident in their abilities, then they are of little use to a team who relies on them as the last line of defense.

Confidence can be slightly boosted by appearance. Goalkeepers are the rebels and outlaws of the game. They defy the rules of "no hands" and watch over their penalty area like a sentry. Stand straight, never lose temperament, and appear unfazed when scored against. Celebrate a little after a big save, but quickly collect emotions and thoughts and prepare for another attack.

Goalkeeper jerseys/shirts are made to be flashy and dazzling, as well as gloves and cleats/boots. The rules prohibit goalkeepers to wear the same colors as teammates, opponents, and referees, so keepers can be radical with the style of their kits. Wear comfortable gear and select something that fits personal tastes. Take pride in caring for goalkeeper gloves and keep them in optimal condition as well.

Visualizing triumphs boosts confidence and abilities.
Visualizing triumphs boosts confidence and abilities. | Source

Self Visualization

Visualization forms mental images which allows keepers to reflect on past matches and training. Remembering great saves and sound judgement helps the mind prepare for future scenarios. It also builds confidence within the keeper. Remembering triumphant moments brings about positive feelings and reinforces the desire to play the position.

Young keepers too often reflect on goals against them instead of remembering the goals they prevented. This can even be said for all ages of goalkeepers. Too often the mistakes overshadow the successes, which is covered in Goalkeeper Mental Training. Overlook the negative thoughts and mistakes with successes while manning the box.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)