How to be a great goalkeeper

The goalkeeper position in a football team is arguably the last line of defence for any team, and many attributes are required to play well in this position.

Physical attributes

A goalkeeper needs to be strong, flexible and fit. They may spend long periods of the match not physically involved in the game, and it’s important that they keep moving to keep warm so they can react when a ball does come their way.

Fitness is also important because a goalie can easily sustain injuries. When there is only you between the net and a goal, you cannot afford to back out of a tackle.

Height is also seen as a great attribute to have because it allows the keeper to cover the mouth of the net more easily, whether diving across the floor of the goal or jumping to reach a corner of the net. It’s also often said that a goalie needs to make themselves “big” in front of an opponent, which helps put them off and make rushed, snap decisions that can lead them to make crucial mistakes.

Goalkeepers also need to be easily distinguished from the rest of their team, so they don’t wear the standard team football kits. In addition to a different shirt, they wear special gloves, and in some cases, they also wear protective headwear. If you’re looking for kits for your team, take a look at sites like

Finally, they need to have a safe – and some say large – pair of hands. Once they have the ball, they must not let go.

Mental attributes

The goalkeeper needs a strong mental attitude, too. They need to be able to keep focussed on the match play and the ball for long periods when they might not actually be involved. They need to be ready to react when the ball does come their way and be able to read the game to assess where potential dangers may come from.

According to the BBC, you’ve also got to be a bit crazy to wear the number one jersey.

The keeper needs to have confidence in his own skills and the ability to read the body language of the other players on the field and react accordingly, so being able to think quickly is also essential to being a great goalkeeper.

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