I hope I won’t sound too conceited if I say that I consider myself to be a good goalkeeper. But I am by no means perfect. I’m still learning, I still think there’s a lot to improve.
Even at the age of 36.
In today’s football, a goalkeeper is above all a conductor, someone who gives the team stability and certainty, who knows how to start the game from the back. If he communicates well, he conducts the whole defence. He should be able to see much more than his team-mates who are constantly moving and their heart rate is higher.
It might sound weird, but catching the ball is in itself the easiest thing to learn. Once you master the technique, and there is plenty of tried and tested exercise for that, it’s up to you to put it to good use during matches.
It’s more difficult to communicate well with your team, to know how to back and direct the defence, how far or how close to the goal you ought to stand in every situation. When and why to decide if it’s better to run out of the goal. The goalkeepers’ coach especially should instil in his men to always be in the correct position, even during practice. The word “ALWAYS” is key, because otherwise you might form bad habits that will limit you in the future.
In other words, if the goalkeepers’ coach has a bad philosophy, it will show on his men. I was lucky to have great teachers who helped me become who I am today: Čaloun, Sedláček, Stejskal, Lollichon…
Thanks to those gentlemen I learned that having a goalkeeper who not only knows how to catch the ball and make a save, but also knows how to be in a good position to effectively avert potential goal danger from the opposition helps the team to be more coherent and compact. His team-mates will be better at pressing the opponent and that will increase their chances of dominating the match and ultimately winning it. And the goalkeeper’ role is important not only in between the white sticks that end with a net.
But once the ball flies past him and into the net, the goalkeeper has a problem.
P.S. The following chapter coming up next week!