Even an alien coming from Mars for a weekend on Earth must see at first glance that I’m different than the rest of the team. My shirt is different, I’m the only one of the guys with gloves, I can pick up the ball, I don’t run as much as the others.
It’s nice to be different than the others, right? Well, depends. Sometimes, when I’m reaching for a ball in vain and it ends in the net, I’m the first one who gets blamed. Whether it’s warranted or not. But I love the position. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.
No one has ever defined what requirements a goalkeeper has to meet in order to be one of the top ranked goalkeepers. Some people admire goalies who are calm at all times, just do their job with no needless hassle and don’t make a show of it. Others like blokes who run from one side of the goal line to the other or try to dribble outside the penalty box. Some prefer goalies who know how to save a cross ball, others care about penalty saving success rate, and some like when the goalkeeper gives loud orders to the defenders so they don’t mess up.
I’m not going to change, and I also know that spending most of my life on the goal line is shaping me. And I feel like solving problems in everyday life is much easier than solving problems in the goal. It’s more mechanical, so to speak.
“Look, it’s much worse in the goal,” I’d think to myself when I’m queueing at an office somewhere, waiting for a lengthy interview on any given topic. “So I can’t get the loan right now? So what!”
No, it’s not like I don’t care, because I know that if you underestimate anything, you might get punished right next minute. Just like when you’re in the goal.
If I lose respect, if I don’t care about what happens next, there will be consequences. That’s what life on the goal line taught me. Do. Not. Underestimate. Ever! If you face top marksmen every day, you cultivate your instinct, and then you use it in your private life too. So, once again: Do NOT underestimate!
I believe that I’m a stronger person thanks to my goalkeeping experience.
P.S. Next week - Chapter 30
Like Roger Federer in a Wimbledon final. …
Do you know what the first goalkeeping commandment is? …