One thing most Keepers will have to deal with during their career is sharing time in the net with a rival keeper, and the competition that comes along with that!
Whether you are the ‘Established’ Starting Keeper, or the ‘Back-Up’, how you deal with and prepare for your role can be very different, but also very similar!
During Practice, you should work hard and Give EVERYTHING you have, regardless of whether you are the ‘Starting’ keeper or not.
If you are the ‘Starting’ Keeper, practice hard to keep your position. Remember, someone is always looking to take your spot. If you are the ‘Back-up’, strive to work harder than the ‘Starting Keeper’; show you aren’t afraid to go the extra mile to earn a shot at the starting position. Remember to be respectful of the other keepers on your squad. Healthy competition is good, but respect is more important.
During games, whether you play the first half or the second half, Be Confident, Be a Loud Leader and Make Yourself Proud!!!
If you are the ‘Back-Up’, observe the game during your time on the sidelines. Try to analyze and understand the tempo of the game, and the pattern the opposite team plays with. Think about how you would deal with goalkeeping situations, and don’t forget to be supportive and encouraging of the keeper who is in net.
As the ‘Back-Up’, if you are asked to play, Seize the Opportunity! Even if it’s 20 minutes at the end of the second half and your team is down in the game, you can still impact the game and show that you are a capable keeper (as well as possible starter)!
Frustration can easily set in during time on the sidelines. You may feel that (and this may be true) you are not getting a fair shot of equal time or starting time in the net. I have seen many times that keepers are not the ‘Starting’ keeper even though they are the ‘Better’ keeper. At times, coaches will stick with what they know. Sometimes keeping the same keeper in to start is an easier decision, and may also prevent conversation between a parent and coach as to why their keeper was taken out of their Starting role.
Many Goalkeepers can look back over their career and remember the opportunity they seized to come off the bench as the ‘Back-Up’, impact the game, and become the ‘Established’ Starting Keeper!
Make Yourself Proud – Seize The Opportunity