As goalkeepers, we have all been in the position of playing a great game and walking off the field with our head held high feeling 10 feet tall. However, what about the times when things don’t go the way we would have hoped and we don’t play our best. How do we deal with those situations and learn from them?

How as Keepers do we pick our heads up, and how can parents assist with this?

At JUST4KEEPERS of East PA, we tell our keepers to try and forget any mistakes until after the game and then take the time to reflect on the game.  It is important to do this while the game is fresh in our minds and we have a clear picture of the games events. Parents can help with this, however, it is very important to ASK rather than TELL then Keeper what they should have done. Instead of saying “You should have made that diving save”, ask “How do you think you could have made that Save?” Simply asking the question will help the keeper think about the situation and open up rather than be told and keep their thoughts to themselves.

Reflecting on games both good and bad are a VERY IMPORTANT part of development. We can’t just show up, put no thought into it and expect things to get better. Thinking about how best to deal with a ball heading towards goal will not only help you save that shot, but will ingrain those habits and abilities for the next shot and then next shot and so on.

Parents, take the time to show an interest in your keepers games/practices. You are not just the chauffeur or the snack bringer; you can be a valuable part of your keeper’s development from helping to keep their feet on the ground to helping to pick them up when things seem to be at their lowest.  Talk to your keeper, it will help not only to show your interest in their performance, but also help your parent-child dynamic. Of course there will be times that it is not easy to talk after a really poor performance, give the keeper time and then open up the communication.

As in life, we need to make mistakes to learn, to develop, to grow. Without this, we can’t experience tough times, which in turn help us enjoy the good times even more. Training with JUST4KEEPERS year-round, helps keepers master the techniques required to develop their game and will help to reduce the number of mistakes, therefore increasing the likelihood of a better in game performance.

Keep learning, Keep Thinking, Keep Working, Keep Developing, JUST4KEEPERS!!