I recently spoke to a couple of our Just4Keepers of East PA Keepers after watching them play.
The topic of our conversation was how they carried themselves during the game, and how important their body language is.
Body language forms such an important and integral part of any sport, especially Goalkeeping. As much as positive body language boosts a player’s morale, negative/Lazy body language can give signals to the opponent the the player is not fully focused on the game and could be vulnerable to shots.
I spoke to one of the keepers, who during the game, was positioned on the edge of his box with his arms folded almost ‘Spectating’ the game. I told him to unfold his arms and be more active in his play.
I encourage my keepers to patrol the edge of their area, constantly ‘Pacing’ around, engaged and communicating with their defenders. This not only keeps them active and more focused on the game, it gives, with positive body language the impression of a leader in complete control of his or her team. I tell my keepers to ‘Walk Tall’, Shoulders Back, Head Held High, Leading Loudly!
One technique that may be useful in helping you play well in this position is to make sure that your body language is positive both in the build-up and during a match. The importance of body language in both making ourselves feel confident and in sending off signals to our opponents is illustrated below and consciously choosing to engage in the mannerisms of a confident player can have a very positive effect.
Think carefully and try to act out the following Body Language Habits, Before, During and After your games!
“Body language can speak louder than words!”
We all have a mind-body relationship. Yes, our thoughts dictate how we feel, but the opposite is also true. Our body language can dictate our thoughts and our feelings. Simply put, mental toughness requires good body language.
While Playing, we in essence are putting on a performance, like an actor or actress. Our personality often dictates our body language. Some people show little emotion; they are even-keeled, and others cannot really show how they are actually feeling. On the opposite end, some athletes are incredibly energetic and visibly show their emotions. A display of positive emotion after a successful play can intimidate an opponent, but body language often becomes more important when we are not performing well.
“Fake it until you make it.” We’ve all been there—it’s frustrating when we don’t play well. The last thing we want to do is pretend that we’re not frustrated. But we must address our body language. When you are are not doing well in a game, try to show the same body language you have when you are playing well.
- Keep your head up
- Encourage others
- Clap, cheer or congratulate teammates
- Keep eye contact
“Act the part” Confident Keepers have a presence, and their body language shows it. When we get nervous or lack confidence, we should instantly focus on our body language. Again, the mind-body relationship exists, and positive body language will essentially tell our mind that we are confident.
“Confident Keepers make players around them Better.” No one can read our thoughts; they can only see our body language. We can be a good teammate and leader through our body language. It is easy to deal with others and be a good teammate when we are competing well. Yet mental toughness demands that we are a good teammate and a relentless competitor even when we are struggling.
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