Most, if not all goalkeepers, believe that goals are never their fault.  While they understand that this is not the reality of goalkeeping, it is an essential attitude to have.

This is about self-confidence, not perfection.

During my ten year goalkeeping career, I believed that, “unless a slow roller went through my legs, all goals were the result of someone else’s mistake”.  If all field players in front of the goalkeeper did their job properly, the ball would never reach them.

Good goalkeepers must possess athleticism and a passion for the position, but “strength of character” is necessary for them realize their maximum potential.  This is the ability to believe in yourself and accept responsibility for your actions.

Although it is tempting to want others to know that a goal was not your fault, a goalkeeper must NEVER publicly assign blame to a teammate.  This never brings the goal back and could undermine a team’s confidence in the goalkeeper.

After a goal is scored, the goalkeeper should quickly retrieve the ball from the net and return it to mid-field, while also shouting encouragement to his/her teammates.  Later, possibly after the game or at a subsequent practice, the goalkeeper should explain to teammates how their errors could have been avoided while also praising them for good plays.

Showing “strength of character” is not easy, but it is something every young goalkeeper should develop.  With time, they will develop a sense of pride and inner satisfaction.