Being a goalkeeper is not an easy task. You are the last line of defence for your team and you have to deal with all kinds of shots, crosses, and threats from the opposition. You also have to communicate with your defence, organise them, and instil confidence in them. All of this requires a lot of calmness and focus, two essential qualities for any goalkeeper.
But what exactly are calmness and focus and how can they help you improve your performance as a goalkeeper? Let’s find out.
What is Calmness?
Calmness is the ability to remain composed, relaxed, and confident in stressful or challenging situations. It is the opposite of being nervous, anxious, or panicky. Calmness helps you to control your emotions, think clearly, and make good decisions.
As a goalkeeper, you will face many situations that can test your calmness. For example, you may have to face a penalty kick, a one-on-one situation with a striker, or a corner kick with many players in the box. In these situations, you need to stay calm and not let the pressure get to you. If you lose your calmness, you may make mistakes, such as diving too early, misjudging the ball, or losing your position.
One way to develop your calmness is to practice breathing exercises. Breathing deeply and slowly can help you lower your heart rate, relax your muscles, and calm your mind. You can do this before the game, during breaks, or whenever you feel stressed or nervous.
Another way to develop your calmness is to visualise positive outcomes. Imagine yourself making a great save, catching a cross, or distributing the ball well. This can help you boost your confidence and reduce your fear of failure.
What is Focus?
Focus is the ability to concentrate on one thing and ignore distractions. It is the opposite of being distracted, bored, or unfocused. Focus helps you to pay attention to what matters, process information quickly, and react accordingly.
As a goalkeeper, you will face many situations that can challenge your focus. For example, you may have to deal with long periods of inactivity, loud noises from the crowd or the opposition, or negative thoughts from previous mistakes. In these situations, you need to stay focused and not let anything distract you. If you lose your focus, you may miss important cues, such as the movement of the ball or the players, or be caught off guard by a sudden attack.
One way to develop your focus is to break the game down into smaller segments. For instance, you can set yourself small targets for every five or ten minutes of the game, such as keeping a clean sheet, making a save, or completing a pass. This can help you stay motivated and alert throughout the game.
Another way to develop your focus is to communicate with your defence. Talking to them can help you keep yourself and them switched on for as much as possible. You can also use verbal cues to remind yourself of what to do next, such as “watch the ball”, “stay on your line”, or “come for the cross”.
How Calmness and Focus Help a Goalkeeper
Calmness and focus are two interrelated skills that can help you improve your performance as a goalkeeper. When you are calm and focused, you can:
• Make better decisions: You can analyse the situation quickly and choose the best course of action.
• Improve your technique: You can execute your skills more accurately and consistently.
• Enhance your agility: You can move faster and more efficiently across the goal.
• Boost your confidence: You can trust yourself and your abilities more.
• Enjoy the game more: You can have more fun and satisfaction from playing.
To sum up, calmness and focus are vital for any goalkeeper who wants to excel in their position. By practicing these skills regularly and applying them in games, you can become a more reliable and effective goalkeeper for your team.