As goalkeepers the fear of making a mistake often haunts us each and every time we step onto the field. It is essential for us to acknowledge the fact that we are not perfect, and mistakes are going to occur! Mistakes are acceptable as long as we handle them in the appropriate manner, and learn from them going forward! Thanks to TKI student Natalie Axelsson, here are three methods to manage our mistakes as goalkeepers:
My former goalkeeper coach was the first to teach me to move on. Once a goal is scored there is no taking it back. Might as well forget about it for the duration of the game. If you continue to scold yourself, it will impede on your play. The best way for me to manage my mistakes is to move on. However, after the game analyze the goal step by step and learn from it. Mistakes are a learning experience.
2. Step by step
I learned this method through the book “No Hero” by Mark Owen. This is when you take the game one step at a time. Set miniature and obtainable goals for yourself. Keep telling yourself that you will make the next save and it will be amazing and clean. Then keep moving on. Focus on the game itself, take each hurdle a step at a time. This will keep your focus on the game, not elsewhere such as the scoreboard. If you try to watch the scoreboard countdown, you could miss something important, such as trying to organize the defense against an oncoming offensive attack.
With this one you want to envision the game as you want it to be. You know you can do it because you have done it in practice. Now, as Nike would say, just do it. Visualize a perfect drop kick with power and accuracy past midfield, kicking a goal kick up and over the opponents head, or make an amazing one-on-one save. Remember, now you have the upper hand. The opposing team now underestimates you because in their mind you could not make the save and they will become bloodthirsty. This is your time to redeem yourself. Keep a calm mind and execute everything else in that game with precision.