What characteristics make a great goalkeeper?

Goalkeeper is one of the most difficult positions to play on the football pitch. Not only does a No. 1 need to stop hard shots, but they must deal with the mental aspects of success and failure.

A goalkeeper has to face pressure that other positions do not and that is why players must have certain characteristics others do not.

Concentration

Concentration is a key ingredient for any goalkeeper. Players must focus on the task at hand which is saving shots and being aware of attackers and defenders around him/her.

Shot-stoppers must read the game in front of them and communicate to teammates. One split second and mental lapse and a goalkeeper will be picking the ball out of the back of the net.

Former Liverpool player Loris Karius has become famous for all the wrong reasons over the last 12 months due to his lapses in concentration. Those lapses may follow Karius for the rest of his career.

Positioning

Having the right positioning is vital to making saves and picking out crosses. Teammates can rely on their goalkeeper to make vital saves and to trust them when their positioning is spot on.

If a No. 1 is caught out of position on a regular basis, then teammates can lose confidence in their man/woman in goal. It can also affect the way in which they defend.

Leadership

Goalkeepers are often times a team’s captain. Why is this? Because a goalkeeper is a natural leader. They see the whole game in front of them and can instruct the team to move all around the pitch.

A goalkeeper must also lead his defence and sort them out when out of position. If a goalie takes command of his/her area, the rest of the team is more likely to be organised.

Resilience

A shot-stopper must be resilient. If a mistake is made or goal conceded, a good goalkeeper needs to dust themselves off and continue on.

Goalkeepers need to have short memories to overcome poor play and to make the next big save. All great goalkeepers like Gianluigi Buffon, Hugo Lloris, and Alisson Becker have had to overcome poor play and bounce back.

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