7 Goalkeeping Myths

  • Reinforce bad habits
  • Delay a goalkeeper’s development and potential
  • Lead to possible injury
  • Frustrate the player and/or the team due to lack of positive results

Myth #1: Goalkeepers don’t have to be athletic

Marc-Andre ter Stegen making an incredible diving save just below the crossbar.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen making an incredible diving save. Photo source: DW

Myth #2: Goalkeepers should drop to their knees for a save

A young goalkeeper in a yellow jersey, going down to one knee to pick up a ball. Never do this.
Never do this. This is really poor technique.
  • When a goalkeeper goes to ground, he/she has committed to that move, save or position. Knees on the ground does not allow a goalkeeper to remain agile — it’s a commitment that a goalkeeper should not be making.
  • There are a number of things that can change during the ball’s trajectory. It can change direction by hitting a rut, skipping on wet grass, knuckling or even taking a deflection off a player. An opponent can even intercept the ball as it’s rolling.
Goalkeeper, Stephanie Labbé, in a bright green jersey bending low to catch the ball.
Canadian goalkeeper, Stephanie Labbé, demonstrating the proper scoop catching technique.

Myth #3: Goalkeepers don’t have to be good with their feet

Manuel Neuer passing the ball
Manuel Neuer passing the ball

Myth #4: Goalkeepers have to be tall

Jorge Campos of Mexico leaping off the ground in celebration, wearing his iconic, flamboyant goalkeeper uniform.
Jorge Campos of Mexico.
  • Iker Casillas, 6 feet
  • David Ospina, 6 feet
  • Claudio Bravo, 6 feet
  • Sergio Alvarez, 5 feet 10 inches
  • Nick Rimando, 5 feet 10 inches

Myth #5: Goalkeepers are crazy

Ederson colliding with Sadio Mané in a particularly scary clash.
This moment took a lot of bravery from Ederson

Myth #6: Shouting for goalkeepers to “come off your line!”

Myth #7: Goalkeepers should always punt the ball

Alyssa Naeher, US Women’s goalkeeper, throwing the ball to a teammate
US Women’s National Team goalkeeper, Alyssa Naeher, throwing the ball to a teammate

More myths?

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