Do you aspire to become a great goalkeeper some day? If yes, you need to improve your leadership skills on the field. In order to become a good goalkeeper, you need to be a good field leader. First, it is worth noting that it is the role of the goalkeeper to control the game. The goalkeeper has the responsibility of communicating with other players and directing them on how to protect the goal area from the striking opponents. According to Peter Shilton, “A goalkeeper needs to be good at organizing the people in front of you and motivating them. You need to see what is going on and react to the threats. Just like a good manager in business”.
However, it should be emphasized that it is not easy for a goalkeeper to offer effective leadership directions to other players, especially if you are a new member of the team. With regular transfers from one club to another, it can sometimes be very difficult for a goalkeeper to be an effective leader. Nonetheless, as Tim Howard notes, “Every old goalkeeper loses a step at some point, but you can gain that back through experience.”
As a goalkeeper, being an effective leader calls for the need to gain the trust of your teammates. With the latter, they will feel more comfortable with you, and hence, they will follow your directions. You should be fully aware of your role as a leader, providing you with the opportunity to determine exactly how you should act in pursuit of what can be best for the team. The players should feel that the keeper always has their back. Gaining trust, however, can be a lengthy process, and it should start outside of the playing field.
Aside from gaining the trust of other players, being a leader on the field also requires one to have excellent communication skills. This is going to be vital in terms of giving instructions to other players, and more importantly, making sure that they will follow whatever you have to say.
Another important thing for a goalkeeper is to have confidence, but this should never be mistaken as being boastful. If you are confident in what you do, you can influence other players to demonstrate the same confidence. On the other hand, if you are boastful, the tendency is that other players will not follow your directives, resulting into lack of a unified strategy for the game.
Lastly, you need to relate well with your teammates. You need to give directions to your teammates in the field in a manner that is authoritative but without treating them badly. There are instances wherein they may fail to carry out your directives. To be an effective leader, when such happens, avoid being too harsh on other players. Also, always remember that you are playing as a team, and no one is ever alone..