Ultimate Guide to Playing Goalie in Soccer


In soccer, every position is equally important, meaning that each player has a particular responsibility on which the game depends. However, being the goalie is one of the most challenging and isolated roles in soccer, requiring specific skills and discipline. So, what does it take to play goalie in soccer? 

Goalie is the most unique and critical position in soccer. Goalies must wear special equipment, such as gloves, shin guards, and a distinguished jersey.  

If the goalie position spikes your interest, this is the article you need to read. Below, you will read everything about being a goalie and the skills required to play the position effectively. This blog post covers all the questions you have about what it means to be a goalie.

How To Be A Good Soccer Goalie? 

Good Soccer Goalie
Good Soccer Goalie

To learn how to play goalie in soccer, you need to consider several things connected to this soccer position. Being a goalie is not as easy as it seems. Generally, the goalie has the most challenging role in this sport. Therefore, they need to prepare to handle every situation appropriately. 

Firstly, goalies need to familiarize themselves with the rules that apply specifically to their position in soccer. That means they have to learn what they can and cannot do on the field. In addition, they have to be good team players and establish communication with other teammates. 

Lastly, every goalie needs to be physically and mentally prepared for this position, even though they do not run on the soccer pitch as long as the other players.  

How to be a good goalie in soccer

Learn The Rules 

The goalie spends most of their time in front of the goal without really moving across the field like the other players. However, their position in one particular area does not mean that they should not be familiarized with the basic rules of the game. On the contrary, they have to know everything that is provided by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), so they would be able to act on the field accordingly. 

Goalie Rules And Regulations 

Goalie Rules
Goalie Rules

Every player in a soccer team has a prominent role, and that role always comes with particular rules and regulations. Therefore, a particular set of rules refers to goalies, so if you want to become one, you will have to know all of them. The following rules apply specifically to the goalie: 

  • The goalie is the only person on the field who can grab the ball with their hands, but only in their penalty area. Outside this area, goalies follow the same rules as the other soccer players. 
  • On penalty shots, the goalie must stay on their line for the duration of the penalty shot.
  • The goalie cannot control the ball with their hands for more than 6 seconds in their penalty area.  
  • The goalie cannot grab the ball if a teammate intentionally kicks it towards them.  

What Equipment Does the Goalie Use? 

Goalie Equipment
Goalie Equipment

Among the rules and regulations, it is essential to mention that the goalie is required to wear special equipment. A goalie is required to wear special equipment on the field, but there are optional gear and accessories that the goalie might find helpful. 

Mandatory Equipment Optional Gear Accessories 
Goalie gloves Elbow pads Headbands 
Cleats/ Soccer boots Leg guards Glove cleaner 
Shin guards Goalie helmet Glove bag
Jersey Knee guards Athletic tape 
Goalie Equipment

The mandatory equipment is crucial; a goalie cannot go without it. 

  • Goalie gloves are made of solid and thick leather that protect the hands but also help the goalie grab the ball more easily. 
  • Cleats or soccer boots that provide the goalie to stand more firmly on the field. 
  • Shin guards that protect the knees. Goal kicks are generally really hard, and they do not only hurt but also may cause injuries. 
  • A goalie jersey that is distinguished from the other teammate’s jerseys. The goalie jersey has padding in the shoulder area to protect the goalie from injuries from the goal kicks.

Be A Good Team Player 

Soccer Team Player 
Soccer Team Player

One of the things that can make you a good goalie is the ability to be a good team player. As both a goalie and a team player, certain things need to be considered. 

Communicate With The Players Of Your Team 

The position of a goalie is significant since they are the players positioned in one area from which they can see how the game progresses. The goalie should communicate with the other teammates and suggest strategies or changes in order to improve game performance and secure a win. In addition, the goalie is allowed to use hand gestures to communicate with teammates, which provides help for the players on the field. 

Play Aggressively And Help Your Team 

If you play the position of a goalie, you will have to do everything you can, i.e., you should play as aggressively as your position allows it. Aggressive play of the goalie refers to acting quickly and moving at all times to guard the goal appropriately. Another good goalie technique is making yourself larger in the goal to intimidate the opponents, so they are not sure where to shoot. 

In addition, goalies need to attack every ball that comes their way and secure the goal as much as possible. They should also pay attention to the body language of other teammates so that the game strategy can go smoothly.

Physical And Mental Preparedness 

Soccer Team Preparation
Soccer Team Preparation

Although the goalie does not spend 90 minutes running on the soccer field, they still need to be physically prepared to endure a whole match. However, the goalie also needs to be mentally ready to react quickly and wisely. 

Physical exercises make your body strong and resistant to injuries. You can work on your physical conditioning by: 

  • Doing cardio exercises, such as running, jogging, sprinting, etc. 
  • Going to the gym regularly to build muscle and stay strong. 

Mental exercises can help you better deal with pressure on the field and sharpen your motor skills. You can work on mental preparedness by: 

  • Learn how to predict the opponent’s moves, so you would know how to act in a given moment. 
  • Work on your confidence and body language to eliminate fear during a match. 
  • Create a positive mindset that will help you feel calmer on the field. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is There A Perfect Height For A Goalie? 

There is no perfect height for the goalie position in soccer. However, it is well-known that if the goalie is taller, they might be better at guarding the goal. On the other hand, there are also short goalies with excellent performance and well-developed techniques. 

Are Goalies Allowed To Score Goals? 

Goalies have the same rights as other team players, so it is allowed for them to score. Nonetheless, this is not something that often happens since goalies typically stay in their penalty area most of the time. 

Is It Possible For Goalies To Get A Red Card? 

Red Card For Goalies
Red Card For Goalies

Yes, goalies can get a red card. In that case, the goalie leaves the game and the team will play a player down. Teams that lose their goalie due to a red card will substitute the backup goalie for a position player.

Soccer Position Guides

Soccer Position Guides
PositionLink to Guide
Strikerlink
False 9link
Wingerlink
Defensive Midfielderlink
Wingbacklink
Left backlink
Right backlink
Stopperlink
Sweeperlink
Center Backlink
Goalkeeperlink

Final Thoughts 

Playing the goalie in soccer is as important as playing any other position, and players should take it seriously. As you can see, there are many responsibilities and tasks that the goalie needs to do to hone their skills. Therefore, if you plan to become a goalie, don’t wait and start working on your techniques immediately. 

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