By Patrick Morrison
TO reach the top and become the best takes a massive amount of time and effort to perfect your goalkeeping.
You will spend hours and hours refining your skills with the aim of improving your performances between the posts.
Ultimately, it is important to understand that perfection is unattainable because each time you improve and reach the level you perceived to be your absolute best, you will always find you are capable of more or find new areas you can improve in.
When we look at the top goalkeepers in any sport, it is commonly found that they will have the same group of physical and mental traits that they have grown through tireless practice and quality coaching. As well as these, you will find that they will also share similar personality traits that drive them to become better on a daily basis.
They will always be driven knowing exactly how to self-motivate, they will be determined as they push on against adversity until their goals have been met. As an individual they will be responsible planning and organising their on and off-field requirements meticulously to meet coincide with their goals, and they will have ambition, always striving for the best and to be the absolute best that they can be.
These are just some of the traits that you will find in those goalkeepers that are truly dedicated in their quest for reaching the very top of their game. Coupling these traits with top quality coaching will result in you being able to improve your overall goalkeeping ability, raising the quality your performances to new heights.
Another quality that you will find that these goalkeepers also possess are standards. Any goalkeeper that is serious about becoming the best possible goalkeeper they can be will always have a set of standards that they will keep to. By keeping their standards high it enables them to continuously improve by reducing the possibility of regression by making it unacceptable.
It is vital for any goalkeeper looking to improve their performance, to remember that whenever you improve your Base, you must always raise your standards as well. Doing this ensures that your base level of your standards will always match your performance base level.
What I mean by this is, whatever your current performance level is at present is called your base level of performance. Whenever you train and practice with the purpose of creating an improvement in your ability and performance, this base level of performance will be raised over time.
For example, if you are currently capable of executing five out of ten kick-outs, then your current base level of performance equates to 50 per cent. If after working on your kicking for a period of time, you become capable of kicking seven out of ten kick-outs, then your new base level of performance has been raised up to 70 per cent.
Now that you have raised your kicking ability from 50 per cent up to 70 it is very important you use another trait top goalkeepers have and that is accountability. Whenever you hold yourself accountable for your performance you do not allow yourself to accept anything below or less than your best in every session and game.
It will be crucial to your overall development to ensure that you have the discipline to keep your performance base level high by holding yourself accountable.
The best way to hold yourself accountable is to raise your standards in tandem with your performance base level. Essentially, this means that whatever you raise your ability levels to also becomes the lowest standard you are willing to accept from yourself.
So, if you are now kicking 70 per cent kick-outs after improving them from 50 per cent, then through accountability anything below 70 per cent in no longer acceptable for a goalkeeper of your ability. This ensures that you keep your standards high as well as keeping your performance high.
It is for this very reason that raising your standards in accordance with a raise in your performance base will ensure that you improve your goalkeeping overall.
By training hard and raising your performance base means you will be getting closer to the top. To ensure you stay at the top of your game for as long as possible, it will also be very important to raise your standards accordingly as well.
Remember, when you are training throughout the season and you are either marking or recording your progress and improvement along the way, once you raise your base performance level, always make sure that you raise your performance standards base level as well. It is your standards that ensure you do not regress and continue to grow as a goalkeeper.
As a goalkeeper you are always trying to improve your ability and enhance your performance levels. Just remember if you wish to raise your performance base level you must also ‘Raise Your Standards.”