17 Truths Every Soccer Goalie Knows
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17 Truths Every Soccer Goalie Knows

Because our position is unlike any other

17 Truths Every Soccer Goalie Knows

Don't get me wrong, love being a soccer goalie. I wouldn't choose any other position (not only because they run more). In my aged wisdom, I've learned quite a few things, and whether you've been a soccer goalie for only a season, or your whole life, you can relate to these 17 truths.

1. You have a love-hate relationship with diving.

Diving is such a huge part of goalkeeping, it's impossible to be a goalie and not dive. It looks cool...sometimes. If you do it right. It feels cool, so long as the grass is soft and there aren't any rocks or sprinklers and heaven forbid you're on turf.

2. Only working on goalie work for like 20 mins...

Odds are, unless you played for a very high end club team, you didn't have a goalie coach who is entirely dedicated to goalie training through high school. And even if you do have a coach, the head coach may not schedule in time for you to go hone your skills. Even in college a goalie coach is not guaranteed.. You spend a lot of time on your own, working on distribution, trying to teach yourself how to dive and taking shots on your goalie buddy (if you have one).

3. Diving into the post.

It happens. It's every goalie's worst nightmare (second only to the nutmeg). There's nothing like hearing that hollow ring and then waking up on the ground with a forward rushing toward you to get the ball heedless of the fact you just blacked the F out. If you're lucky the ref will stop the play and make sure you're not on your way to being the poster child for concussions in women's sports

4. Getting stepped on.

Nothing is better than the taste of sweaty knee cap shoved right into your teeth. You're on the ground by people's cleats ninety percent of the time you actually touch the ball. Now, some nice forwards will try to jump over you, some will trip and accidentally nick you on their way by and others will blatantly kick at your arms in a faux attempt to get the ball.

5. When you can't get your hands up in time...

And your face takes the shot and it's all you can do to keep from crying and try to collect the ball before a hungry forward follows up.

6. Turf. Burn.

Anyone who has ever played on turf in anything short of full body armor has complained of turf burn, but it's worse for goalies. You're expected to dive and slide your flesh across the hot rubber pellets with those plastic blades of fake grass ripping your skin to shreds. And not just once or twice a game. You don't get to decide if you want to dive or not, if the ball is going to go in, you fling yourself at the turf to try and save it. I still have the scars.

7. "It had to go through 10 other players."

I know you mean well, but this phrase is probably the least comforting thing to hear, right up there with "we all make mistakes." Because, yes, it had to go through 10 other players and yes, we all make mistakes, but it's my mistake that everyone will remember and if you don't mind, I'm just gonna go be pissed for a little bit after the game. You can't make it better. Just bring me food every hour or so. Preferably chocolate.

8. Memory of a goldfish...

Or a Dory. One of the hardest things to learn as a goalie isn't shot stopping or diving. It's learning to forget your mistakes and be ready for the next shot (which may be coming in the next five seconds so save the wallowing for late).

9. PK's

A part of you says you are totally ready and can already see yourself making the save and making the forward look a fool!

And the other part of you says, "No one really expects me to save this, right?"

because suddenly the goal is very big and you are very small and the odds are not in your favor.

10. Not knowing anyone's name...

Your teammates will talk about "Shelby" and "Brooke" from the other team, but you only know them if they throw a fit in your box (still reveling in that moment). See, you're a good 15-20 yards away from everyone else if the game is going in your favor, and even if everyone is less than ten feet away from you, you're not exactly chatting with them. Ergo, you do not know everyone's names, though you'll still smile and nod and act like you do.

11. "You're crazy."

Well, I throw myself at people's feet while they're kicking a ball with everything they have knowing full well they could break my ribs so...I can't argue.

12. Doing less running

Literally the reason everyone wants to be a goalie. No one says, "You know what would be fun? Getting hit with a ball going really really fast." Everyone says, "You know what sounds great? Not having to run ten miles every game!" The only downfall to this is, when the rest of the team is carb-loading the night before a big game, you have to remember that you won't be running it all off so maybe that extra helping of pasta isn't such a good idea. That being said, you're just as fit as everyone else...just not running fit. Let's see them do our diving drills without dying.

13. Not doing anything...all game...and then HOLY SHIT HERE COMES THE BALL!

One of the hardest parts of being a goalie is the mental game. You have to be tuned in every minute. Your muscles will spend twenty, sometimes thirty minutes absolutely stationary save the pacing, and then BAM! yYou have to make an upper-90 save with only a few seconds warning.

14. Resisting the urge to scream at your teammates

Because you love them all dearly, but holy shit, how did she get the ball at the top of the 18? Why ws no one on her!? It happens. It's a part of soccer no matter the level. Just remember, they are your teammates. You're a team, for better or worse. Not to mention, are you really teammates if you haven't wanted to scream at each other?

15. Hearing "Shin guards are so expensive..."

And realizing that field players will never know the pain of having to drop $100 on a nice pair of gloves, or the love you'll have for them. Gloves are so expensive, but such an important part of being a goalie. If your gloves aren't good for you, you'll be at a disadvantage. You will guard and love them like your first born.

16. The SMELL

Holy. Shit. I've had mothers of teenage football players who don't wash their uniform or equipment tell me my gloves smell worse than their son's entire duffle bag. And that's without the cleats! The smell lingers. Even if all you do is wear them for a moment, your hands will retain the musty, tangy stench of sweat and foam until you take a long, hot shower with lots of soap.

17. Making a bad ass save and knowing you would never give this up..

It's the reason we're goalies-- to make the big save. To save the team. To be the hero. To have our own "Saint Ochoa" games. Because nothing is better than proving to everyone that you will always have your team's back.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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