Nothing about goalkeeping gear is particularly expensive, but as you get deeper into any hobby or sport there will be premium gear some players insist is worth the price tag. For new players, or players looking to elevate their game on a budget, it’s tempting to make some very expensive decisions. This brief guide aims to teach players of any skill level what areas might be worth investing more money into.
Expect your team to supply a goalkeeper jersey for game days, but for practice days you may want to gear up with some additional clothing. It’s good to have more than one pair of shorts, and long pants can be an excellent practice garment to protect knees from scuffs. During a game, long pants should also be worn on turf if the league allows it.
Pads are another must, but some pairs of pants may have pads built into them. Goalkeeper gloves, along with additional pads on elbows and knees, are fine as long as they don’t impede movement. Avoid bulky and heavy gloves, even if they look like they’d improve your stopping ability. For gloves, you need enough padding to kill the momentum of the ball without stinging the palms or hyper extending the fingers. You may also want to get a tension grip for exercises too. Strong fingers make stops.
Cleats are important because you need grip in order to improve your reactions and ultimately stop the ball from reaching the net. Keepers can afford to wear screw in studs because they don’t spend a lot of time running, where the studs may pop off. Molded cleats are usually ok for young players, or players who participate at a low level. Screw on studs provide the added traction high level players need to succeed.
It’s also a good idea to own more than one set of cleats, as you may find yourself playing on different surfaces as the season progresses.
Final Thoughts and Drills
Keepers can’t risk a loss of traction, and protection is prime. Using these two concepts, it should be fairly simple to hunt down quality equipment for your future soccer star.
As for practice, it depends highly on what gives you the most trouble. Keepers should drill for all kinds of situations: from breakaways to corner kicks and crosses. Goal keepers need a solid foundation for decision making. The greater variety in your drills, the better your decisions in the heat of a game.
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