Your opponent is charging down the field and putting your team’s defenders on their heels. One of their forwards takes control of the ball in open space and sends a cross to a teammate waiting in front of the net. As a goalkeeper, this is your time to shine.
Now it is just you and them. You are the last line of defense. Blink and you might miss your opportunity. Will you be ready to make that game-deciding save?
Few experiences in sports are as intense as playing goalkeeper in soccer. In order to work toward making all the big saves, you’ll want to come to the pitch ready with all the right gear.
This starts with what you wear.
Goalkeepers wear a jersey specifically designed for their position, which needs to be a different color than everyone else on the field. Since the goalkeeper is the only player who can touch the ball with their hands, referees need to be able to distinguish them from the rest of the players. When choosing a jersey color, many goalkeepers will go with a brighter color as they feel it attracts an opponent’s eyes when they are aiming their shot, but there are a variety of colors and designs to match your own personal style.
Goalkeepers will stop at nothing to make a save, and that includes diving for the ball. In order to help prevent scraping up your arms and legs, you can choose to wear long-sleeve goalie jerseys or goalie pants.
Another important part of the goalkeeper ensemble is sliding shorts. Designed to fit under your uniform, they feature a compression fit and padding in areas like the hips, thighs and knees for extra protection. There are also some compression undershirts that have padding for the upper body and moisture-wicking properties.
Goalkeeper gloves may be the most important piece of equipment for a goalie. When you go for a save or to grab a loose ball, gloves will help serve as protection and can improve your grip on the ball as well. Keeping your gloves in a specifically designed glove bag can help them stay in game-ready shape all season.
Keep a hand towel in your bag to take with you on the field. Keep it with your water bottle as it can help dry or clean your gloves during play. You can also use it to wipe the sweat off your face when the game gets heated.
Always keep safety in mind when protecting your team’s goal. Like other players on the field, goalkeepers need to wear shin guards. It’s important to remember that some leagues require players to use the same color shin guard tape as their socks, so be sure to check with your coach or league officials.
Mouthguards are a must-have safety accessory to wear on the pitch. Knee guards, arm guards and leg guards are all optional if you’re looking for additional safety gear. There are even goalkeeper helmets made of latex and foam that have started to gain popularity.
With all of this gear in your arsenal, a goalkeeper bag can definitely come in handy. Not only can a bag help keep you organized, it can also help you transport your equipment to and from the field more easily. Always keep sunscreen and bug spray in your bag as well.
And finally, don’t forget your water bottle. You not only want to stay hydrated during practice and games but you can also pour some water on your goalie gloves to help increase their grip.
Now that you know what you need to best defend your team’s goal, you’re ready to take on the season. Good luck!
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