Be Decisive

As a goalie coach and a goal keeper myself there are several cardinal sins, but one of them stands out above all others and can be related to all players in the game. I’ve said it before and I will say it again here; I would rather have a goalie get scored on and be decisive in what they are doing than to be indecisive and make a lucky save. It may seem counter intuitive, but allow me to explain. When a goalie is decisive and makes a play they are doing what they feel is best in that situation given all the information provided. If they get scored on we can go back, look at what happened and determine if there was something else they should have done. We can train that situation and work on it. If a goalie is indecisive and makes a lucky save there is nothing we can work on. We can’t go back and look at tape and we cant train that situation. We cannot train our players to be lucky.

Now for a goalie this is clearly amplified since if they make a mistake it leads to a goal, which could cost them the game. But I would say that it is just as important for everyone else to be decisive. Know what you are doing. Don’t second-guess yourself. You are in the game because your coach trusts you to be in the game. If your coach trusts you then trust in yourself. If you are trying to decide what to do while in the game you will get beaten every time. Step up, trust your training, trust your instincts and do what you can. I would rather see a player step up and trust himself or herself than a player shy away and worry that they will make a mistake. Be present and be confident your coach trusts you and your teammates trust you, so trust in yourself. If you make the wrong decision don’t get upset or frustrated get back and keep going. Be present and be aware of the situation. Don’t let the game control you, relax and enjoy yourself. Remember soccer is a game, games are meant to be fun and enjoyed. Former head coach of the US Women’s National Team used to tell his players, “Play hard, play fair,play to win, and have fun”. If the National team is playing for fun then why can’t you? Yes, we want to win. But if you spend all your time worrying about winning you will miss what is going on and get focus on the wrong things. Focus on yourself, focus on what you can do, be decisive and enjoy yourself.