Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Whats the best height for a goalkeeper

What’s the best height for a goalkeeper?

I get asked this ALL THE TIME and over my 30 years as a goalkeeper coach, coaching all over the world the most common asked question I get asked is ‘ Am I too small to be a goalkeeper’.

However rightly or wrongly the fact of the matter is that most pro soccer clubs only want goalkeepers who will grow to be 6ft plus!

This is very hard for me because as a goalkeeping coach I have seen sooooo many great young goalkeepers who I believed had the ability to become a professional goalkeeper and I had been left just as frustrated as my goalkeeper student when they have been rejected by a pro club because of height, or lack of it to chose a better word.

I am a firm believer if you are good enough you are big enough!

The problem a lot of young goalkeepers have is when they try to get to a professional clubs academy at aged 6 – 15 years, alot of the coaches at these pro clubs are frightened to speak out. Each pro club has a template of what the ideal goalkeeper should look like in terms of stature and height and if they do not fit into this mould, again rightly or wrongly, they will not give this keeper a chance.
I am not saying all clubs do this but most do.

As I said above, the problem with young keepers who are small but HAVE the talent, they need their coach at this pro club to stand up for them. But as most coaches do not want to rock the boat and risk losing their coaching role, they play it easy and go with the template their club set out.

One part of me believes these coaches have no backbone but having being around professional clubs for many MANY years now, I do understand why they do this because for the most part, they would get ignored anyway.

The older you get, the stronger the chances are you have of making the grade if your are small.

If you can keep the faith and play the highest levels you can locally, if you can find a good independent goalkeeper schools or something like goalkeeper agent this can help you. I am also a firm believer if you are good enough and you keep playing, you will eventually  get noticed.

The key to this story is... NEVER GIVE UP!

even if you have been to an professional academy and have been rejected, this is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Please believe when I say this, as I am probably more epxerienced than any other goalkeeper coach to understand this as I have seen it all!

I believe the window to make it as a goalkeeper is between the age of 15 and 23... 

So never give up on your goalkeeper dream!

1 comment:

Ian Nichols said...

My Son is 14 and has been told he is technically excellent, but not tall enough by, AFC Wimbledon, Leicester City and Coventry City, I have had to invest a lot of money into highly qualified goalkeeper coaches and fuel for travel to keep his standards and hopes up along with his GCSE's over the next two years, the infrastructure of grass roots football in the UK is a joke, to the point of considering a move to Europe where there is no issues with the height of a goalkeeper at this age.