Youth Soccer Goalie Tips - How To Get More Saves Quickly

What Do Goalkeeper Scouts Look For?

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What do goalkeeper scouts look for? This is one of the questions that many young goalkeepers ask, and many of us who train goalkeepers obsess about. One of the biggest problems with scouting in general is that as a goalkeeper there’s no guarantee that you’re going to be at a camp or a tryout where there is going to be a person in the crowd that actually has a clue about what playing goalkeeper even entails. That’s the first issue that you’re going to have to contend with. Knowing that you need to be able to showcase things that are easy to see for scouts, even those who may not be well versed in the art of goalkeeper scouting which is a completely different situation than scouting regular players.  

There’s no reason to sugarcoat this one of the first things that goalkeeper scouts look into is size. If you’re a bit taller than the rest of the guys or girls at the tryout you’re going to have an edge just for that. That doesn’t mean that if you’re smaller in stature you’re going to be cooked. It does mean though that you may want to be more selective about the type of tryouts and camps that you go to. If you can find out that a true goalkeeper scout is going to be there that could make your trip out to wherever it is more worthwhile. At the same time you’ll need to showcase skills that can prove that your size is not going to be a limitation. What do goalkeeper scouts look for other than size? Let’s find out here! 

What Do Goalkeeper Scouts Look For – Security Across The Board 

If I had to say what’s the one thing that’s most important when it comes to what do goalkeeper scouts look for it’s security. Now, security comes in different shapes and sizes, but I could sum it up by saying, these guys want to see that you know what you’re doing. It’s kind of a confidence thing as well, and being confident in your abilities even through mistakes is actually one of the main attributes that you can have. I have to be honest with you guys here, this is one of the things I still struggle with. Bouncing back from mistakes is key in this business though. Through thick and thin you have to show that you know what you’re doing and that you’re confident in your abilities.   

Now, I’d be selling you way short if I didn’t talk about ball security as the main aspect that you can show that confidence through. Good hands are going to take you places, particularly if you are caught by the eye of coaches that actually know goalkeeping. As I mentioned there are going to be some scouts that are going to be blown away by the guy or girl that flys from post to post, but can’t catch a single shot cleanly. Even if that’s the case I would still recommend that as a young goalkeeper you develop a reliable catching technique and you work on that constantly. If you can limit the second chance opportunities that you give up you’re always going to be valued by the right scouts.    

Looking The Part In Most Technical Aspects

A lot of the things that I’m going to talk about with regards to what do goalkeeper scouts look for are going to be related to looking the part, and knowing what you’re doing. Yes, it’s ok to have some personal style in the way that you play. I would say that it’s inevitable there are things that are innate in all of us, and we’re going to want to gravitate towards doing things our way at one point or another. That being said, again you need to be able to show that you can hold your own in all of the drills that are set up and that you have all of the fundamentals down. 

This is something that’s always going to serve you well in a tryout. Naturally if we’re talking about a tryout for kids under 10 the scouts that go to these should know that any player they pickup is going to be a work in progress. Even in those cases though, having all of the fundamentals down being competent in every single drill or aspect of the game that you’re called upon is going to be key. In those cases what scouts are going to see is someone who may even be a bit ahead of the curve in the learning process. Even though once you get to the new team they are likely to tell you that everything you know is wrong they know you’re ahead of the curve. 

Specific Things That Can Help You Get Noticed

13.01.21. Manchester City v Brighton and Hove Albion, Premier League. Phil Foden of Manchester City and Adam Webster of Brighton. 13 Jan 2021 Pictured: 13.01.21. Manchester City v Brighton and Hove Albion, Premier League. Ederson Moraes of Manchester City catches the ball ahead of Adam Webster of Brighton. Photo credit: News Licensing / MEGA +1 888 505 6342 (Mega Agency TagID: MEGA726239_004.jpg) [Photo via Mega Agency]

One of the hardest things that you may have to go through on goalkeeper tryouts is the realization that showcasing your skills isn’t going to be as easy as you’d like it to be. In many tryouts that I’ve been a part of you just got a chance to play a couple of pickup games, and that was that. If the other team never got a shot on goal, which by the way happened often, you really didn’t get a chance to showcase anything. There are a couple of things though that can help you stand out even if the other team doesn’t allow you to make an impressive save. Command of the defense through timely instructions is one of those things that scouts want to see. It comes back to that part about showing that you know what you’re doing. 

If you have a strong leg for punts or goal kicks that’s always going to be a plus. There’s really no way around that one. If you get a chance to take an offsides kick or anything like that be sure to jump on that chance and do it well. Coming out for crosses is another one of those abilities that I know scouts drool over. Lets face it, it’s one of the hardest things in goalkeeping even though some of the top pros still avoid it. So if that’s something that’s an integral part of your game be sure to show it off. With caution I may add though. Don’t do anything that’s out of the norm to try and showcase your abilities, particularly when it comes to wanting to come out and cut a cross.    

What Do Goalkeeper Scouts Look For Hide Your Deficiencies

What are you currently not great at? Maybe it’s some of the same things that I recently mentioned that can help you stand out. Things like goal kicks, punts, coming out to cut a cross. If any of these are currently not the sharpest part of your game try and avoid them. Play the ball short on a goal kick you don’t have to kick the ball out to the moon. Maybe play out with your hands, if you can show that you know how to find the open man and the team continues to easily play up field that’s an asset that you have even if you can’t kick the ball far. Scouts are going to value that because in many ways it’s actually easier to teach you how to kick the ball far further down the line than teaching you the game in some respects.

As is the case with the showcase of your abilities in this situation you want to be smart about the way that you hide your deficiencies. If you have to come out, do so to the best of your ability. If you’re forced to kick long on a goal kick be smart about the kick at least aim it in the direction of one of your players. That’s going to show that you understand the game even if you have some clear deficiencies. Obviously all of this becomes harder to do the older you get, but that’s why I want to talk about a very peculiar topic in the next paragraph.  

What’s The Best Way To Get Scouted? 

Even if you know everything about what goalkeeper scouts look for, your method to get scouted could be what’s holding you back. The number one rule that I have for this whole process is to start young. Even if it’s trying out for your local travel team or going to showcases that are held by pro teams to get a spot on one of their academies or things like that. So as a parent your job is to find those showcases, and get to know the people who are running them. Literally strike up a conversation to get them to let you know what they are looking for. Make sure that they can start having your son or daughter on file. Connections are always a good thing. People will always say the game is about connections, and they’re actually not wrong.

Part of starting early in the process though is to build those connections with the coaches that are running the showcases. They’ll let you know what they’re looking for, and you can even tell if some coach is out for your kid, then change directions and look for another club. From there, build a resume, and your video that’s always going to be basic. The thing is, you want those connections in the community though to make sure that you feature things that scouts are looking for in your video. Essentially go to every showcase or tryout that you can find. Particularly at a young age because that’s going to give you a know how on how these things are run, and you’re less likely to be nervous the 5th or the 10th time around.     

What Do Goalkeeper Scouts Look For – Who Are You & Why Should They Be Interested

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Building connections in the local football landscape is going to be key to figuring out what the particular scouts that you want to showcase your talent to are looking for. From there, what you need to do is build your game around what they might be looking for. Again, if you have a style that maybe doesn’t match what they want then maybe what you need to do is change where you’re going to showcase and where you’re lobbying. This idea about who you are as a player and why teams should care goes beyond a video that you want to make showcasing your skills. It’s about some of the intangibles like command of the game, understanding what’s going on around you. That’s not necessarily something that you see in those videos.      

This last point is why it’s important to build those relationships to form a bond with scouts and coaches outside the showcase. A lot of times with goalkeepers it’s a personality thing, it’s your work ethic that can put you over the top. The fact of the matter is, the coach is more likely to pick the person that he or she knows or has been told about than someone who had a good tryout once. Once you know what type of goalkeeper your scouts are looking for you can model your game to make that match. Of course, you have to make sure that you buy into your personality, your playing style and your work ethic. That’s what’s going to sell other people on you. 

What Do Goalkeeper Scouts Look For Conclusion    

Ball security, and knowing what you’re doing are the basics that you need to have down. You need to be able to look the part wherever it is that you go. That’s why it’s so important to also know your strengths and showcase them, while at the same time hiding your weaknesses. From there what each goalkeeper scout can have in his or her head is anyone’s guess. That’s the truth of the matter, and that’s why I talk about building those relationships and those connections that are going to shape your path. In any position having that one coach that’s going to go to bat for you is always going to be a plus. For goalkeepers though that relationship building is even more important because there’s only so much that they can tell about you from a 20 minute scrimmage.   

The obvious part that I may be left out is that if you do get a chance to make a great save in those showcases you better take that chance. You never really know how far one good save can take you. Definitely don’t miss those opportunities. However, that’s another good reason to start young because you do give yourself that breathing room to where if you have some opportunities there’s always the next tryout and the next one. Many times success comes down to perseverance more than anything else.