Goalkeeping Mindset Coaching


If I asked a thousand of the leading Goalkeepers what their job in the team was, they would think I’d lost my mind asking such a dumb question! “to stop the ball going in the Goal” would surely be the response every time? I mean the job description is in the title so it should be obvious.

But that’s not their job, though it might be their aim. I would say a Goalkeepers job is to put themselves in a position to perform at the very best of their abilities, and to focus on and bury themselves in a task so that they can control their performance. Goalkeeping Mindset Coaching can help with this.

What we can control: ourselves and that’s it. What we cant control: everything else, especially the result. You as a goalkeeper could have the game of your life and still lose the match 3-0.

I’m often faced with quizzical looks from Golfers, When I ask “what you trying to do with this putt?”. “Well put it in the hole!” comes the response.

Now you may feel that this is a sensible answer to an all too obvious question. It would be the same with a Goalkeeper, they would be telling me their job is to stop the ball going in the goal.

Now this is key, why would we give ourselves a task that we can’t complete? We are not in control of being able to do any of these tasks. The Golfer is putting a ball that like every ball is not perfectly round, they’re putting on a living breathing surface (the green), and they didn’t make the ball, or the club, nor did they cut the grass or the hole.

They are not in control of the weather and the moisture levels in the atmosphere, and every single one of these factors can affect whether or not the ball drops in the hole. Once they have hit the ball their control over what happens next has gone.

Get in touch about our Goalkeeping Mindset Coaching and take your game to the next level.

When at their best a player reacts instinctively, this is our subconscious minds at work.

Similarly for you Goalkeepers, I can assure you that if we precisely measured a number of goals, the posts will not be all exactly the same distance apart. Furthermore gusts of wind can of course alter ball flight, as can temperature changes that will effect the pressure of the ball which itself is a handmade item and will react differently each time it’s struck. Mostly though you’re certainly not in control of how the striker hits a shot coming at you.

If the striker hits the perfect shot, not you or anyone else can do anything about that. Taking all of this into account, a players undoing is letting the outcome or results upset them and by extension the conditions a player is in are in charge of their wellbeing.

Elite sports persons need to be in charge of the space they are in regardless of what the scoreline is or the enormity of the match.

We are not in control of what colour of car the neighbour buys, and we don’t care either do we? Why would we? We are not in control of that. And yet elite sports persons get upset every day when the ball doesn’t drop, or the save is missed by mere millimeters.

If the striker on the opposing team has the game of his life, the one he will tell his grandkids about decades from now, there is nothing you or anyone else can do about that. Unless by some amazing coincidence you have your game of your life on the same match.

So what is our job?

Our job is to bury ourselves in the task at hand. It matters not if you’re a World Snooker star on the last black for the title, or a Goalkeeper with a team of hungry players enroute to you with the ball. All there is is this moment. Nothing else, just this moment.

Being right here right now. This free kick that’s about to commence, it matters not if it’s during practice at the training ground, or it’s the closing minuntes of a tied FA Cup Final, the process is the same.

There is no special effort and there is no trying harder, every play is about maximum focus on the task in hand.

Make the process king, not the results we can’t control.

The process demands an intensity that needs to be there constantly at all times, both in practice and on the pitch. It is about being present in the now, for it’s never not this moment.

Many players choke or feel nervous before say a penalty, both striker and the Goalkeeper. They are giving away focus to the future, i.e. the result of whether the ball is in the net or not, a result neither of them can control and that has not even happened yet as the ball has still to be struck.

Their job is not to score or to save the ball. Their job is to be buried in the now and not the future, or the past.

A keeper maybe be telling themselves before hand “I’ve not saved a single penalty this year”. The Striker might be thinking “Don’t lean back like last time and put it over the bar!”.

Both are leaking energy and focus on what happened in the past. It’s all about now, this moment. This is where Goalkeeping Mindset Coaching comes in.

One of Basketball legend Michael Jordans coaches said: “Michael is the best of all time because he has always been in the moment more than anyone else.”.

Get in touch about our Goalkeeping Mindset Coaching and take your game to the next level.

Get in touch about our Goalkeeping Mindset Coaching and take your game to the next level.


Confidence is what a player would be chasing or indeed craving. Most players version of how that comes about however is flawed and hence they look for it in the wrong place.

Most would think: “I’m playing well, I made some great saves, and I feel really confident right now”. So it’s proof first and then I will feel confident. But this is like standing on ice where your confidence is linked to outside circumstances. If this goes south, and it will, then a Goalkeeper has put themselves in a position where their confidence can be shattered by a Striker playing their A game. In other words they will fall through the ice.

It’s very easy to be confident when things are going well, but the elite sports person can still maintain that state of mind even when things are going wrong, as they not reliant on results for this confidence to be there. Faith or belief in our own abilities needs to be unaffected by the situation we are in. Performance comes this way. Goalkeeping Mindset Coaching can help you to take your game to the next level.

Put confidence first and performance will follow

What is confidence?

Ultimately it’s a trust that something deep inside ourselves has got this.

When at their best, a player reacts instinctively and this is our subconscious minds at work where all of our best stuff is in any task.

When we are not confident and we are tense and fearing the future (for example the fear of letting this goal in), or we are not trusting, we get in our own way. Slow responses, tight body and a lack of being in the moment cause a player to underperform.

When we are confident, trusting, and buried in the moment your mind and body are clear of the baggage that will slow a Goalkeeper down. It’s all about feeling that anything is possible, and learning that we are all in charge of feeling like that. From this the best version of ourselves can flourish.

Goalkeepers, your job is to bring your very best to the pitch, not to stop the ball going in the net. So get in touch with us to arrange a free initial consultation and find out more about how Goalkeeping Mindset Coaching can help.

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Goalkeeping Mindset Coaching
Listen to Noel Flannery being interviewed on 'The Goalkeeping Mindset' episode of the Gloves On podcast.Read the 'The Goalkeeper’s Mindset: What You Can See, And Believe, You Can Achieve' article on Goalkeeper.com where Sam Hudspith interviews Noel Flannery.

Change your relationship to failures, embrace them. Don't push them away, learn from them. Watch Noel Flannery talk about 'Goalkeeping Failures' on our Goalkeeping Mindset YouTube channel.What the biggest performance factor that is stopping you making good decisions? Watch Noel Flannery talk about 'Goalkeeping Decisions' on our Goalkeeping Mindset YouTube channel.Thanks Martin GK for the list of qualities you would like to see in your Keepers. Watch Noel Flannery talk about 'Goalkeeper Qualities' on our Goalkeeping Mindset YouTube channel.This weeks video is about whether knowing enough of something is a good thing or a bad thing. Watch Noel Flannery talk about 'Goalkeeping Mindset' on our Goalkeeping Mindset YouTube channel.Listen to Noel Flannery talk about 'The benefits of having a fun mindset when working in the sports industry?' on The Sports Career Podcast.This video is about dealing with nerves and why that's not a bad thing. Watch Noel Flannery talk about the 'Snooker Mindset' on our YouTube channel.This is as much as you can learn in an hour about the mental skills required in Goalkeeping. Watch Noel Flannery provide an overview of the 'Goalkeeping Mindset' on our Goalkeeping Mindset YouTube channel.This is a video about my extensive background in sports. From what can be learnt from the motor racing world, to how we apply golf process to the football pitch. Watch Noel Flannery detail his 'Background in Performance' on our Goalkeeping Mindset YouTube channel.In this video we chat about why nerves are ok. Don't view them as a problem!
Doing so gives them power. Watch Noel Flannery talk about 'Dealing with Nerves' on our Goalkeeping Mindset YouTube channel.
"Listen and watch to find out the magic stat that marks out the top performers, and learn of the different ways that Noel works with his players and the extent of the support he gives" on this episode of the Talking Balls series of The Talking Podcasts YouTube channel."About a year ago a guy called Noel Flannery contacted me on Facebook. He’s a mind coach and has worked with golfers and rally drivers. I have spent some time with him and he has really changed my approach on the mental side." Read the article on the WST site.