In many ways, the goalkeeper is the heart and soul of a good soccer team. They might not get as much glory as the strikers or midfielders, and they often aren't talked about quite as much as the defenders, but there's no doubt that a team will struggle to find success without a strong player guarding the net.
For that reason, if you have been assigned the role of goalkeeper in your team then it's important to put in the hard yards during each and every soccer training session to ensure you are up to the task.
To help you develop your game and be the best young goalie you can be, here are a few top tips that might allow you to make that crucial save during your next big soccer tournament.
Catch the ball when possible, but don't be afraid to bail out
When playing as the goalkeeper, you want to make it your aim to catch as many attempts at goal as possible so that you can slow down the pace of the game and halt the opposing team's momentum.
However it's also important to know when to bail out and simply knock the ball away. Nothing is worse than fumbling a catch and setting up an opposing striker for an easy shot on goal when you could have just handed over the corner kick instead.
Communicate with your team
One of the often undervalued aspects of a good goalkeeper is their ability to communicate with their teammates and marshal the troops, in a sense.
A goalkeeper's job is to make sure everyone on the field is aware of what is going on, particularly when the opposing team is on the attack, so be ready to shout out a few orders to your defenders when the heat is on.
Be prepared to run
When you see an opposing striker has the ball, is unguarded and has a shot on the net, you don't want to just sit there and let him set up his attempt unchallenged.
Instead, be ready to leave the box and charge at the player. This is very much a last ditch effort and shouldn't be attempted if there are other defenders able to do the job, but it's important to put pressure on opposing players wherever possible in order to encourage a mistake.