How To Master the Mental Challenges Goalkeeping Throws at You

How To Master the Mental Challenges Goalkeeping Throws at You

Andy Elleray

Andy Elleray has worked within goalkeeping for over 15 years, being able to develop some of the brightest talents in the UK.

His career has seen him work for clubs such as Chelsea and Bristol Rovers, and within the female game for the English and Welsh Football Associations.

He is a best selling author and has published 10 books to date around goalkeeping, and more recently branching into children’s fiction.

Goalkeeping is arguably the most difficult and mentally challenging position on the football or soccer pitch.  Common psychological challenges goalkeepers face include; dealing with pressure due to being the last line of defence, coping with mistakes, managing emotions, maintaining focus on the pitch in matches and in training, as well as communicating effectively with team-mates.

In today’s episode Andy Elleray, an author and goalkeeping coach, who has worked for clubs such as Chelsea and Bristol Rovers, and within the female game for the English and Welsh Football Associations joins me and shares some fantastic insights into the demands of goalkeeping as well as highlighting how to deal with the pressures better.

Key Learnings

  • You will have difficult periods in your career as a goalkeeper.
  • Making mistakes as a goalkeeper is inevitable.
  • Goalkeeping coaching can test your communication skills, managing goalkeepers who are the preferred choice and those who are out of the team.
  • Helping goalkeepers manage the controllables is important.
  • Young goalkeeper’s brain is not fully developed therefore they can experience big emotions as a result of the challenges of the GK role, which they can struggle to deal with.
  • Trigger words or physical triggers (using sweat bands or super-hero bands) can help goalkeepers move on more quickly from mistakes.

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Connect with Any Elleray



Twitter: @andyelleray / @lilys_goal 

Relevant Podcast Episodes

Ep08: Brendan Pearson – Academy Football, Professional Football, Injuries and Early Retirement

Ep087: Carl Bell – From Professional Football and Goalkeeping to Physiotherapy

Ep093: Dan Abrahams – How to Overcome Mental Blocks in Football

Ep146: John Nassoori – What Is The Role Of A Sports Psychologist In Football?

Ep151: Compilation – Football Psychology: 50 Ways You Can Improve Your Performance

Other Valuable Football or Soccer Resources 

Goalkeeping Psychology | Mental Skills for Goalkeepers 

Soccer Psychology | Mental Skills for Football

Youth Sports Psychology | Mental Skills Training for Kids and Parents

Frequently Asked Questions about Football or Soccer Psychology

Frequently Asked Questions about Goalkeeping Psychology



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David Charlton

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly. 

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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