The Psychology of Goalkeeping: Using the Right Gloves
May 23, 2023
The right gloves can affect a goalkeeper’s confidence and thus their ability to play well. Confidence isn’t always something that comes easily, especially to children starting to play soccer. However, quality junior soccer goalie gloves can instill confidence in the goalie that they wouldn’t have been able to achieve otherwise. This isn’t just because a good pair of gloves will help them make saves. Read on to learn more.
The role of confidence in goalkeeping
Goalkeeping is a one-person team. The rest of the team might still be congratulating and supporting their goalie, but during a game there’s plenty of time when the goalie is alone in the net while the other players focus on strategies.
As the sole goalkeeper, it’s up to them to make their own decisions when it comes to the net. They need to have the confidence to know when a save needs a slide or a run, whether the ball is going over the net, and whether or not they should run for a save as a player rushes the net to score.
These aren’t necessarily easy decisions to make on their own, at a moment's notice, especially when it might feel like the outcome of the game is their responsibility. On top of that pressure, there are plenty of children hoping to be a goalkeeper that have to learn how to withstand that kind of pressure and decision-making. Confidence is key.
The connection between junior soccer goalie gloves and confidence
At first glance, goalkeepers would hope their junior goalie gloves would help them make saves. But it’s the confidence in their ability to make those saves that affect their overall performance. A few good saves will boost their confidence, which will make them more comfortable making tough calls and getting back into the game when they’ve missed a save.
There are plenty of times when a goalie will be doing well until they let in a goal and then the rest of the game their ability to play well is compromised. This is what soccer goalkeeper gloves can help them avoid.
How the right junior goalie gloves affect confidence
For younger players especially, their goalie gloves have the power to make them feel invincible—like their gloves are the secret to their success (even though it’s confidence and skill). It’s a combination of a few factors that determine whether soccer goalkeeper gloves will provide confidence or not. Not all gloves will fit or feel the same for each goalie.
Choosing the soccer goalkeeper gloves that will provide the most confidence
How can goalies find the right gloves for them? Don’t buy a pair and hope for the best, especially if the first use will be a game. Take the time to consider these factors to find the gloves that will fit well, perform, feel right, and instill confidence in the ability to play a good game.
Junior soccer goalie gloves are available at a wide range of prices. Some might seem astronomically expensive while others will be, well, affordable. Remember the price doesn’t always determine the value of the glove though. Some brands might be overly expensive and not perform well.
Others might offer much cheaper options, and that doesn’t mean the gloves are bad. Normally, the middle ground is a safe place to land. Just don’t let the price of a pair of soccer goalkeeper gloves convince you of their worth.
Sometimes, there’s the option to buy soccer goalkeeper gloves at reduced prices if they’re closeout gloves. They might be older models but they could still perform well, at better prices, especially if they’re used as practice gloves.
Consider the level of play as well. There’s no point spending too much on a pair of junior goalie gloves if it’s for a child who will outgrow them quickly. Younger players can do just as well with gloves at a lower price point. Older, professional players might spend more to ensure they get the perfect glove for their level and style of play.
The palm cut of the soccer goalkeeper gloves determines how much room and flexibility is in the fingers and backhand of the glove. Hand shape, size, and play style will affect the palm cut a player should look for. Broad hands will require more give than slender hands which will need a closer fit, for example.
One of the main factors goalkeepers consider when searching for their next pair of junior goalie gloves is grip, determined by the latex on the glove. Latex will come in different depths and styles. It can be anywhere from two millimeters to six millimeters in depth depending on the needs of the player. The best latex will last longer, provide lots of grip, and be either soft or firm depending on what the goalie wants. There are different kinds of latex styles for different forms of playing.
Super soft: An option with a wide range of depth that hasn’t been chemically treated. It’s made from harder material that lasts well but doesn’t provide as much grip as other options.
Mega grip: This is the most common option for high-performance gloves. This is widely available quality latex. They perform well after being dampened and chemically treated.
Giga grip: This latex offers an enhanced grip because of its chemically treated, soft latex. For optimal performance, it should be kept slightly damp.
Contact and supreme: Generally a more expensive option because it performs so well. It works in both wet and dry conditions, turf, and grass. They do need to be maintained since the grip will get sticky with use and crowded with dirt.
Reading brand reviews is always a great, informative step before selecting a brand to purchase from. Customer reviews provide an unbiased opinion about the product, and there will often be reviews from goalkeepers with the same criteria as you.
Those reviews can help you find the right gloves based on what others have said about them. However, remember not everyone will have the same preferences so don’t let a review completely change your mind if you’ve been admiring a pair. First, ask the following questions about the review:
- Have the gloves been in use for a long time?
- Does the review state what kind of level in which they play?
- Are they satisfied with all aspects of the glove or do some stand out?
- How does the latex compare to other gloves?
- How do the gloves feel?
- For different hand shapes and sizes are the gloves adjustable?
Tips for soccer goalkeeper gloves
Depending on how often a goalkeeper plays, how often they practice, how old they are, and their play style, it’s usually beneficial to have a glove set: one pair for practice, one pair for games, and one pair as a backup. This helps the gloves last longer and ensures there’s always another pair to use if something goes wrong or if the play style changes.
Maintain the soccer goalkeeper gloves by inspecting them before and after every game and following any instructions that came with them. Keep them clean and get a new pair if the gloves are starting to fall apart.
Check out the soccer goalkeeper gloves at Storelli. There are many options for different goalie preferences and we’re always happy to help find the right pair of gloves. Browse the collection today.