Goalkeeper Performance Profile
It is crucial to understand the requirements for goalkeeping, including human movement, physiology, the athlete’s psychological make-up, and the technical and tactical needs. The knowledge and analysis enhance the goalkeeper performance and prevent injuries resulting from improper actions. Absence of the analysis of goalkeeper performance results in analogous errors. Moreover, the sportsman will not be able to take full advantage of opportunity and a risk of injuries will develop. Therefore, it is important to analyze goalkeeping as a performance. The current paper will evaluate goalkeeping, access and analyze jumping and landing, catching, pinching and diving as the main constituents of goalkeeper performance profile and provide a feedback on a basis of the examination.
Goalkeeping Performance Profile
In soccer, a goalkeeper’s aim is to defend the team’s goal from the opposing team scoring a goal. The sportsman has specific requirements during the game. The main objective and activity of a goalkeeper concerns the ability to stop any incursion of the ball into the goal. A goalkeeper is the only soccer player who is permitted to utilize hands and arms in order to seize, punch and keep the soccer ball in the penalty location. A goalkeeper is also required to wear a jersey of a distinct color, which is different from the referee’s uniform and other players’ typical sports uniform, for the referee to recognize a goalkeeper. Thus, the athlete’s profile demonstrates that the goalkeeper can catch the ball, and punch it or deflect it away from his/her goal. In fact, a goalkeeper has an essential role when the ball is high in the air, as he/she can raise the arms and manipulate the ball before the opponent player attempts to perform a header. Because a goalkeeper is the team player, who is able to observe the entire field, he/she frequently performs as the team’s organizer, especially when a team has to defend during a corner or free kick. Therefore, a goalkeeper should have a loud voice in order to project the pitch defensive area. A goalkeeper should pay particular attention to the game, as goalkeeper’s error can cost the team a game. Such liability poses serious pressure on an athlete and requires a certain mental concentration and psychical strength. At the same time, a goalkeeper should have the capacity to be calm and relaxed in order to react to the difficult game situations. Thus, a soccer goalkeeper has to coordinate arduous actions in games and practice training. A goalkeeper also has to demonstrate a high level of professionalism in different actions connected to both defensive and offensive game aspects. Moreover, a goalkeeper often becomes intricate in complicated and unpredictable situations during the game, frequently incorporating physical contact with opponent players, goalposts and the ground. Therefore, the hazard of injury is very high.
A goalkeeper is required to be in perfect physical shape and to react like a lightning. Soccer is becoming progressively saturated, which results in more physical contact and tougher rigging. The soccer-playing season is long with different weather, which negatively influences a goalkeeper and may explain an elevated number of injuries. A goalkeeper is frequently involved in hazardous conditions causing injury and, thus, has a unique injury pattern, which is different from the other team players. Therefore, a goalkeeper requires specific qualifications and talent in order to be a professional player. For instance, the bodily tangency with other players on the field becomes intense, when they clash in midair, while a goalkeeper rushes for the ball against his adversaries. A goalkeeper frequently has to catch the ball in the air and land on the ground having no protection on his arms or hands. Thus, a goalkeeper often experiences traumas of his body, which elevates the chances of bruises, erasures, and other lacerations. In addition, a goalkeeper can ground on another player’s feet and dislocate a knee or ankle joint. A goalkeeper can also get injuries by ground contact, which often appears when a goalkeeper saves goals and collides with goalposts. Moreover, due to the quick reaction of a goalkeeper, he/she frequently turns rapidly and twists the body in another direction. Because soccer boots have nibs, they oftentimes jam in the ground, which leads to a ligament rotation injury. Numerous goalkeepers experience hand and finger injuries resulting from direct kick of a ball knocking the limb. Thus, sprains and finger/hand fractures are very common for the players. Consequently, the performance profile demonstrates that goalkeepers can experience a wide variety of injuries in a game course. A player performance should be regularly accessed and analyzed in order to see common performance mistakes, correct them and prevent future injuries.
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Jumping and Landing
The capability to jump high is believed to be a crucial physical ability demand for goalkeeper activities. Jumping and landing are common actions for a goalkeeper in soccer. A goalkeeper may appear in a setting, which requires him to jump over a player who whipped, or jump in a crowd of players in order to seize or even lose a ball. In either case, an activity concerns a knee bent landing. The type of landing is considered to be a fundamental technique. A goalkeeper under analysis has already injured himself previously, because he landed stiff-legged, which means that he failed to protract knees bending in order to absorb the impact force as he landed. The goalkeeper cured the injury and took a course of rehabilitation. Nevertheless, he forgets about proper procedure of landing and frequently lands stiff-legged. The goalkeeper should realize the significance of landing with both knees bent and protract bending with the landing. Secondly, a goalkeeper is frequently placed at a high hazard of getting injury by jumping to rectify a shot on goal. The analyzed goalkeeper frequently has to jump in order to catch a loose ball simultaneously trying to avoid a downed player. Thus, when a goalkeeper lands, he demonstrates a tendency to fail to flex his knees, which can strain his anterior cruciate.
When a goalkeeper has to stop soccer shots as fast as possible, he has to dive instead of running to reach them. Diving is a crucial constituent of a goalkeeper’s capacities. Nevertheless, the goalkeeper under analysis frequently utilizes the technique on hard ground. The conduct should be discouraged by the goalkeeper’s couch as it can lead to serious injuries. The analyzed goalkeeper follows almost all rules during the diving activity. He begins a dive with a fast, shuffle sideways in the direction the ball. The shuffling movement is performed in a forward direction. While the goalkeeper moves sideways before he takes off, his weight moves in the right direction. By moving forwards, he is able to deflect the ball away from the goal. In addition, the goalkeeper’s back leg drives his body off the ground. In fact, a goalkeeper’s body has to be ‘square on to the field’, meaning situated in a parallel manner to the goal line. However, the goalkeeper under analysis frequently violates the position. The ability to be square on the field allows goalkeeper to get their hands in the typical ‘W’ catching position, when their thumbs are behind the ball. Moreover, the skill to have the parallel to the goal line provides with the possibility to land on the hip or side, which are the safest modes to hit the ground. The goalkeeper under analysis has a tendency to twist his body in the air. Therefore, he faces a hazard of landing on his back or stomach and getting a serious injury. Thus, the goalkeeper should remember to maintain his shoulders square to the field regardless of the kicked ball side. The position is perfect for the goalkeeper to land on the side. The goalkeeper under analysis has a tendency to rotate the shoulders over, which results in a so-called ‘Superman’ dive. Such type of dives covers less of the goal, making the goalkeeper almost impossible to catch the ball. Moreover, the ‘Superman’ dive is known to set goalkeepers up to land on their belly, which elevates the hazard of rib, clavicle, and wrist injuries.
Catching and blocking balls is highly important in goalkeeper activity profile. However, the two actions can cause serious injuries to goalkeeper’s wrists and hands if performed incorrectly. Nevertheless, the most common soccer goalkeeper injuries account for the finger injuries. The goalkeeper under analysis frequently demonstrated a tendency to catch a soccer ball on the top of his finger, which can be painful and result in fractures. The goalkeeper remembers to get his hands to the ball first. The technique is effective, as the random kick save might be necessary; but goalkeeper’s hands are his benefit and the player always tries to exercise this advantage when it is possible. Nevertheless, a goalkeeper under analysis sometimes forgets to have ‘soft hands’. ‘Soft hands’ presuppose that the goalkeeper has to use his arms, back and legs in order to shield the ball. When the goalkeeper reaches for a ball, his arms have to be outstretched, but his elbows should not be closed; only then the elbows can be bent while catching the ball. The position allows the arms to absorb the speed of the ball. A soft catch is always a quiet catch. In the case of analyzed goalkeeper, there are some situations when the ball loudly slaps into his hands. Therefore, the couch should dedicate more time to training and advancing the skill of ‘soft hands’. Generally speaking, the goalkeeper’s catching abilities are on the high level, as he never steps backwards in order to shield the catch, he always moves forwards towards the ball.
Punching as a technique is utilized to clear off crossed balls, which cannot be caught. The practice typically happens during heavy traffic. It is not a widely used technique, because a goalkeeper should catch the ball whenever possible. Nevertheless, punching is very effective in allowing a goalkeeper to demonstrate that he has a complete control over his goal area. Thus, if a goalkeeper has any doubt of catching a cross, he should punch a ball. However, the rule applies only to crosses. The analysis demonstrated that the goalkeeper uses the technique for shots at times. The analyzed goalkeeper exhibits an ability to formulate proper hand position required for punching. The position is important to control the ball and avoid various finger injuries. The goalkeeper properly forms a fist, with his four fingers creating a flat surface and the thumb is firmly pressed against the side of the fist below the insipid side. It allows avoiding the injury. The insipid side allows having the best control, and provides a possibility to hide goalkeeper’s vulnerable knuckles. Finally, the goalkeeper does not demonstrate a tendency to tuck the thumb inside the fingers. It helps him to omit serious and complicated injuries.
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The current assessment and analysis demonstrated that goalkeeper is a professional player, who quickly reacts, carefully and attentively observes the game and gives good tips for other players in difficult situations. The goalkeeper almost ideally performs all his functions, being able to protect the goal of his team, catch the ball, and punch or deflect it away from his goal. The goalkeeper is concentrated and relaxed, which allows him analyzing the situation and making the right decisions. Nevertheless, a number of issues have been noted while analyzing his jumping/landing activities, diving, catching, and punching. The mistakes made by the goalkeeper are not extremely serious, but can lead to serious injuries. Firstly, an analyzed goalkeeper has already injured himself previously, because he landed stiff-legged, which means that he failed to protract knees bending to absorb the impact force as he landed. He still frequently demonstrates the mistake, stressing the anterior cruciate. Therefore, the couch should dedicate more attention to practicing appropriate knees bending. The practice should start from training the goalkeeper to stand with his feet shoulders-wide apart and slight bend in his knees. Secondly, goalkeeper’s diving technique also requires slight amendments. He demonstrates a tendency to utilize a ‘Superman’ dive, during which he twists his body in the air. Such activity might cause a serious injury if the goalkeeper looses his balance and lands on his back or stomach, instead of sides and hips. Thirdly, despite the fact that the goalkeeper professionally catches the balls and constantly saves his team, he frequently forgets about ‘soft hands’. The athlete should eliminate the habit, as it can lead to finger injuries and fractures. Finally, the goalkeeper utilizes punching activity and adheres to all rules of the technique and safety regulations. The only mistake done by the goalkeeper concerns the fact that he forgets to apply punches only to crosses, and uses them for ordinary shots at times. Thus, the analysis demonstrated that the goalkeeper requires several amendments to enhance his regular activities and prevent future injuries. The mistakes result from the acquired habit, which the goalkeeper has not emended on time.