So Craig Gordon has signed for The Black Cats at 40,000 pounds per week. It is a great move for a goalkeeper of his caliber.
Transitions to higher levels of play can be a daunting for any goalkeeper, especially if you have not had any kind of exposure to top flight teams and competition.
While I don’t think that Gordon will have any problem in The Premiership, there is still a higher level of expectation from club and fans. What are some of the key things a goalkeeper should acclimatize themselves for when it comes to taking the step from local club football to higher levels of competition?
Intensify:Training intensities are super high going from your local leagues to a higher division or competition. Going from one or two training sessions per week, to three or more is initially taxing on the body. To prepare, you have to start getting the body ready before the season starts. Increasing intensity in your goalkeeper training by 5-10% each session is important for adaptation to the rigors of the competitive season ahead.
Get Your Head Right:Thinking that you’ve been gifted a glorious golden glove from the goalkeeping gods just does not swallow well in highly competitive teams. Sure, being too head sure and cocky might get you thinking you can be the next Buffon, but that mindset has to transition into your game. Just as the body shifts into a higher level of intensity, so must your mind.
Iron Out Weaknesses: Top flight goalkeepers are being shot down by injury more often these days (you’d think they are becoming extinct!) But it all comes down to that increased intensity we are talking about. Going from one game per week plus training, to two or three training sessions plus cup games and competition games can be extremely mentally taxing. If you are not prepared, then you can get yourself into serious trouble. Get to the physio if you have niggling injuries, and get onto the training field well before the season kicks off to get your goalkeeping technique into A1 condition.
So think about some of the key points above before you take a shot at the big bad leagues. On the flip side, the above transitions into higher competition ultimately helps the goalkeeper adapt and become better at their game…but it all takes time. Being prepared well before you start a new venture in higher levels of competition can only help you become a better goalkeeper.