I learned this important lesson – Control the Controllables – at a soccer training camp at UC Berkeley. I trained with college and professional players as a goalkeeper. The goalkeeper is responsible for trying to block every single shot from entering the goal. Let one in, the game is changed.
The goalkeeper is the last person to stop an attack, to prevent the other team from scoring. Not an easy position. Being a striker or a midfielder requires more running but its way less pressure. When a striker or midfield does not block or make their shot, the game is not changed. The game remains the same.
Here is what I needed to know: a goalkeeper will face 15-30 shots on goal per game, and some will get by. I had to learn to accept that there are shots I cannot block. Goals could be scored no matter what I did. I can’t control what others do, or the condition of the field, or the weather, or wind. I could only control the controllables.
Here is what you need to know: Even when I was scored on, the game played on. The goalkeeper can’t lose focus, the goalkeeper can’t just quit, the game is still on. As goalkeeper, I had to control what I could – my attitude and my actions – that’s all I can control.