A Complete Holiday Gift Guide For The Goalkeeper In Your Life
The old cliche about goalkeepers being unique and slightly crazy is a bit overused at this point, but any goalkeeper will tell you that it still holds true. The same can be said of gifts for goalkeepers — they're a bit different.
Fancy cleats and new Premier League jerseys just aren't sensible when half the time you come home stained in blood and/or mud. No, Goalkeepers need more functional gifts that will help get them through the season.
As a semi-retired goalkeeper and current goalkeeper coach, I understand the unique wants and needs of keepers. Therefore, I compiled a list of the best gifts that you can give to the goalkeeper in your life this holiday season. Enjoy:
Top Gifts For Goalkeepers:
Rubber Reaction Ball (under $10)
A very simple training tool, all you need is a basement wall and at least 10-15 feet of space and you have days' worth of training drills. Great for improving hand-eye-coordination and footwork, especially during the winter months.
Retro Goalkeeper Jerseys ($25+)
Nobody wears goalkeeper jerseys in public, and I think it's time to change that. They are more of a fashion piece than a functional match kit, but vintage goalkeeper jerseys have some of the coolest designs of any shirt around. Classic Football Shirts is one of my favorite sites to find old jerseys due to their extensive selection, and eBay is a great place to look if you don't mind spending a little more time in search of a great deal.
Tights ($10+) & Sliding Shorts ($20-35)
With more and more teams practicing on unforgiving turf fields, the skin on goalkeepers' legs is paying the price. It's a given that any skin below the waist will get turf burn on the first day of practice and never properly heal, which is why tights and sliding shorts are now paramount for any goalkeeper.
For 10 bucks, Eastbay brand tights, available in 3/4 or full length, are very inexpensive but are still high quality. More specialized baseball sliding shorts will cost a little more but offer thicker protection along the outside of the leg. Soccer pants are also an option.
Elite Neo Black Goalkeeper Gloves ($110)
No goalkeeper gift guide would be complete without a pair of gloves. I decided to go off the beaten path a bit and take a look at gloves not made by adidas, Nike or another major brand. The Elite Neo Black gloves received great reviews on Soccer.com (4.7/5 from 10 reviews). These negative cut gloves offer superior grip in all conditions and great durability, plus a classy blacked-out design.
Athletic Tape (Under $5)
Available at your nearest pharmacy
A gift that is so simple, yet so underappreciated. You never get excited about it but it always comes in handy when you need it. Athletic tape works great to hold up shin guards, tape wrists and protect pesky finger injuries that occur during the season.
Foam Roller ($35)
Great for pre-game or post-game, a foam roller is a great way to loosen up those tight muscles and prevent soreness. It's a must have for goalkeepers during a bruising season.
Buy Gear From Your Local Soccer Shop (Priceless)
Small businesses across the country are struggling during these difficult times. When you can, go to your local soccer store and buy items that you would normally buy online or from a large retailer. Shopping in-person or online supports local businesses and maintains their status as pillars of our communities. Because what are we without small businesses?