What Does It Take to Be a Pro Goalkeeper? Insights from Former Pro Mitch Walker

A former professional goalkeeper training on the field, emphasizing the importance of support, sacrifice, focus, mental strength, and hard work.
Former pro goalkeeper Mitch Walker shares essential tips on what it takes to be a Pro.

Becoming a professional goalkeeper is a journey that requires dedication, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. As a former pro goalkeeper, I’ve faced the highs and lows of the sport, and I’ve learned valuable lessons along the way. When people ask me, “How to be a pro goalkeeper?” or “What does it take to be a pro goalkeeper?” my answer always includes five key elements: support, sacrifice, focus, mental strength, and hard work. Here’s my personal story and advice for aspiring goalkeepers.

1. Support Around You

The first thing you need is a strong support system. Whether it’s friends, family, or coaches, having people around you who believe in you and can guide you through tough times is crucial. When I was coming up through the ranks, my family was my rock. They were there for every victory and every setback, always providing the encouragement I needed to keep pushing forward.

You can’t do it alone. The journey to becoming a professional goalkeeper is filled with challenges, and having a good circle to lean on makes all the difference. They will celebrate your wins with you and help you navigate through the tough losses.

2. Sacrifice

To achieve your dreams, you must be willing to make sacrifices. This means missing social events, adhering to a strict diet, and sometimes spending less time with family and friends. I remember countless weekends where I had to choose between going out with friends and training. The decision was always clear to me: training came first.

Sacrifice isn’t just about the big moments, but also the small, daily choices. From waking up early for practice to avoiding junk food, every decision you make should bring you closer to your goal. It’s a lifestyle commitment that pays off in the long run.

3. Focus

Focus on the 1% improvements that can elevate your performance. This could be anything from practicing specific drills to maintaining a balanced diet. In my career, I always paid attention to the details. Whether I was at home, in the gym, or on the training ground, I constantly looked for ways to improve.

It’s easy to get distracted by the big picture, but success is often found in the small details. Focus on perfecting your technique, understanding your position, and maintaining your physical fitness. Every little improvement counts.

4. Mental Strength

Mistakes and setbacks are inevitable. What defines you as a professional goalkeeper is how you handle these moments. Mental strength is crucial to bounce back from failures and keep moving forward. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, but each one taught me a lesson and made me stronger.

Being mentally strong means not letting a bad game affect your confidence. It’s about learning from your errors and coming back better. Remember, setbacks are just setups for comebacks.

5. Hard Work

Finally, you must be the hardest worker in the room. There’s always someone ready to take your place, so outworking everyone else is essential. Throughout my career, I made sure I was always the first to arrive at training and the last to leave. Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but it significantly increases your chances.

Commit to being diligent and consistent in your efforts. Hard work builds character and shows your dedication to your craft. When you combine hard work with the other elements, you create a solid foundation for success.


Being a pro goalkeeper takes more than just talent. It requires a strong support system, significant sacrifices, unwavering focus, immense mental strength, and relentless hard work. These are the ingredients that helped me reach the professional level and can help you too. If you’re serious about becoming a professional goalkeeper, embrace these principles, and stay committed to your journey.


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