Ray Newland is the face of the goalkeeping training industry. He enjoyed a 10 year professional career in England and Scotland, but his playing days were cut short after suffering a devastating training injury at age 28.
With his playing days behind him, Ray shifted his focus to teaching. In 1999, he started his goalkeeping training company Just 4 Keepers. He provides aspiring coaches with the resources and connections necessary in independent training. His program has taught 50,000 keepers across 30 countries.
Just 4 Keepers has proudly groomed over 1000 goaltenders to reach professional teams. Ray has also released a series of books focused on translating a sports mentality to daily life. He joins us on Episode 49 of the Upper Hand Podcast.
You can read an overview of the interview with Ray Newland or listen to the podcast below for the full interview.
Q: What is your philosophy at Just 4 Keepers? What do you hope to achieve?
A: My mission is always to give young goalkeepers the opportunities that I never had growing up. I’ve been building Just 4 Keepers in the United States for about four or five years and we have a presence in about 25 states now. I want to create a different environment for young goalkeepers. I am preparing them so they don’t have to go to local soccer clubs to get goalkeeping coaching… My mission in the United States is to help goalkeepers achieve their dreams, whether to become professional or get a college scholarship through our network of goalkeeping coaches. The network I’m creating is not just for coaching, but also the contacts, which is really important. You can be the greatest coach in the world, but if you don’t have any contacts, you can’t help your students. Just 4 Keepers provides the coaching and an exit strategy to help goalkeepers achieve their dreams.
Q: What was the hardest part of starting Just 4 Keepers?
A: In terms of competition, obviously my competition was clubs like Liverpool, Everton, and Manchester United. But, I’ve never seen them as competition. I’ve never seen anyone as competition, to be honest. I was always taught as a young professional goalkeeper that the only competition is yourself. Every day, I compete with myself to be the best I can be. I’m generally not bothered by competition. To me, the biggest challenge wasn’t the clubs; the biggest challenge was working twenty hours a day and still finding time for my family.
Q: Players stray away from goalkeeping because of the fear of making a mistake and letting in a goal. How do you compensate for this factor? When you do make a mistake, how do you get over that mistake?
A: I’ve always called goalkeeping a character building position. No matter when a goal goes in, the goalkeeper gets the blame. We tell our keepers that when a goal goes in and they get the blame, it’s only because those people do not understand goalkeeping, they have never played in goal in their life. What we tell our keepers to do is to not take it personally… We also use something called trigger points, as well. We use trigger points to help you get over that mistake, to help reboot your mind. We teach our students to have triggers like wristbands, fixing gloves, or some pros kick the post. All those are doing are helping you get over this one mistake and to remind yourself that you are a good goalkeeper.