I am often asked by parents--particularly early in every Club season--when should my kid become full-time Goalkeeper?
Generally speaking, I think youth GKs become serious and committed around the age of 14 or 15. There is always that kid who decides he or she wants to be a Goalkeeper at 10 or 11 (see Stefan Cleveland--that's him in the photo); but for the most part 14 to 15 years of age is a good time.
Up until that age, I encourage young GKs to play both in the field and in the goal. As you probably know, the ability to play with feet is becoming more and more important to all GKs, and the more time you spend playing in the field competitively will only serve to develop you skill and ability 'on the ball'. Hopefully, your child's Youth Coach is aware of and agreeable to playing your kid as a "part-time" GK. Some Youth Coaches are--unfortunately--more interested in winning than player development.....a problem that continually raises it's ugly head here in the US. (Hopefully we are working through that. Hopefully.)
Anyway, as with all serious endeavors in life, your young GK will face their share of triumphs and blunders. (It's a BIG goal!) But the key is to keep working hard, training intelligently, and take the good with the bad.
As you know, we at Reusch USA, have everything a young GK could possibly need. Go to www.reuschusa.com for a full perusal of our GK gloves and gear!
May the ground beneath your dive be soft. May your goalposts be 3 feet wide. And may the other team always shoot straight at you!
All the Best--EV