Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake's brilliant goal keeper—honored by Gov. Herbert as Utah's best pro athlete—offers tips on being awesome. We realized his tips apply to life in general.

WHAT ARE THE ROOTS OF GOALIE GREATNESS?

I was in the under-10-year-olds in California, and the coach asked if anyone wanted to be goalie. I raised my hand. If I wasn't that kid who raised his hand, I wouldn't be in Utah right now.

WHAT DRIVES YOU?

One of the main things that drives me is the people who told me I couldn't be a pro goal keeper. They said I was too short. It makes me work harder on the things I can control—shot blocking, reading the game and the ability to play with my feet.

ANY TIPS FOR MENTALLY PREPPING FOR A GAME?

On game day, I relax with my family and stay off my feet as much as possible. Once I step in the locker room, I mentally go through my game. I close my eyes and visualize myself making saves, coming out for crosses. That helps me out a ton in the game.

DO HOSTILE FANS RATTLE YOU?

I love going into environments where the stadium is packed and they're throwing things at you. I thrive on trying to shut up the crowd. The heckling keeps me in the game. I've heard the worst things yelled about me, my family, my kids. You have to be in those situations to really understand soccer.

HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR AN INTIMIDATING OPPONENT?

Every Wednesday and Thursday, we watch videos of their most dangerous players. I digest it all week and come Saturday, I go through every scenario that could happen with those players, their free kicks down to their dominant foot.

ANY SECRETS TO RECOVERING AFTER SOMEONE SCORES ON YOU?

I tend to be hard on myself because I think every goal could have been saved. Then, I remember my mom telling me, "It had to pass 10 players before it passed you." I think about that a lot.

HOW DO YOU HONE YOUR SKILLS AS A GOALIE?

I don't know everything. I've had my gaffes for sure. But I don't take mistakes too hard—I learn from them. That's why my decisionmaking has become so good—I learn from my mistakes.

WHAT'S THE SECRET TO BEATING NICK?

The best way to beat me? (Laughs.) That's a tough question because I'm a positivethinking guy. Deflections are tough. You see the ball going one way, and your body reacts to it. Then it deflects and goes the opposite direction. It's hard to get your footing and react.

Back>>>Read other stories in our August 2013 issue