According to a recent report in the Sydney Morning Herald, it may be just because they feel a psychological pressure. Goalies feel that, if they dive, their coach, fans and team-mates will think they have done their 'all' to deflect the shot.
According to recent research into 'Science and Psychology shoot out of the Penalty shot', an analysis of the penalty shoot-out showed that by the goalkeeper standing still, rather than diving to the right or the left, was able to save one third of all penalty shots, compared with only 15% (or about one in six) if he dived one way or the other.
The research, published in the journal, Progress in Brain Research about a year ago, by Michael Bar-Eli, Ofer H Azar and Yotam Lurie, from Ben-Gurion University, found that only in 6% of all penalty kicks faced, did the goalkeeper remain relatively motionless.
Australian Evangelist Mark Tronson, chairman of Well-Being Australia which specialises in athlete respite, says that a significant lesson for Christian Evangelists might be gleaned from this soccer goalkeeper research.
For example, the nature of standing still against a penalty kick in a penalty shoot-out illustrates that the goalkeeper would save one third of shots on goal. Jesus' imagery of the fisherman, making disciples as fishers of men, has this same philosophical point. There is a sensitive and intelligent approach to soul winning, as there is to catching fish. There is no point in trying to anticipate which way the fish will jump!
Then there is the analogy of the goalkeeper's following peer pressure; acting out what he considers the coach, and maybe the spectators, expect. Here too Jesus is not at a loose end when he calls upon the disciples to be alert to the dangers of following what their colleagues think or do. He asks them whether they, too are leaving him.
"But the nub of the research illustrates that the goalkeeper really has no idea which way to go," muses M V Tronson. "In actual fact, it is all a matter of guessing. On this point, Jesus challenges the disciples to utterly trust in the Lord and He will provide the words and the timing."
There are a number of key attributes to the Evangelists' spiritual armoury which illustrate the nature of this trusting in the Lord.
It is the Lord who reveals Himself through the Holy Spirit, and this in turn brings repentant hearts to the foot of the cross. There is a sense in which every Evangelist has had to learn to stand still and realise that it is the Lord's doing; not his or her doing.
Like goalkeepers, many Evangelists feel they are under great pressure to get results such as a 'quota' of people responding to the alter call they make in their preaching. They feel that their credibility is at stake as an Evangelist if people to do not respond in droves to their message of Jesus' Salvation.
There is a spiritual gifting from the Lord to an Evangelist that hosts a certain calm of his spirit, a spiritual confidence that intrinsically assures him or her that the Lord is in control, and it is the Lord than brings abundance.
Mark Tronson notes that the Evangelist beyond all else realises they are but a servant of the Living God who offered up Himself through His Son Jesus Christ for man's sin and wickedness. This eternal message is required to be presented in such a way that the Holy Spirit challenges individual's heart in so far as the Lord receives all the Glory.