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Interview: Sebastian Selke

Written By Justin on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | 5:45:00 PM

Basti (left) vs. Jurgen Klinsmann

In-the-know keepers know Sebastian "Basti" Selke as the owner/operator of Pimp My Gloves, an amazing undertaking which can transform your worn-out old favorites into match-ready condition. Before PMG, though, Basti enjoyed a successful playing career, and now works full-time as a goalkeeper coach. He took some time to answer a few questions.

Basti, did you always want to be a goalkeeper, or did you get started in goal by accident?

I played in field in the first team as a youth, because my best friend was the keeper. But then he saw that I would be a good keeper and he went to another club, and this was the day my career started in goal!

Tell us what you remember about your debut at the professional level.

It was on television and i remember every step. I remember the gloves I wore, too. I know all the gloves I have worn in my whole career.

Basti is clearly impressed with the grip

You've played against some big names, such as Jurgen Klinsmann. Was he your most difficult opponent?

Yes, he was the most difficult. Every moment of that match was great, except when Klinsi scored and I got a bit angry. I wore my Uhlsport 083s that day.

You're a goalkeeper coach now. Talk about your coaching philosophy. What skills are most important for young keepers?

I coach a mix of my experiences from my great coaches and how I was trained. Nowadays I consider which kind of training is the best for the keepers which I have in my team. Not all keepers are the same, so you can't train them all the same. For young keepers, it is very important to have a mix of fun work and basics.

Basti (left) hard at work on the training pitch

Traditionally, there has been a German 'style' of goalkeeping. Do you think this still exists, or are goalkeepers around the world now being coached more similarly?

I think in every style of goalkeeping we can find some good. There is a lot of good in German coaching, but you must always remember what kind of keeper you're training, and train accordingly.

You started Pimp My Gloves to offer customized gloves. Which glove would you love to pimp?

I have pimped a lot, but the ones I love most are the originals. Today sometimes I think, "Why did I pimp these, instead of keeping them in their original condition?" It would be great if brands did some more retro gloves, like Uhlsport did with the Zoff gloves. New materials in a classic style, to use them now, would be wonderful.

An example of what Pimp My Gloves can do: classic 036 restored and converted to negative cut

Finally Basti, what is your all-time favorite glove?

There are so many gloves which were amazing to me, but today its the Uhlsport 034, all of the Reusch Pfaff ones, and the Uhlsport 021 Peter Shilton worn at Mexico (1986 World Cup). But it's always changing!