A small shift in soccer mindset can lead to a big change in performance. If a soccer player can sharpen his or her thinking on and off the pitch – by as little as a few per cent – team mates and coaches will see an enormous improvement in the quality and consistency of an individual’s play.
In soccer the soft skills are the hard skills. A player’s confidence can disappear as quickly and as quietly as it arrived. That all important capacity to focus may be enjoyed in fleeting moments but players are often distracted by the nature of the game and by the complexity of the brain. In a sport of emotion the progress of players with huge talent can slow as a result of the burden of expectation, the difficulty of self-management and because of the grip negative feelings can have over clarity of thought as the pressure of performance builds.
It is important to offer solutions to the mental challenges the beautiful game presents. So, here follows 10 soccer tips that soccer parents can help instil in their youngsters:
1. To win you’ve got to be confident. To be confident you have to think like a winner. It starts with thinking.
2. Belief develops from hard work, quality work, great visualization and great thinking.
3. No-one’s thoughts are purely positive. A soccer player must learn to be aware of his negative thoughts then be able to let them go.
4. Focus in soccer is vital. A player can be immensely talented, have great technique and yet his career may falter due to poor focus.
5. The myth of focus is the concept that more focus is required. It is placing your focus in the right direction that is a crucial mediator.
6. A player can be plagued by a wandering mind. The past is gone & cannot be controlled. The future can only be influenced by focus on the present.
7. The great footballer carries on. He misses, he carries on. He gives the ball away, he carries on. He goes a goal down, he carries on.
8. Quick feet may be a physical phenomenon… but they soon become sticky when a footballer isn’t equipped to perform under pressure.
9. Failure in football isn’t fatal… but thinking that it is… is!
10. Relentless should the player be on match day. Relentlessly positive, relentlessly focused, relentlessly driven. That’s a learnable skill.