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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Soccer Mindgames

Soccer, like any sport, is a game not just play with the body but also the mind.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes, but be ready to fix them.

A game of two halves, and a game played with the body and mind. Using your mind is just as, if not more important than your athletic nature and body. You can have all the skill in the world but you have to be confident in yourself using it or it will go to waste.

My favorite quote of "hard work beats talent, when talent does not work hard" exemplifies the mind games. It isn't just about being talented in skill and athleticism, its about working hard off the field. This includes pushing your mental toughness to get you to the level you want.

Its about perseverance on the training pitch when no one is looking, that will apply to game day. It is about the facet of being confident in what you are as a player, and developing that confidence to make you as strong as you can be.

These books here can help you on and off the field:

I wish I had used any one of these books, but instead I got other assistance as you'll see below!

Mental fortitude is huge in gaining an upper hand over other players. The biggest players in the world are also the most confident in their own skill. Lets look at a standout of this, Zlatan, a player whose Ego knows no limit.

He makes himself the center stage of any interview and captivates the people around him. He protrudes confidence, and in doing so it shows when he stands out on the field. His skill alone is tremendous don't get me wrong, but it wont give hi all the success he has had without the confidence.

 Lets look at his recent arrival at Manchester United, his skill was not giving him the results he wanted. He struggled in his first couple of weeks, but has now started to pick up his usual scoring with 5 in 4 games. Through his dry spell he has to stay mentally tough, and cant reminisce on mistakes or errors he made, and has to be ready for the next opportunity.
"Dare to Zlatan"- Be confident in yourself

Just as Zlatan has to stay confident in rough patches of form, so doesn't you or me.. Its tough to pick your head up after making a sloppy pass, a poor touch, or a shank of a shot, especially when you know you can do better.

Yet what I have learned is to not worry in the moment, but to immediately move on from the mistake. Look to improve the next pass, shot, or touch. You can critique yourself after the game or practice of the errors you made, but do so in a positive manner.

There's no reason to punish yourself, and make yourself feel like crap. You just have to see what you work on  to fix the errors you made, and that is working and training in consistency.

Soccer can be tough, but you have to be more tough!

I have had tons of mental breakdowns and moments of lack of confidence throughout my career. I still get them time to time, and at the collegiate level it can affect your game more than lower levels, as the competition only gets tighter.

You can be playing great in a few games, then make a few errors, and next your sulking on them and getting down on yourself. This can lead to playing even worst, and creating a deeper hole for yourself. From here you can find yourself playing less and less and eventually on the bench, but there's a way around this. Mental toughness is the answer, and digging yourself out of every hole.

The biggest moments in a soccer match are 10 minutes into each half, and 5 minutes after a goal is scored. Be mentally ready for those moments and your skill will do the rest.

The best thing I ever did in my soccer career was an ID camp for colleges, but with a goal to enhance and enrich the players mental game. It was the perfect timing for me as I was needed that extra confidence before heading to play college soccer.

 It was called Exact soccer camp, and to this day I still try and use the methods they taught me. Its simple really, its about positive thoughts leading up to the game day- mental fortitude and imaging the success you want on the field. Picturing yourself doing the actions well and correctly and usually that's relays over to the actual game. Pump yourself with a battle cry, let yourself be infused in the moment but not relying on every play or mistake.

What it comes down to is using mental techniques of positive imaging before the game, and than use it during the game always trying to stay positive and look for the next play. If you make a bad pass or loss possession , immediately work to earn it back! If you miss a shot wide left or right, focus on the next one and get it on frame, one step at a time! If you want a training guide for enhancing those skills than Click Here!.

Professional soccer players make mistakes, the like's of Messi and Ronaldo aren't 100% perfect, yet game in and game out they are consistent. They move past their errors and mishaps to get them self ready for the next play, a huge reason why their talent and hard work are able to be so consistent. Anyone can do it, its just another part of working hard to get where you want to be as a player.
Work on your mental game to increase your playing level!

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