Developing a Positive Self-Image
Today we continue to answer the following question that a soccer player asked on our Soccer Psychology Survey about how to perform under pressure:
“During every game and practice when I am performing under pressure my mind over thinks everything and I tend to mess up on the simplest things. When I am under pressure the feelings of nervousness mixed with my fear of messing up causes my head to not think clearly and I can’t focus on where to move or what to do on the field. How can I play better under pressure?”
In part one, we talked about how you can better cope with pressure. Today, in part two, we will help you develop a positive image of yourself as a composed athlete rather than a choker in pressure situations.
You cannot perform your best or have maximum composure unless you have a strong foundation of self-confidence. When you are fully confident in your abilities, you are less likely to be anxious about making mistakes, about embarrassing yourself, about letting others down – all thoughts that will make it difficult to stay composed in crunch time.
Soccer players who perform well in crunch time have developed confidence in there ability to stay composed in high pressure situations such as penalty kicks, championship games, or tryouts. They are in control of their emotions and thought process. They maintain less doubt by focusing on their strengths and what they need to do to execute.
The opposite can also be true in that some athletes repeatedly choke, become unglued in crunch time, and can never seem to be able to finish off a close competition. These athletes begin to label themselves as “chokers” or a player who cannot execute under pressure.
In order to execute when the stakes are high, you need to learn how to develop a positive self-image of yourself as a composed athlete. We want you to improve self-confidence in your ability to perform in all kinds of challenging environments.
Let us start by identifying some negative self-labels (names you might give yourself that are not helpful), which undermine your beliefs about performing well during crunch-time:
- I choked in the past and I will continue to be a choker.
- I am not a big game player; I never perform well in big games.
- I can’t relax and play my game.
- I crumble under the pressure of a big lead and find a way to lose.
- When I perform, I am so scared to play badly.
- I always let my teammates down.
Are these the type of statements you say to yourself? If so, it is important to know your self-image dictates how well you will play in competition.
The goal is to discard negative self-labels and adopt a positive self-image about performing well under pressure.
Below are three examples that you could use to revive your self-image about competing under pressure. Create a positive outlook on how you handle pressure by saying the following statements to yourself daily.
Statements to revive your self-image:
- I perform my best in crunch-time pressure.
- I love the feelings that come when the game is on the line.
- When I’m feeling the pressure (anxiety or tension) coming on, I don’t have to pay attention to it, I will just play like I do when I’m playing for fun.
Download our free e-book, “7 Mental Game Challenges that Block Soccer Player’s Success”, and learn how to overcome other mental game barriers soccer players face.
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Does your confidence seem to disappear when you go from practice to games and don’t know why? Do you get nervous and anxious in big games or when you are under a ton of pressure? Do you get so frustrated when you make a bad pass which causes your confidence to sink?
Check out Soccer Confidence: Mental Toughness Strategies For a Competitive Edge
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Players: Get the mental edge by learning how to take control of your confidence, mentally prepare for games and perform with composure under pressure.
Trainers: Learn how to give your students the mental game advantage.
Coaches: Boost your team’s confidence using simple proven mental strategies.
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Soccer Confidence: Mental Toughness Strategies For a Competitive Edge
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“Dr. Cohn, Michelle had the best weekend of soccer she has ever played. She was relaxed, did not get frustrated with herself or teammates, and never once ‘shut down.’ Numerous parents noticed a difference in her composure and attitude. Thanks again for EVERYTHING…Michelle is in a very good place right now!”
~Diana, Michelle’s Mother
Do You Make Any of These ‘Costly’ Mental Game Mistakes?
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- How your soccer mind can be your best or worst asset on the field.
- How frustration and dwelling are your worst enemy.
- If you are using your soccer mindset effectively before games.
- Learn the important mental game of soccer skills you need to master to boost your confidence and performance.
7 ‘Costly’ Mental Game Mistakes That Block Soccer Players’ Success
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“I have enjoyed and benefited from your emails over the past year or two. I have been a player, parent, and coach in soccer over the past 40 years. Thanks for the assistance with the mental game resources.”
~Kyle Congleton, Soccer Coach and Parent
Mental Game Coaching for Soccer Players
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
We look forward to helping you improve your mental toughness!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“Jaki is amazingly talented. She has a pretty cool way of guiding you to find those issues that are holding you back in your game. Through some pretty clever questions she’s been guiding me to discover the real issues behind my doubts and lack of confidence. With the tools she’s been giving me, I can say with full confidence I am on my way of signing a better professional contract.”
~Lucas Gonzales, Professional Soccer Player in Australia
Learning to thrive under pressure is easier said than done, but a lot of athletes do it. When it’s “do or die” you don’t have time to second guess yourself or your actions. You make a move and commit to the play and find a way to make it work.
Thanks for posting. Does anyone think that poor crunch-time performance is based subconsciously in a negative self image.?