How to Focus When Coaches Are Watching
Common distractions such as fans, injuries, opponents etc. can be hard enough to block out. Then if you add the pressure of college coaches watching players perform, many soccer players struggle with their confidence. You can’t focus on your performance when trying to impress coaches or thinking about your future.
Thinking about colleges is a very stressful time for high school athletes. You want to be confident and mentally prepared to perform your best in front of others who are watching you.
Coaches look for athletes that can perform under adversity or tough situations. This is easier said than done for many soccer players who struggle with the pressure to produce when being scouted by college coaches.
When college coaches are present, soccer players are often afraid to make mistakes. This leads to playing safe and tentative, often resulting in a poor performance.
Many athletes–who have already committed to a school–sometimes feel they have to live up to the coach’s expectations by playing perfectly or scoring a goal.
Soccer players often over-think their performance and judge each play wondering what the coaches are thinking. All in all, when soccer players are worried about how their performance is being perceived, they lose focus on the moment and what will help them execute on the field.
How can you mentally prepare when playing under the pressure of college coaches watching you play?
It is normal to feel more nerves when you know coaches are present, but the key is to focus on what you need to do on the field to perform your best.
You want to approach the game with the same intensity and routines you use for any game, even if coaches are watching. Wanting to look like a stand out, trying too hard to score goals, or feeling you must be a star does not help you perform your best.
Here’s the best tip we can give you:
When you start to think about people who are watching you, stop and refocus on your performance.
Consider scouts or coaches as another distraction that you do not want to waist energy on. We know that your future in college soccer is important, but put it aside when you step on the field and just play your game.
Staying confident when college coaches are watching is just one aspect of having a strong mental game.
Download our free eBook titled “7 ‘Costly’ Mental Game Mistakes That Block Soccer Players’ Success” to learn more.
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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?
“Our son plays academy level soccer. Jaki taught him how to focus on mini goals for each game and practice, how to lower his expectations and understand that mistakes are necessary to grow as a player, and helped his perfectionism. We saw a noticeable difference within one month with improvement each month thereafter. He was more confident, happy, and was having fun again at soccer. The confidence has helped him off the field as well to not have to be perfect in everything that he attempts. We can’t say enough about how grateful we are for Jaki!”
~Linda Black, Soccer Mom