What Makes a Strong Mental Game?
How would you rate your mental game during soccer games? Do you practice better than you play? Are you able to play at your peak at critical moments in a game?
A strong mental game in soccer is the ability to play at peak levels despite all the ups and downs of a game or season.
The most important part of your mental game is that it is a game within yourself.
You can choose to be your toughest opponent or choose to build your game and achieve more of your potential.
Building a strong mental game requires confidence in your abilities and resiliency to overcome challenges.
Confidence entails building upon your strengths while seeking to improve weaker parts of your game to add to your overall development as a player.
Resiliency is your ability to bounce back from adversity and to use that experience to grow as a player. Confidence and resiliency are the dynamic duo.
If you are confident in your abilities, you will be able to persist in the face of challenges (becoming more resilient). The more resilient you are, the more stable your confidence will be in difficult situations.
Suppose you are a starting defense man who just miss-played a ball allowing an opposing attacker to score.
If you do not have a strong mental game, you may not be able to get that play out of your head and play timidly fearing another mistake.
If you have a strong mental game, you will be able to learn from your mistake and bounce back regaining your competitive style of play.
Clint Dempsey plays forward for the Seattle Sounders FC in the MLS and is also a captain on the US National team.
This winter, Dempsey was on loan to Fulham FC on the English Premier League though he didn’t play his best soccer.
Despite his shaky play for Fulham, Dempsey’s strong mental game remained intact. Dempsey responded to the dip in his performance with confidence and resilience scoring six goals and three assists in five appearances upon his return to the Sounders.
US National team coach Jurgen Klinsmann acknowledged the strength of Dempsey’s mental game and his ability to work through adversity:
“I’m very happy that Clint has picked up the rhythm and found his confidence and is part of almost every goal that Seattle scores. That’s really a good sign… That he’s building his confidence more and more and more. And it’s due to his hard work that he put in for January, February, being at Fulham. It was not a successful time, but he built a foundation for the months afterward so he seems to now [be] at the right time, at the right spot.”
Everyone make mistakes or has bad performances.
The important thing is how you respond to a mistake or bad game.
You have two choices:
- You can respond with resolve and focus on the strengths of your game
- Or you can choose to focus on your mistakes and allow those mistakes to define you.
Your mental game, ultimately, shapes your response.
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Learn Mental Game Secrets to Soccer Confidence!
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?
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What are soccer confidence customers saying?
“Our son plays academy level soccer. Jaki taught him how to focus on goals for each game and practice 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.”
~Linda, Ryan’s Mother
Do You Make Any of These ‘Costly’ Mental Game Mistakes?
Download our FREE soccer psychology report and discover if you make any of these ‘costly’ mental game mistakes that can block your success.
- 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.
What are soccer psychology subscribers saying?
“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?
“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