The Mindset For Playing Tough Teams
Do you find it difficult to achieve new levels of performance when playing against talented soccer teams?
When faced with daunting odds, is it hard for you to maintain your motivation and keep fighting to move towards your goals?
Think of a soccer tournament when you viewed the other teams as stronger, better and more talented than your team…
Some players approach these games with trepidation and think, “We have never advanced in this tournament in the past. How can we possibly compete against these teams now?”
Your fear of losing is through the roof and you desperately try not to lose too badly…
Your defensive style only causes you to play back on your heels as you allow the opposing team to dictate the flow of the game…
You fail to clear the ball out of the box and the other team capitalizes on your mistake and scores.
Part of bouncing back requires you to change how you view tough competition.
You want to reframe these soccer matches as challenges.
Challenges aren’t meant to stop you but to help you raise your game to the next level.
By changing your mindset, you become better equipped to battle and be competitive… And who knows maybe the opposing team makes some mistakes and places you in position to win the game.
In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. team won its group for the first time since 1930…
In the round of 16, the U.S. was eliminated by Ghana, 2-1 and finished in 12th place according to FIFA’s ranking system.
The following year, Jurgen Klinsmann was hired to coach the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) to help the team get over the hump and challenge for a World Cup title.
Klinsmann has worked diligently to change the mindset of his team as they prepare for the 2014 World Cup.
The United States is in “Group G” which has been labeled this year’s “Group of Death.”
Group G contains soccer powerhouses Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Only two teams will advance to the knockout round.
Getting out of Group G will be a difficult challenge for the U.S. squad.
How is it possible for the US team to succeed at the World Cup?
First, Klinsmann wants his team to view each game as a challenge instead of focusing on the competition.
“It is one of the most difficult groups of the whole draw. It couldn’t get any more difficult or any bigger, but that is what the World Cup is all about. We are looking forward to the challenge and we don’t see ourselves as any kind of outsiders. If you want to get into the top 10 or 12 teams in the world you have to beat these guys,” he said.
Second, Klinsmann wants the U.S. team to focus on their game and dictate the flow of the game:
“American nature is to take the game to our opponents. We don’t want to just react to them.”
Try these tips to raise your soccer game to the next level against tough teams:
View each game as an opportunity to improve your performance and rise to the challenge. This keeps the focus on you and not your opponents.
You must impose your will on your opponents by dictating the flow of the game and playing your game instead of waiting for the opposing team to bring the game to you.
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