Are you afraid to fail when playing soccer?
Does your fear of failure create greater pressure to play the perfect game?
Have you played in a soccer game where you felt tremendous pressure from your coaches, your parents and, even, your teammates?
Expectations were high and you probably felt the need to be and play perfect soccer…
Your anxiety steadily increased and you were afraid of making mistakes during the game…
You played it safe, not risking going for the ball, tentatively passing the ball and back on your heels defensively… leading to a subpar performance.
Fear of failure, the need to be perfect and trying to please everyone around you increased the pressure you experienced on the soccer field.
When the pressure is too great, your performance drops off dramatically.
Playing it safe or trying to avoid mistakes often leads to the very mistakes you are trying to avoid.
Playing it safe never leads to optimal performance.
Just as you can develop your technical skills in soccer and improve your play, developing the mental skill of managing pressure will allow you to utilize your physical skills optimally.
I interviewed United Kingdom mental coach Paul Miller regarding coping with pressure in sports.
Miller works with high level athletes helping them achieve their best and understand that often it is their mind that interferes with performance.
COHN: “Tell me a little bit about what pressure and who are the athletes that are most prone to be negatively affected by pressure?”
MILLER: “I find that athletes that get so caught up in their emotions find it difficult to be their best and, very often, it’s because of the expectations that they and their environment put on them.”
COHN: “What are some of the expectations that turn into pressure for young athletes?”
MILLER: “Many athletes are afraid to fail so they are not free to play their very best and that’s a distraction for them.
Most athletes survive on their skills and talents and have little knowledge on how to deal with their emotions and the mental aspects… and these athletes don’t really know that they can train themselves to be better at managing those things.”
COHN: “How do you help that athlete get back on track?”
MILLER: “It is important to understand when they are competing, what are the controllables and what are the uncontrollables… When they look at the controllables (what can they do) that will actually make [performance] get better. When an individual feels that their destiny is in their own hands, then they feel a lot more confident.”
Try these tips to overcome the fear of fail and play your best soccer:
- Tip #1: Understand the things that you can control in your performance. Write out a list of “controllables” (your thoughts, competition strategy, routines, etc.) and the “uncontrollables” (weather, officiating, field conditions, competition, etc.) of athletic performance.
- Tip #2: You should create plan on how to stay focused on the controllables: “During warm-up, I’ll focus on…” “During the game, I’ll focus on…” “When I notice my mind drifting or if my emotions are getting the best of me, I’ll refocus on…”
-For Peaksports Members- Listen to the full interview with Paul Miller here: Peaksports Member Network
Learn Mental Game Secrets to Soccer Confidence!
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~Linda, Ryan’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.
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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
Mental Game Coaching for Soccer Players
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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!
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“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