How Does Perfectionism Hurt Players?
What are your thoughts about perfectionism?
Do you see perfectionism as a necessary ingredient for your success as a soccer player?
If you answered the question yes, you see perfectionism as positive.
Many top athletes and elite soccer players label themselves as perfectionists. You may look at these players with such admiration that you conclude that perfectionism is the way to go to reach the pinnacle of your sport.
But the opposite is true… perfectionism holds you back from achieving your potential once all the practice in complete and it’s game time.
One young soccer player was a classic perfectionist with all the signs.
All through his young life, his parents put excessive demands on him. His parents’ ultimate objective was to push him to greater heights, a noble goal.
So his parents never accepted anything less than perfection. In school, a B+ was not good enough. His parents would say, “Why didn’t you get an A?”
On the soccer field, if a goalie made a great save on one of his shots, his parents would look disapprovingly at him for not scoring.
Eventually, the young soccer player took on perfection as his goal. He desperately wanted to please his parents and his coaches.
Game after game, the young soccer player would mentally replay every mistake he made from the last game. He would get so nervous and fearful of making a mistake that he would make even more mistakes… and the cycle continued game after game.
This is the perfection cycle and it NEVER brings out the best of ANY soccer player!
Perfection is an impossible standard for any soccer player.
When any athlete fails to achieve a standard or goal they set for themselves, they eventually quit.
Quitting comes in many forms:
- You may make excuses to miss practices.
- You may give half effort during drills.
- You may see scrimmages as unimportant and not go all out.
- You may hold back in games or mentally give up.
- You may quit the sport altogether.
No matter what you hear from coaches, parents or top-level players, perfectionism is not the road to success… perfectionism is a roadblock, a dead end!
For example, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola demands perfection from his players at all times which has worn on his players.
Midfielder Thiago Alcantara believes that Guardiola’s perfectionistic expectation had a negative impact on his players.
ALCANTARA: “The players will end up drained by Pep. He’s so intense that he will exhaust us. Pep will never be satisfied. He doesn’t enjoy himself. He’ll never enjoy football because he is always looking for what has gone wrong in order to correct it. Pep is never happy because he’s a perfectionist.”
Wow, that is a resounding indictment on perfectionism!
If you learn to swap perfectionism for functionality, you will take a huge weight off your back, free yourself to play the game intuitively and achieve more of your potential.
Tips for Setting Challenging Goals For Yourself Instead of Perfection
Ask yourself the following series of questions:
- What can I do during a game that I would view as a success?
- Is this standard my own or is it something my parents or coaches want?
- Is this standard realistic and doable?
- What will be my positive response if I fall short of this standard for this game?
You must buy into the reality that breaking free from perfectionism will push you to greater heights in your sport.
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?
Learn proven strategies to improve focus, composure and confidence so you can perform at your peak in games!
Players: Get the mental edge by learning how to take control of your confidence, mentally prepare for games and perform with composure under pressure.
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Coaches: Boost your team’s confidence using simple proven mental strategies.
Parents: Help boost your soccer player’s confidence. Don’t let their mind hold them back any longer.
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
“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?
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
“We try and spend 20 to 30 minutes a day working on the mental aspects of the game. My daughter is really enjoying it and feels it has helped and I know it has worked for her mother and I. I think you need to open a branch up here in Detroit, Michigan because there are a lot of parents and kids up here that need this information. Keep up the good work!”
~Scott Burgess, Soccer 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
“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