Improve Soccer Performance With Mental Game Tips
Every soccer player wants to elevate their soccer performance.
Many of these players set goals prior to the season to break into the starting lineup, play with greater consistency, or improve scoring.
Yet, it quite often happens that many of these soccer players fall short of improving their performance.
When soccer players fail to improve their game over the course of a season, it can be frustrating and demoralizing.
But if you know those elements that contribute to the improvement process, you can keep yourself on track and practically guarantee a season where you attain great growth and progress in your game.
The 4 Elements of Improvement
- Commitment – The first element of improvement is commitment. Just saying you want to improve is useless unless you have a plan for what exactly you want to improve and what exactly you need to do to achieve your desired objective. For example, if you want to improve conditioning, you might schedule an agility session and a long distance run into your weekly training.
- Effort – Great improvement requires great effort on a consistent basis. Giving half effort in drills or going through the motions in practice will not advance your game very far. In continuing with the example, improving your conditioning requires more effort than a long distance jog or running a few agility ladders at half speed.
- Focus – The third element of improvement is focus. When you are tired or practice becomes monotonous, you need to have some type of practice goal that can keep you focused on your main objective or the specific area of your game that you want to improve.
- Mental Toughness – This is the most important element of the four. Mental toughness will keep you pushing forward when you don’t see immediate results, when you regress slightly during the season or when you have a bad game.
Too many players want to give up when they go through a rough spot.
Improvement is a process that requires time, patience and a lot of work. If you can keep in mind these four elements of improvement, you will be better prepared to deal with the highs and lows and keep pushing forward.
To illustrate the improvement process, look no further than Jeremy Ebobisse, center forward for the Portland Timbers of the MLS.
Ebobisse was drafted by the Timbers with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 Super Draft but was mostly a reserve in the early part of the 2018 season.
By the end of the season, Ebobisse earned a spot in the starting lineup and help the Timbers make the playoffs.
EBOBISSE: “Coming into this year, I knew I would have a role to play. I didn’t know what it would be or when it would come. Naturally, the first half of the season was tough but I credit the coaching staff for trying to keep me into it mentally and working with me after training, giving me the opportunity when it came in September. Then from there, because I took that opportunity, I noticed more responsibility was given to me as a member of the team. Slowly but surely,I began to cement my place in the 11… It’s good but there is still a long way to go.”
Ebobisse was committed to improving his game and worked hard even practicing extra to develop his game.
It was a slow process but Ebobisse stayed patient. Ultimately, Ebobisse’s commitment, effort, focus and mental toughness paid off and helped him become a starter and contributor to Portland’s success.
Elevating your game requires more than desire, it requires commitment, effort, focus and mental toughness.
Try this to elevate your level of play
Make goal getting more important than goal setting.
It’s not enough to just set goals, you must have a plan for attaining goals.
What do you need to improve during the season?
Once you have identified what you want to improve, create weekly practice objectives or goals to keep you focused on goal getting.
What can you do this week to elevate your game? Footwork? Ball control? Passing? Shooting? Agility? Etc.
Finally, no matter what happens during the season, be persistent.
Mental toughness will help you keep moving forward when things get difficult.