Overcoming Past Failure in Soccer
The past is the past… at least, many athletes wish it was.
Unfortunately, too many athletes carry the weight of the past with them into the present and allow that past to impact current performances.
History is a story of occurrences that have already happened.
All too often, soccer players take the past and project it to the present. These players use the past as evidence of what WILL happen today.
When history becomes a present day narrative, the odds are stacked against you!
Maybe you can recall a time when you thought…
- “We have never beat this team. We have no chance.”
- “I have never played well in playoffs games. I will probably choke again.”
- “That player scores on me every time. I will never be able to stop his shot.”
- “We haven’t won a game all year… Here we go again.”
When these types of thoughts dominate your mind, you’ll have trouble focusing and putting in the effort necessary to play to the level of your ability.
Making the past your present, you have conceded the game and are doomed your repeat the past.
There is an alternative way to view tough past performances…
Instead of seeing past games as evidence that you will repeat history, use that history to learn to improve your game.
You can view tough losses as failure or feedback… You can interpret less-than-your-best game as a sign that you lack what it takes to succeed or as an opportunity to learn.
A negative view of the past will zap your energy, confidence and motivation while a positive slant on the past will push you harder to improve your game and elevate your game.
For example, let’s reframe the previous self-statements…
- “We have never beat this team. Let’s go out and dictate the tone of the game.”
- “I haven’t played my best in past playoff games, but I’ve put in the work this year and have the opportunity to showcase my abilities.”
- “That player has scored on me in the past but I know his shooting tendencies now.”
- “We haven’t won a game this year but we have never been out of a game. We have improved our defense a lot from the last game.”
By reframing the past, you can start a new history today.
The Orlando Pride of the NWSL are focused on changing the narrative against their rival, the Portland Thorns.
Overall, the Pride are 0-4-1 against the Portland Thorns, including a 4-1 loss in the 2017 NWSL semifinal playoff game.
Orlando coach Tom Sermanni knows his team will need to focus forward rather than focusing on the past in order to change their fortunes.
SERMANNI: “It’s one of those teams that we need to sort of break that rhythm of not getting a result against them. It’s strange because the Thorns are a team that we’ve played well for large parts of the game and we just don’t seem to be able to get over the line… we just don’t seem to be able to get over the line against them. That’s something we’ll need to do [our next game] and we’ll need to try to plan and execute the plan accordingly.”
The past is the past. Learn from the past and move forward.
Focusing on a game plan will help keep you focused on the only game that matters… The present game – one possession at a time.
Overcoming Past Generalizations
Reframe past performances by finding evidence to support why you will perform better in the present.
The are many reasons why you can play better, such as:
- Improved condition
- Better game plans
- Feedback from past performances
- More game experience, etc.
- Improved mental game
Re-write history starting today!
Discover Mental Game Secrets to Soccer Confidence!
Does your confidence seem to disappear when you go from practice to games?
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Mental 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?
My son made a lot of progress. His focus has sharpened, and it has translated to his play on the field. His confidence continues to grow as he takes on defenders. There is definitely a tangible difference between how he used to play and how he plays now, and I believe it due in large part to your mental training program.”
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~Diana, Michelle’s Mother