Focus on the SELF in Self-Confidence
Do you compare yourself to your teammates? Do you feel less confident because you see other players as better than you?
When you compare yourself to teammates or other soccer players, you feel intimidated or “less than” during games and hold yourself back from your potential.
When you focus on another player’s strengths, you ignore your own strengths. Your confidence is directly related to how you see yourself, so when you fail to recognize your strengths, your confidence melts away.
In our Mental Game of Soccer Survey, one player pointed out how comparing himself to his teammates has hurt his game:
“I don’t know why but I seem to play worse when I’m in the starting lineup. All the starters are so much better than me. How can I improve confidence in my ability and step up to the next level?”
The comparison trap is easy to fall into. The comparison trap is the habit of overlooking your skillset or abilities and overemphasizing the skill set or abilities of your teammates. In short, the comparison trap is seeing teammates and other soccer players as more talented, faster, stronger, and more skilled.
Comparing yourself to your teammates is a sure-fire way to deplete your confidence and hold you back during games.
When you compare yourself to your teammates, you fail to acknowledge your strengths. You minimize your role on the team. You feel nervous. You feel you are constantly being seen as the weak player on the field.
You fail to give yourself credit for your contribution to your team or believe your contribution is negligible. When you make a good play, you attribute it to luck. The lack of confidence you feel results in deferring to your teammates to make plays or holding back in games for fear of making mistakes.
The message you send yourself is, “I will never be as good as…” or “My team doesn’t need me.”
You feel stuck or that you have plateaued as a player.
Elite soccer players take on a positive mindset when they play with top-tiered players.
For example, USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie will be playing for the Italian champions Juventus on a year-long loan from FC Schalke. McKennie, 20 years-old, is the first American player to join the powerhouse Italian club and will be playing for one of the best coaches (Andrea Pirlo) and playing with one of the best players (Cristiano Ronaldo) in the history of the sport.
Instead of feeling intimidated by playing with Ronaldo, McKennie looks forward to the opportunity to learn from Ronaldo and to develop even more skills to take his game further.
McKENNIE: “Playing with Cristiano Ronaldo, seeing how he moves and how he works will bring me great benefits.”
In order to perform his best on the pitch, McKennie is focused on his strengths and his role on the team.
McKENNIE: “My strong point? The recovery of ball possession; I talked to [manager]Andrea Pirlo and he appreciates this feature. We are on the same wavelength as to my position on the pitch.”
Winning a soccer match takes full effort and focus by every team member. No one can win a soccer match on their own. You are a piece of the puzzle and you should focus on your contribution to your team’s success.
When you understand your role and define yourself by your strengths, you will gain a sense of comfort and freedom to play without fear during games.
How to Overcome the Comparison Trap:
Clearly define your role and how you can contribute to the success of your team by asking yourself the following questions:
- What is my role on the team?
- How can I contribute to my team’s success?
- What do I bring to the table?
- What are my strengths?
- How can I improve play on the field and grow my skill set?
When you focus on how you can contribute to your team’s success, you will be motivated to take your game to a new level.
Discover Mental Game Secrets to Soccer Confidence!
Does your confidence seem to disappear when you go from practice to games?
Do you get nervous and anxious in big games or when under a ton of pressure?
Do you get so frustrated after making a bad pass that your confidence sinks?
If you are ready to improve your mental toughens and perform with ultimate self-confidence in games, check out our program:
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.
- Trainers: Learn how to give your students the mental game advantage.
- 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.
Learn the top eight mental game lessons for soccer players to boost your mental game and improve consistency. You’ll learn how to mentally prepare for games to performing under pressure to building unstoppable confidence!
What are our mental game program customers saying?
With the mental tools my soccer mental training program has given 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
“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