Mental Game Tips to Overcome a Slump
Do you remember your last slump and how difficult it was to break through? What, if anything, did you do to help break out of your slump?
Many soccer players see slumps as a waiting game. These players do not take an active role in breaking out. Rather they bide their time until the slump eventually ends.
One soccer player sent us a question, “Is there anything I can do to break out of my slump? Last year I led my team in scoring, and this year I barely score at all.”
Great question! All soccer players will go through a slump at one time in their career. Slumps are frustrating and alter your play on the pitch. You take the pitch believing you won’t score.
You don’t make decisive breaks towards the goal. You hang back and pass up opportunities to shoot. You are hesitant and lack confidence on the field. After all, “Why be aggressive when I’m in a slump and can’t score?”
These thoughts are the basis of a slump mentality. The belief is, “Since I can’t do anything to break out of my slump, why try to do anything?” The slump mentality keeps you stuck in a slump.
The only way to break out of a slump is to take a proactive, objective approach.
When you are proactive, you place an emphasis on “what can I do.” You are taking action and responsibility for finding a solution.
When you are objective, you are not making harsh self-judgments regarding your performance. You are looking at your performance as feedback to improve future play.
Chelsea forward Timo Werner has been in a 12 game slump over the course of three months.
Werner hasn’t scored in the Premier League for over three months, but Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel understands the need to work through a slump.
TUCHEL:“[Werner] has good memories in the [Tottenham] stadium as he scored a decisive goal for Leipzig against Tottenham Hotspur F.C., sometimes things like this help him also find his best shape back. He is open, accepts the situation as is and he is not looking for excuses. He is working hard, concentrated and all that with the smile is the best thing to keep on going.”
Tuchel had several insights into breaking out of slumps:
* Soccer has its ups and downs. You may go several games without scoring. Keep working hard and concentrate on what you need to do.
* Remember your successes – Focusing on success builds confidence, fosters positive emotions, and motivates you to keep pushing forward.
* Keep shooting – The only way to get over your slump is to keep looking for your opportunities.
* Have fun – Soccer is a game and a challenge. Enjoy being on the field and exploring your potential.
You can help yourself through a slump if you have a positive mentality and a proactive approach.
Breaking a Soccer Slump:
Recalling successful memories fosters confidence and positive emotions. Avoid reliving mistakes and poor performances in your mind.
The past does not dictate your performance in the future–unless you allow it to dominate your thinking… Avoid over generalizations (based on past game) that keep you stuck.
Avoid searching for the magic key to your game as it doesn’t exist. Go back to basics but change up your training routine. And have a positive outlook for future performances.
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