Do You Compare Yourself to Other Teams
Do you or your athletes feel intimidated when competing against top teams? Or do you see it as a challenge to embrace?
Against top-tier teams in your league, are you able to rise to the occasion or do you question your ability to perform well?
I’ve worked with many athletes over the years that focus too much on the competition and thus become self-intimidated. Yes, playing against a rival or a high-ranked opponent can be stressful, but doesn’t have to be!
Nerves can be elevated when playing better teams because you are left alone with your thoughts and play out worst case scenarios in your mind.
One athlete in our survey requested help with the issue or difficulty of playing against tough competition:
“How do I play without feeling intimidated or self-conscious around top athletes?”
Here are the most common ways you might feel intimidated with opponents…
- You compare your skills to your competitors’ skills and feel inferior.
- You fear you might embarrass yourself is you lose badly to the competition.
- You build up the other team in your mind and think, “I have no chance.”
- You focus too much on the wins and record of your opponents and feel you can never stack up.
Feeling intimidated or self-conscious can happen at all levels of sports–even the pros!
But no one is trying to intimidate you on purpose. You do it all on your own by focusing on the talents and record of your competition.
It’s not possible to focus on two different things at the same time, such as your opponent and your game. Focus is a one-or-the-other prospect.
The focus you choose affects three things:
- How you feel
- What you think
- And thus how well you perform
Focusing on a competitor who is an idol will create feelings of anxiety, intimidation and fear. You can’t perform your best when you are focused on opponents’ strengths and records.
How will you ever beat someone you idolize if you think you can’t? You first have to open the door by thinking anything is possible in sports.
Don’t build up opponents in your mind to the expense of your confidence! Be sure not to compare your skills, experience, or record to your opponent’s. This is a sure way to feel intimidated and lose confidence.
Instead focus on your unique talents. What strengths do you bring to the game? What advantages do you have as an athlete?
It might also help to think about a simple concept I teach my athletes: think “nameless and numberless.” Don’t attach a name or number to your opponents. Instead, think that they are human too and put on their equipment one leg at a time–just like you!
Embrace the challenge of testing your skills against quality competition!
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?
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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!