Soccer is only 50% talent. The
rest is attitude and desire. Repeat after me: it's how much you want to get
better, and what you do about it that counts
This section explains how to set
yourself up to have the best game you possibly can.
It’s easy to have a good attitude
toward the game when you are winning and things are going well. It’s a lot
of fun. The real question is how you handle it when things are going badly –
when you’ve just missed three good chances in a row, smacked the ball into
your own goal, had the ball trickle through your fingers, been humiliated
four times running by a tricky winger, not beaten anyone all day.
Take an example. You’re a defender.
You’ve just been beaten three times. You are feeling down – feeling that you
are a lousy soccer player and are probably not even good enough to stay on
the team. And that winger is simply too tough – he’ll beat you every time.
So next time he gets the ball, you already expect to get beat – which makes
it much more likely to happen. Pretty soon your confidence is in shreds, and
you can’t wait to get off the pitch.
Here’s how you cope.
Steve Bull and Chris Shambrook are
sports psychologists working mainly in England. They advise Olympic Gold
Medalists, premiership soccer players, and top clubs, and have identified
six areas where mental training makes a real difference:
Setting and achieving goals
Maintaining focus and concentration
In this section we are going to
cover each of these areas.
WARNING. This is not easy.
If it was easy, everyone would always be brimming with confidence. So you
may need help from your parents or a coach to completely understand and work
with this section. It takes a lot of work, effort, and persistence to train
yourself to be tough mentally as well as physically. But it is, definitely,