Dan Abrahams is a global sport psychologist who works alongside some of the leading players, teams, coaches and organizations in the world. He is a regular contributor to Amplified Soccer Athlete.
It’s not just your feet. It’s not just your ability to control or strike a ball. It’s not just your eyes. It’s not just your ability to see space or see a move ahead. Your words are important too. Not just to direct others, but also to direct yourself, To motivate yourself, To focus and to play with confidence. Your language, your words are important too!
Athletes need to talk their way through the game. Their words can lead to excellence, to high performance and to the kind of consistency that typifies a champion.
Their self-talk can be action based – their inner voice can keep them physically driving forward, physically strong, physically tough, physically working hard.
Their self-talk can improve their psychology – their inner voice can keep them playing front foot rather than back foot football, with freedom and not with fear, playing to win and not to avoid losing, with focus, with confidence, at the right intensity, with passion and desire, with intellect and want and will.
The best soccer players are a keen cocktail of raw emotion and dynamic intelligence. They use their feelings to keep stretching themselves when logic and reason says enough, enough, enough. But they also use their intellect to harness their emotions in the right way. They channel feelings into the execution of ball skills and effective decision making.
Their self-talk can speed them up or slow them down…it can help them take control when chaos is happening all around them and when things might not be going so well.
Their self-talk can help them execute the plans the coaching staff have laid out.
Self-talk can leverage and it can exploit.
Self-talk can pick up the nearly broken…it can help you forget the worst!
Self-talk works. Self-talk is the internal wiring of a champions sports competitor. Self-talk wins Gold medals and comes from far behind. Self-talk wins unlikely games. Self-talk builds an addictive confidence that can feel so far away. Self-talk nurtures. Self-talk appeases and eases.
Do you have world class self-talk? Do you speak to yourself in a manner that helps you execute your game, with confidence under pressure? If not, why not/ If not start practicing now. If not start implementing your self-talk on the pitch. No excuses…learn to be relentless with your self-talk. Relentless! Relentless with your inner voice. Relentless!