By Dan Abrahams, a global sport psychologist helping people to high perform. Dan’s book "Soccer Tough 2: Advanced Psychology Techniques for Footballers" introduces soccer players to more cutting edge tools and techniques to help them develop the game of their dreams. Get more from Dan at DanAbrahams.com.
Working on your soccer psychology doesn’t need to be complicated or time consuming. I’m going to keep this brief. I’m going to keep this simple. But I promise each point works, and each point is powerful.
1. Picture you best games – memory is one of the most important psychology tools in football. Soccer players should spend five minutes everyday remembering their best games.
2. Picture your dream games – imagination isn’t just a mental quality reserved for the pitch. It’s useful mind medicine for your confidence and self-belief – especially leading up to a game. What does your dream game look like? Feel like?
3. Train with confidence – don’t just train hard. Don’t just train with intensity. Train your confidence muscles as well. Stand yourself confidently on the pitch. Run with confidence. Pass with confidence. Act with confidence non stop.
4. Love developing your game – too many soccer players obsess the result of a game. I want my clients to fall in love with the process of improving their game more so than winning. Love to learn, love to improve, love to develop.
5. Love OFF the ball – It’s vital that soccer players fall in love with the ball. It may be even more important that they fall in love with OFF the ball. The space, the movement, the runs made by opposition and team mates. Fall in love with everything OFF the ball as much as the ball and you’ll become a much more aware player
6. Play present – when you play do so on your toes, always ready, always alert, and always in the present moment. Forget the past, especially mistakes that have happened, and don’t project yourself to the future. The now and the next 5 seconds is an optimal focus.
7. Play free – play on the front foot and never the back foot. Play to win and never not to lose. Play with freedom and without fear. Take risks. Have fun. If you go a goal down see the situation as a challenge. Play with incredible body language. Play for your team mates, and be the best you that you can possibly be every second of the game.