The following is an excerpt from our January Issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete magazine. Our digital magazine is available in both the Apple App and Google Play stores. Our January issue focuses on helping players win the mental game on the field and provides numerous resources to help with off-season fitness and technical training.
By Dan Abrahams, a global sport psychologist helping people to high perform. Dan’s recently released "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.
I know what it feels like.
Feet heavy, your soles stuck like glue to the pitch. Hips stiff, back immobile. It feels horrendous. It feels like you’re having an outer body experience. It feels negative and downbeat.
Internally your mind goes into overdrive. Continuous thoughts flood your conscience – they mostly anxiety ridden.
“I can’t believe I’m playing so bad”
“This is going to be another terrible game”
Every thought marching to a negative beat. Thoughts that release a stress hormone – cortisol - into your bloodstream making you feel even more sluggish and even more lethargic. Suffering from tunnel vision, you don’t spot the space. You don’t see the runs and the movement of your team mates nor the opposition. You don’t take risks. You don’t play with fun and freedom.
When that game is over you breathe a sigh of relief. That can’t happen again surely? But then it does. The following week you experience the same sticky feet, the same lethargic feel, and the same nervousness on the ball. You suffer the same lack of vision, the same languid and lazy movement, and the same slow and ineffective decisions.
This is the body and brain of a slumping soccer player. At the time of writing it’s the body and brain of many of the Chelsea footballers. Under-performing, under-achieving champions who seem unable to find the form that won them the Premier League title last season. Similarly, it’s the same body and brain of the Aston Villa players (currently at the foot of the EPL) – good soccer players who are performing poorly, who are slumping.
Slumping players lack self-belief and performance confidence. They suffer from displaced or dispersed focus. And they experience the kind of emotions that are destructive to their game.
In this short article I’m going to give you a very quick and simple technique that can help you emerge from a slump, and even prevent you from getting into a slump in the first place.
Get the rest of this article in our January Issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete magazine. Our digital magazine is available in both the Apple App and Google Play stores. Our January issue focuses on helping players win the mental game on the field and provides numerous resources to help with off-season fitness and technical training.