Help! I’m a Coach and Want to Teach the Mental Game - Part II

If you’re a soccer coach, chances are you religiously keep up with the latest drills and methods to improve the technical and tactical aspects of your team. 

You want to know the latest trends in strategy, formations, and styles of play to stay one step ahead of the competition on the pitch. And, even though U.S. Soccer agrees that the psychological component is the 4th pillar of player development, there are very few quality resources for coaches and players.

Read: TEACHING THE MENTAL SIDE OF YOUTH SOCCER

In an article published last year on how the U.S. Women’s National Team was developing their mental game, the author discussed the important gap between recognizing mental strength training is important and providing the tools need to close this gap:

MOST SOCCER COACHES SAY ‘YES,’ MENTAL TRAINING IS IMPORTANT BUT WHEN ASKED IF THEY ACTUALLY PROVIDE ANY … THE ANSWER IS ALMOST ALWAYS ‘NO.’

But don’t panic. Soccer...

Continue Reading...

5 Tips to Build Confidence For Returning Players

 

5 Tips to Build Confidence When Players Return
By Bryan Price

As various states lift restrictions to allow players back on the pitch, everyone associated with youth sports is understandably excited. Players are chomping at the bit to play, coaches can’t wait to get their teams back together, and parents yearn to cheer on their kids from the sideline once again.

But with that excitement comes some anxiety. It’s only natural.

For those near COVID-19 hotspots, shelter-in-place orders have kept players off the pitch for over 10 weeks. That’s a lot of rust to shake off, even if players managed to work out on their own.

So what can players do to get their minds right and return to the pitch with confidence?

1. Have a growth mindset

In her landmark book, Mindset, Dr. Carol Dweck examines what separates students who were able to quickly rebound from adversity versus those who could not. The difference was mindset.

Those who possessed a growth mindset were more likely to...

Continue Reading...

Control the Controllables

Note: This article was published in Soccer Today on May 18, 2020. 

Jim Thorpe - 1912

When Jim Thorpe woke up on the second day of competition during the 3-day decathlon in the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm, he must’ve felt extremely confident.

Thorpe, voted the greatest athlete of the first half of the 20th century and arguably the greatest athlete the United States has ever produced, had already won gold in the pentathlon a week prior. In fact, he won four of the five events.

On the first day of the decathlon, he ran the 100-meter dash in 11.2 seconds. That record would stand for another 36 years. What’s even more impressive is that Thorpe ran it in a downpour.

But on the second day of the decathlon, somebody had stolen his cleats.

Imagine training for four years for the Olympic games, and the only piece of equipment you need to compete in your event is stolen.

So what did Thorpe do? He and his coach rummaged around and eventually found two discarded shoes in the...

Continue Reading...

Process vs. Outcome Goals....and Your Self-Esteem

 

What is your big, hairy, and audacious goal (stealing Jim Collins’ great concept from his book, Good to Great)?

I bet you it is likely some type of outcome goal. An outcome goal is simply something that you’d like to achieve. Examples include earning a starting spot on your team, getting a college scholarship in your sport, or being named to your All-Conference team at the end of the year.

There is nothing wrong with outcome goals per se, but they can pose a serious threat to your self-esteem and your motivation to continue playing your sport if those are the only goals you are setting. 

Why do I say this? 

Because if you only have a list of outcome goals for you to achieve, you are more likely to internalize failure if you don’t end up achieving them. This is a particular problem for athletes who have difficulty differentiating their value as a person versus their value as an athlete. 

In other words, they have grown up believing, “I am...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Enter your email to receive a free brochure on how to set goals, craft affirmations, and take action towards your achieving your dreams.