Help! I’m a Coach and Want to Teach the Mental Game – Part I
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 no doubt study the latest trends in strategy, formations, and styles of play to stay one step ahead of the competition on the pitch.
But if you’re like most coaches, you probably don’t know where to go for help on the mental game.
Even though U.S. Soccer has designated the psychological component as the 4th pillar of player development, it is the one that is the most difficult for coaches to develop and the pillar that has the fewest resources for coaches and players.
And yet, that psychological component might be the most important pillar of development, especially for players hoping to compete at an elite level.
According to an article published last year on how the U.S. Women’s National Team was developing their...
This article was published by Soccer Today on May 3, 2020.
Julie Foudy is one of the most accomplished female soccer players in the world. A dominant midfielder for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1987 through 2004, Julie served as co-captain for nine years and captain from 2000 through her retirement. In her 18-year national team tenure that included 271 international caps, the U.S. women won two FIFA Women’s World Cup titles (1991, 1999), two Olympic gold medals (1996, 2004), and a silver medal in 2000. She began working as an analyst for ESPN in 2005 and founded the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy in 2006. She was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in August 2007.
Last week Julie sat down with SoccerToday columnist Bryan Price at the Top Mental Game Soccer Summit to discuss the mental game and its importance to her career.
When were you first introduced to mental skills training and what impact did it have on your career?
Foudy: It is and has...
When I sat down to do my weekly log of clients I’ve coached, I realized I’ve hit the 200-hour mark since I started Top Mental Game. Wow. That went fast.
About half of those 200 hours were spent with Division-I athletes/coaches and the other half with elite high school athletes/coaches.
I’ve been in front of approximately 500 student-athletes from 15 different teams in a variety of sports - golf, baseball, football, hockey, soccer, basketball, swimming, volleyball, wrestling, and softball.
And I’ve worked one-on-one with athletes from California, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Spain, and Italy.
So here’s 5 things I’ve learned.
Even the most physically talented ones.
When I think about youth sports today compared to when I was a kid, there have been so...