So your self confidence is shot after missing that PK to end your teams season. Now you have the entire off season to let it eat at you every day and night. Orrrrr you can chalk it up to experience and use it as fuel to flame your fire for off season training, your choice. Every player, and I mean every player from Messi to you has these negative thoughts in their head from time to time. I'm not good enough, why can't I win the big one, why do I play so poorly in big games, how did I miss that penalty and on and on and on. Trying to get through these moments is where our confidence really gets tested and is when we need our confident mindset to really kick in. The beauty of self confidence is that you can do something about it. Maybe that nervous moment got the best of you but take it as a lesson learned the hard way and make sure it doesn't happen again.
There are all sorts of different ways to help with your confidence from affirmations, to video to writing yourself a letter and many more you will read about on this page. Like any skill in the game it takes time to work on and perfect so be patient while consistently day in a day out using one of the many tools to improve your confidence, this could be the difference between good and great.
1. It Can Be Improved - Just because your confidence may be low at the moment or if you've always felt like you lacked it the good news it is a skill that can be improved upon. We are all born with certain physical and mental features but certain mental and physical skills can be improved upon and way you think about yourself and the way you play is one of those attributes.
2. Try Different Things - Perhaps the self affirmations or letter don't really work for you, no problem then try visualization or watching your highlight tape as part of your routine. You'll never know which stick and which ones don't until you give all of them an honest effort, then once you have keep the ones that work and just focus on using those and improving on them. Now you've started to establish a routine of methods that you enjoy to help your self confidence, you're well on your way to improvement.
3. Not Too High or Too Low - When dealing with your self confidence you want to make sure you're never so hard on yourself where you feel like you can't do anything right and not too high to think you're invincible. The sweet spot is in that zone where you feel you can handle any challenge that comes your way but you also realize you're not perfect and will deal with problems as they come up. Never get too high and never too low.
1. Looking For A Quick Fix - If you think you're going to do any of these methods one or two times and your game and self confidence is going to take off then you're setting yourself up for failure. Imagine learning to kick the ball with your left foot and after two or three swings you didn't have it mastered? You wouldn't be much of a player if with every skill you quit after a short try at it, your self confidence is no difference, give it some time and work on it before you fully judge it.
2. Listening to Haters - People may try and tear you down on your team or others, it's a part of soccer and life. Think of these as tests in your self confidence growth, every time someone makes fun of a play of yours or laughs at your touch this is the perfect time to use your self talk and ignore them. As they are chirping you are getting mentally stronger with every word they say. People may even see you talking to yourself, reading your letter or watching your highlights before a game and make a remark, let them hate while you grow as a player and we'll see who makes it to the finish line first.
3. Comparing Yourself to Others - This is YOUR self confidence journey and just because this teammate or that opponent looks like they have this high level of belief in themselves and you don't remember your journey is not their journey. Worry about your improvement and your growth because we are all at different levels for different parts of our games, you don't make fun of players who shoot worse then you do so don't take it personally if you see others with a better mental game then you. In fact you should be trying to learn from them and soak up any things they do to stay mentally sharp game after game.
They say the brain can't tell the difference between the actual physical act of doing something and when you visualize it. Nothing can replace doing the action of course but replaying it in your mind and visualizing positive moments from the past and how you want it to be in the future is a powerful tool in boosting your confidence. Even just five minutes a day while your alone or on your way to a game or practice can give you the little jolt of confidence and reassurance you nee dot be at your best and get you out of a mental funk.
Visualization and imagery are actual forms of meditation where you calm the mind, escape your daily stresses and just enjoy the moment while calming the mind. This helps you put your life in perspective, calm your emotions and all you to fully focus on your future goals. If you're looking for a deeper understanding of the impact of confidence on You
I don't know about you but I loved watching myself score goals, assist teammates and dribble players over and over again. A highlight tape although mainly used as a recruiting and promotional tool can also be a great self confidence engine. Watching it after a rough training or game (which of course we all have) can remind yourself of your quality and what you are capable of and not just focusing on one bad day in the bigger picture. Even better then after a poor performance is watching it before every practice or game to get yourself into the right mindset of positivity and assertiveness.
You might see the crazy man at the gas station talking to himself and think he's lost his mind but maybe just maybe he's on to something. Self talk and self affirmations have been proven to improve your mindset and increase your confidence. Having two or three go-to lines ready to say to yourself when trouble hits can have a big impact on how you deal with adversity. "I am a great shooter", "I can do this" or "Let's go Mike pick it up, your team needs you" are a few examples of affirmations you want to create for yourself. You want to create your own that are meaningful and true for you, maybe you add someone who is close to your in them for extra impact, "Let's go Mike, do it for Mom" or whatever else example makes sense for you.
Practice these in training like you would another skill you're working on so when you get to the game you know the affect they have on you and you can use them when necessary. Start to develop your own recording of affirmations in your head that plays over and over as your playing, soon enough it will come so naturally that you will be oozing confidence our of your pores all game long. If you want a list of affirmations to get the brainstorming started feel free to check out this list of some of the best ones in this article, 25 Best Soccer Affirmations.
There are several things you can do to build up your mental strength on the pitch and writing a letter to yourself is one of them.
"A Self Confidence Letter to myself? What am I crazy?" You said it not me, but no you're not crazy, you're smart, well prepared and pro active.
First things first, after you write the letter which I'll explain how in a bit you must give it to a friend and tell them to mail it to you two months or so before your pre season starts for whichever team you're on. Why? Because it will give you that kick in the backside you'll need to increase your training.
What Should I Write About in this Letter to Myself?
Everything and anything to talk yourself up.
-Your current mental state
-Goals you wish to accomplish
-Inspirational Quotes from teammates and coaches
-Motivations for the upcoming season
-Your Role for Next Season (i.e. captain, starter, role player, free kick taker, leader in the locker room etc)
-What you want out of next season both individually and as a team.
-Things that happened in your past season that got under your skin (a loss, the way you played) and how you plan to fix it.
What Am I Gonna Get Out of This?
So you're going to go home and months from now you'll receive this letter in the mail. It will either put a smile on your face and keep you on track or serve as a massive kick in the butt to get yourself in gear for pre season realizing all the things you want to accomplish and haven't yet.
This letter serves as a great:
-Way to Reflect
Why Do I Need to Send it to Myself?
Well if you just write it and read it in that moment without sending it to yourself it will be in your mind just for a short period of time.
If you wait to send it or give it to a friend to send it to you a couple months before pre season then you’ll get a jolt of motivation at the right time. During your training you’ll get that little bit of pick me up just in time.
How Long Should It Be?
It can be as long as you want it to be. It really depends on the person and what you want to get out of it. It can be a few paragraphs or sentences all the way to pages long if you like.
The important thing is remembering the purpose of the letter and gear it towards that.
If it’s a motivational letter then make sure to include things that you know that get you going when it’s time to train. If it’s a letter to reflect on the past then remember to include every little detail and feeling to get the most out of it.
Do Pro’s Ever Use Techniques Like This?
Believe it or not, pro’s use self confidence techniques more than anybody. Pro’s are told on a daily basis how they’re performing and they’re confidence swings from one day to the next.
Having tools like this one to use when times are tough goes a long way when dealing with times of doubt and uncertainty.
Whether you’re a pro or aspiring to be one there’s value in writing a self confidence letter to yourself to boost your spirit and moral.
It may not work for your but for many it does and it’s that type of trial and error it takes to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. If it doesn’t then you’ll always know, if it does then your game could be elevated to a place you never thought possible.