Hit the ball low and hard in the net, you can do this!!! Using soccer self affirmations can be a powerful tool when battling negative thoughts before, during and even after performances. Let's face it, nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes when we play and the best players in the world no how to talk themselves out of the slumps and in to brighter days by moving on to the next play. Your ability to master your self talk and soccer self affirmations can just be that critical piece your missing to help bring your best game day in and day out.
We've all played with that teammate that was incredibly talented but got so down on themselves after mistakes and couldn't get out of their own head. Don't go down that road to being that guy that can't bounce back after a pad pass or two, take the advice below and learn how to stay in a positive state of mind no matter the situation in front or behind you. Like I said above, common you can do this!!
1. To Focus On The Next Play - Thinking and dwelling about the shot you just missed is bad enough, now don't let it affect the next one you take as well. Using a couple self affirmations to reset your mind and focus on the next task and forget about the mistake that happened is a useful way of not wasting time or energy on something that happened which you have no control over. When you make a mistake tell yourself an affirmation to replace that negative thought and move on with the game.
2. To Settle Their Nerves - Sometimes before a big moment in the game (penalty shot, free kick etc.) or before a game you may feel an overwhelming feeling of anxiety or nervousness. This is the perfect time to calm yourself down, close your eyes, take a deep breath and replay back to yourself all the self affirmations you've written down and hopefully memorized. This will help your body and mind get back to a level where you are not being overwhelmed by your thoughts to the point where it will overly affect your performance.
3. To Raise Their Intensity - Some people are too relaxed before a game or feel a little lethargic and what they need is a little but of pump up music and some self affirmations to get them going. If you find yourself being too relaxed or too calm and you want an energy kick put some tunes on, start jogging or juggling a ball and repeat all your soccer self affirmations back to yourself over and over again until you're ready for battle.
4. Boost Their Confidence - We all have days where we aren't feeling great about our game after a rough practice or game and sometimes repeating your soccer self affirmations to yourself when you're at home or in a car ride just to remind yourself of how good you are and what you're capable of. It's important to remember that we aren't defined by one game or one practice and to move on to the next one with our heads high, through the good and the bad you have your affirmations to help you through it.
5. Consistency In Play Through Routine - The most valuable thing when trying to build consistency in your play day in and day out is to build a pre-performance routine that is exactly the same every day. From your sleep, to what you eat, your rest and of course how you prepare mentally is critical in keeping performances at a high consistent level. Whenever you use your affirmations before a game try and do it at the same time in the same order you always do it to keep that consistency you're craving. Whether it's with music on, or while you walk to the field or while putting your socks on it's important to prime the body and mind to know what to expect before the whistle goes.
1. Let's go you can do this, it's your time!
2. Nobody can compete with you, you're the best player on the field.
3. Nobody has a shot like me.
4. I'm the fastest player on the pitch, nobody can keep up with me.
5. If we're going to win this game, it's going to be up to me!
The most important thing to remember is that these are just examples and you need to make them suitable to your game with words and phrases that are true for you. You could copy the ones above but using your name, "come on Mike!!" and using things you actually do well on the pitch will have much more effectiveness than just using generic sayings someone else made up. Whatever you decide to go with come up with about 5 to 10 of them and read them until you truly believe in them, if you don't really believe them you need to come up with new ones.
For more examples of ways to improve your mental game feel free to read this article on Tips for Mental Soccer Training.
Every, and I mean every pro player has leaned on self affirmations when things weren't going so well on their climb to the top. Whether it was a bad string of games or a play within a game pro's are constantly talking to themselves and telling themselves they can do something or to focus on what's next. Pro's have mastered the ability to remain confident in themselves even when things seem at their worst and having a list of affirmations you can tell yourself ready to go is a big part of that.
When it comes to saying them to yourself in your head or out loud that really depends on what you feel most comfortable with. There are players that like to say it out loud because it helps them motivate other players as well and there are those that like to just say it to themselves over and over again before or during a match or practice. Try both and see what best suits you and feels most comfortable then stick with it, it's okay if it takes some time to get this just right.
The beauty is you can insert self affirmations into any part of your game day routine that you feel it is most necessary. Try this, the next time you have a game write down or record in your phone the exact time you start to feel the nerves take over. Whether it's a couple hours before kick off or a few minutes or even during the match make record of all the times the nerves hit you. Next time 5 minutes before that time the following game day start saying your soccer self affirmations back to you over and over again so the timing of the nerves is replaced with these positive sayings to yourself. It won't happen over night but day by day you'll start to feel less and less nervous about the game and more and more confident about your abilities through the repetition of the these affirmations. Pretty cool right?
Who doesn't like compliments?! Soccer self affirmations are like the hall of fame of compliments, just the best of the best, created by you of course. We all need some help keeping that confidence up and having a resource you can always revert to and rely on in times of need is important. A list of soccer self affirmations is that resource.
"A list of affirmations from myself to myself? Isn't that kind of weird and made up?" Thought you'd never ask, who knows what makes you tick more than you, what gets you frustrated, what makes you feel good and which words of encouragement you need to use to get you going. This is why creating your own list of self affirmations is essential.
How Do I Create a List of Affirmations and What Do I Do With It?
You need to create a top ten list of your best/favourite self affirmations. They don't all need to be soccer related but they can be.
After you've created your top ten list (written in your own ink) make 3 or 4 copies of this paper and post it around places where you know you'll see it. Places like by your computer, in your boot bag, on the fridge, in the bathroom and wherever else you know you will see it.
Got the Idea? Here's a couple examples just to be sure:
1. I have a accurate powerful shot
2. I am a terrific leader
3. My fitness is unmatched
4. I am a caring brother/sister
5. I'm a creative and smart decision maker
6. Nobody will stop me from reaching my goals
7. I'm a world class dribbler
Now these are just examples, use what is true for you and there is one key thing about this list, make it real! Believe the words you put on this paper so every time you read them it speaks volume and makes you feel confident and sure of yourself and your abilities. You need to truly believe in these affirmations or it's just a bunch of useless words on a piece of paper.
As time passes you will read these affirmations everyday, and they will be so ingrained in your head that you will go to this list whenever you have a sliver of doubt about your game. True pro's use this technique, I do and so do many more, so if you think it's dumb or useless then i guess it's not for everybody, neither is playing pro.
Now we know how to use affirmations off the field but what about when we get on the pitch and emotions are running wild and our temper gets the best of us, then what? Have no fear, on the field there are techniques we can use to calm ourselves and get our complete focus back.
While playing professionally when I was younger I had this problem, I'd get all frustrated at times and lose my focus, and with that my game suffered until I started using a mental CUE to get myself back on track. Cue? do tell.
So first think of two of your affirmations, the two that mean the most to you, and anytime you get frustrated you'll do a certain action to trigger these two soccer self affirmations.
What sort of action? It can be anything really things such as:
-clapping your two hands together
-snapping a wrist band
-a deep breath
As soon as you use your action cue, your affirmations come to mind and you stay focused and get back on track.
*Ref makes a bad call (one of many)*
Now the old you gets all worked up, says something, loses focus and your day is shot.
So this is what to do from now on. (remember your two affirmations)
*You give the ball away out of bounds*
You stop, clap together with your two hands, say your two affirmations in your head and away you go on with the game. Forgetting it and moving on.
Remember this won't happen overnight, developing your mental game is just like the physical and technical part of the game, it takes time to train, but the rewards are limitless.
These soccer self affirmations are used by pros whether you realize it or not. It's a part of developing your mental game and pros take it seriously as should you if you have aspirations of getting on to the next level.
Do you have a great story about this? Share it!