Five Mistakes a Soccer Player Can Make – Part 1

Part 1

They Think About Their Last Play

 

Whether a player is involved in a training session, or game, their time on the field contains a huge amount of thinking. The problem is not the thinking that pops up in a player’s head while anticipating the next play; the problem is that players spend too much time thinking about what just happened and fail to quickly move on to the next play.

 

“I believe that 80% of the game is mental… While the physical aspect of soccer is incredibly important as well, the concentration and focus required to play goalkeeper is vital. One little lapse and a goalkeeper can go from hero to zero, which at this point is where his mental toughness is tested the most. Soccer is a very easy game to play when everything is going smoothly. However, when a mistake is made, your mental ability to forget, and recover for the next play or game, is critical to your success in soccer.”  ~Tyler Miller, Seattle Sounders Goalkeeper

 

Looping on a previous play produces a delay of physical action and slower anticipation or problem solving for a player.  In a fast moving game like soccer, neither slower movement nor sluggish problem solving are helpful.  Successful soccer is built around the ability to rapidly master the transition moments:

  • A successful pass needs a run to support it.
  • An unsuccessful pass demands immediate defending efforts.
  • A loss of possession after taking on an opponent necessitates a rapid change of plans.

Soccer, Thrive

Even many of the pro players who participated in a group case study just completed by Thrive (“Defining the Mental Game of the Emerging Pro Player”), have insecure thinking as they compete.  The difference between MLS players, and the rest however, is that the best don’t concern themselves with thoughts of what just happened.  They are already on to the next play.

 

*If you would like to learn which mental training technique is the most effective in order to improve transitional thinking in soccer, or any sport, email me at derrek@thrivesp.com

Derrek Falor

Certified Sport Psychology Consultant at Thrive
Derrek is the owner of Thrive: Excellence in Sport Performance, has a Master’s Degree in Sport Psychology, is a Certified Consultant for The Association for Applied Sport Psychology (CC-AASP #599), is the Mental Skills Coach for the Seattle Sounders U23 team, coached college soccer for 20 years, coached high school soccer for 5 years, has a USSF A License, and is a member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

derrek@thrivesp.com
@derrekfalor

4 Comments

John
Great article, thanks! I have a 14 year old son that is working through those issues
    Derrek Falor
    Thank you John, let me know if you would like to know a specific mental training tool your son can learn and apply to his play on the field.
Hattie Vermeulen
This really answered my problem, thank you!
dani
"Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!"

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