The Psychology of Soccer

Soccer players need more than athleticism and speed to succeed at this sport. Mental toughness is just as important for you player to be the MVP of the team. A mentally tough player stays in control of their emotions during the game and does not let anger, fear, or sadness overcome them and instead focuses on the game. Under pressure, a mentally tough player stays calm and loose. They bounce back from bad plays or bad referee calls and remain confident in their decisions. Does your child have a hard time staying mentally tough throughout a soccer game? QueensCast has tips to work out one of the hardest muscles to strengthen: your brain!

Recognize when your head is out of the game. By recognizing that you are overthinking during a game, you can get out of that mindset. Have you started over-activating your brain and stopped moving your feet? Start moving your feet again, and bring your attention back to the moment. Maybe even over exaggerate physical movements so that you can move your focus from mental to physical.

Clear your mind before the game. Don’t rush straight out the door and onto the field. Allow yourself some quiet time alone before the game to decompress. Try using meditation techniques, like focusing strictly on your breath for 10 minutes. This will allow your focus to be on the game and not on the homework or school-life that causes stress.

Combine mental and physical focus. Players need to use their brain and their eyes to completely focus and maintain situational awareness. If you’re strategizing for the next play, you need what you see to allow you to carry out that strategy. Visual and mental acuity is essential for all positions. Kaitlyn Savage, Professional International Goalkeeper and former Orlando Pride Goalie, upped her game with custom Lasik from Magruder Laser Vision.

When you make a mistake, don’t mull it over during the game. If a mistake is made on the field, which will inevitably happen to everyone, don’t spend the rest of the game thinking about what you did wrong and why. This will distract you from the live game being played right in front of you and cause errors in the plays to come. Designate time after the game to talk to your coach about the mistake and how to overcome it in future games.

Never underestimate your opponent. Don’t tell yourself, “this opponent isn’t as good of a player as me.” The moment you have that mentality, you will let yourself put your guard down. Have confidence in your abilities, but don’t let that become arrogance.

Emotional and mental control will lead to success within athletics. Not only is mental control important for your child’s athletic pursuits, but is useful in all facets of their life. Share these tips with your soccer star to keep their mentality happy and healthy. After all, the best part about soccer is how much fun it is! For more tips for your youth soccer player, follow the QueensCast blog!