10 Mindset Red Flags in Soccer
1. Being too cautious or hesitant. Typically this happens when your brain goes through “what if” scenarios. What if I miss? What if I let the other team score? What if I lose the game for the team?
2. Being better in practice than in a game. Are you all out in practices but you tighten up and second guess yourself in games?
3. Playing “not to mess up” instead of being aggressive. Your team is up 2-0. Are you just trying to “hold on” to your lead, or are you going after the ball and trying to dominate the game and go up 5-0?
4. Poor body language. There is a lot of time on the field where you are not in an all out sprint. You are trying to maintain good field position and stay on your toes. Is there a bounce in your step? Is your head up or down? Do you look confident and aggressive on the field?
5. Undermining your own potential. Do you set your goals too low? Do you believe wholeheartedly that you will achieve the goals you do have?
6. Low confidence. Do you feel like you are just not good enough? Do you believe in yourself?
7. Very nervous before a game. A little bit of nerves before a game is a good thing. It is natural and you can use that extra excitement to your advantage if you harness it properly. However, if you are so nervous to the point where you feel sick, something needs to change. Your mindset needs to shift.
8. Easily distracted while competing. Are you watching your friends on the sidelines? Is your mind wandering while your team is on offense and you play in the back field as a defender or goalie?
9. Struggling to bounce back after mistakes. Do you berate yourself when your passing game is off, you miss a tackle, or lose the game? Do you say things to yourself like “I lost the game for the team today”? How do you handle yourself after the other team scores? What kind of thoughts are you having?
10. Too critical of yourself and obsessing about being perfect. Perfectionism decreases athleticism. There is no perfect athlete! Are you striving for a perfection that does not exist?
If your team or athletes struggle with these Red Flags it is important to address them immediately. Working harder doesn’t solve these problems. Maturing doesn’t solve these problems. You don’t get better at Math by studying English. You need to address the problem head on.
Each of these can be improved with the right Mental Reps. As soccer players, we make thousands of physical reps a week (dribbling, shooting, tackling etc.) Take the right Mental Reps each week as well and that’s when you break through plateaus and Jump Levels!