At some point in the pre/season or off season a lot of football players, even very confident players, are having self doubts before and during games and practices. Is it wrong to have these self doubts or negative thoughts? Does it mean that you lack confidence? Does it mean there is something wrong with you?
The thoughts/doubts are NOT the main problem. The problem is how we perceive these thoughts and the way we respond to them.
Here is a three step process to effectively deal with self doubts:
(1) Accept the negative thoughts and self doubts. You are NOT your thoughts. You are NOT mentally weak because you doubts. Your mind is a reflex organ. It reacts to everything. Doubts are natural and human. You need to accept that they will pop into your head from time to time.
(3) Focus more each day on your strengths and things that you have been doing well. Most players are terrible at this. We always hear about what and how much we need to improve. Leave the improvement process for practice. Write down the areas you need to improve on and spend the rest of the day thinking about your strengths and positive performances. The better you get at this the less negative thoughts you will have before competition. Sounds easy but takes daily effort and practice.