SURVIVING MISTAKES ON THE SOCCER FIELD.
Why is Soccer Psychological?
The Power of the Mind in the World of Soccer = Surviving Mistakes on the Soccer Field. “You feel that a mistake will be the end of the world. In soccer success, failure is so natural, you miss or you make your shot, you fail or you succeed on the field – it is very black and white.”
Why is Soccer Psychological?
Soccer I learnt through years of graft working with grassroots and non-league teams in Nigeria and eventually the level I am now working with professional league players and different leagues around the world. One thing I constantly get asked by my clients is this: “Why do you work in soccer? It’s such an instinctive sport…how can it be psychological? Well, my answer is varied.
The Brain Works in Milliseconds
For starters, the brain works in milliseconds and is constantly throwing out thoughts and feelings as a player competes. It doesn’t matter how fast a sport is the brain always works quicker.
Soccer works in seconds, it takes a second to score a goal, it takes a second to play a pass but the brain works in milliseconds. The brain trumps the sport of soccer for speed every single time.
Out of Our Control So much of the game is out of a player’s control. This makes it a psychological challenge. The state of the pitch, the weather where you are playing, who is in the crowd, the quality of the team you are playing, how your team mates play all of these are out of your complete control. Any one of them can cause a stress response. Anyone of them can cause doubt, worry or anxiety. They can engulf you in emotion and cloud your judgment under pressure.
Always Being Judged
At a certain level of the game it’s easy to feel that you are constantly being judged. In fact you are. You feel you have to play at your best all the time to keep your place in the team. You feel that any error can see you dropped. You feel that a mistake will be the end of the world. In soccer success and failure is so overt you miss or you make, you fail or you succeed. In that respect, your ability and trajectory in the game are heavily influenced by how well you deal with failure.
The Brain Craves Certainty
And yet soccer delivers an uncertain environment. Are we going to win? Am I going to play well? Are my team mates good enough? Did I train hard enough? The brain is constantly trying to predict the future’ it’s a survival mechanism that has helped humans survive and deal with the environment for thousands of years. Yet soccer (like all sports) delivers an environment that is overtly uncertain and so taps your stress response.
The Brain Loves the Ball
The brain is attracted to the most important thing in its environment. Again it’s a survival mechanism. On a soccer pitch the ball is the most important thing. Yet this, I find is one of the biggest causes of poor development in soccer.
Over the past decade and a half I have seen hundreds of players who have failed to progress in the game because they ball-watched throughout the game. They never developed the ability to see the game around them, so they couldn’t see space and they couldn’t see their team mates or the opposition. All this is because the ball is so attractive to the brain.
In soccer you have to, for the most part, forget the ball and focus on the space!
Soccer is a game of mindset. It’s a game of focus and confidence and space and intensity and will and determination. And these are just a few to mention.
As you continue to read my write-ups here once in a week you will find out some hidden secrets and resources you need to live your dream as an aspiring professional soccer player, we are in the 21st century and to become a soccer player is no longer a fluke.
You will find out more in my upcoming book titled Roadmap to a successful soccer career, the book will be an eye opener as it sheds great light on the dark paths and show you the needful for you to achieve your aim in soccer growth.
Excerpts from the book will be coming up in the nearest future via this platform as it answers some of the questions you’ve been so worried about. The book will inspire you to get to the top. I am excited along with you.
Bayonle Arashi shares his insights and advice for success on the field for football players of all ages. A broadcast journalist and football entrepreneur, Bayonle has a big developmental plan for footballers in Africa at the grassroots level which hopefully will give birth to new generation of football stars. follow me on twitter:@midassoccer