Soccer Players – The Keys To Being Your Best
Want to get ahead and really help your soccer career reach the next level? Read Dan Abrahams columns on SoccerToday.
A global sports psychologist and author specializing in soccer, Dan Abrahams is based in England and works with professional soccer players in the English Premier League (EPL). Abrahams has helped hundreds of soccer players – many who play in the English Premier League (EPL). From working with players at Crystal Palace to QPR, Fulham, and West Ham among others, Abrahams makes a huge difference. Abrahams has authored several books and has a Soccer Academy as well.
“Learn to think, train and play like the best soccer players
in the world, from the man who works with them.”
Here is SoccerToday’s columnist Abrahams on how consistency is the key to success.
Soccer Players: Stretch Yourself
Something I say to players every single day is this: “Growth happens when you strike the balance between stretch and support.”
I think this is one of the most important messages for a soccer player to hear.
By growth, I’m talking about improving …. getting better! I’m talking about developing your game.
Building skill doesn’t happen when tasks and challenges are too easy. Improving technique isn’t a result of playing at the same pace, thinking in the same way, and trying the same things time and again.
Players need to stretch themselves. They need to come out of their comfort zone.
They need to visit the zone of ugly…where mistakes are made and challenging problems are tough to solve.
Stretch might be playing with your head up more. It might be playing in a different position. It could be trying to be more aware of your positioning. It might be taking more shots at goal.
This might not consist of working harder, but working better.
Conversely, players who want to see how good they can become need to support themselves. So when they do spend a period of time in stretch mode, they need to find some supportive mechanisms.
What does support look like?
On the pitch, it could be self-talk … talking to yourself positively after a mistake made or instructing yourself through a tough passage of play.
It could include being your own biggest fan …
Try reflecting on your best games and on your strengths.
Support could also be as simple as rest and recuperation…taking time to recover after a hard session by relaxing, eating well, and sleeping deeply.
So here’s the balance. Stretch yourself.
Go to the end of the stretch continuum. Then support yourself. Bring that stretch dial back to the centre, balancing stretch and support appropriately.
When you find that sweet spot your game will improve.