Soccer Players – What Does Focus Look Like?
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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.
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Here is SoccerToday’s columnist Abrahams on how consistency is the key to success.
Soccer Players: Easy Tips to Improve Mental Focus
You see it week in, week out.
It doesn’t matter if you play soccer in the UK or the USA. Or in Spain, Australia or Japan.
The reality … the harsh reality … is that goals are probably scored more often because of a lapse in concentration and subsequent mistakes from a defender, than for an incredible piece of play by a striker or midfielder.
Many Goals Are Scored Because of Mistakes – Lack of Focus
Paying attention on the soccer pitch is a skill both coaches and players should never tire of.
Perhaps the ultimate goal is for a player to build the capacity to pay attention correctly for close to the duration of a match. But that’s tough to do.
With that in mind here are two super-fast tips to improve your soccer focus
Dan Abrahams – Tip One For Soccer Players:
Whenever I ask a player what he or she is striving to achieve, I’d conservatively estimate that the player will provide an answer that refers to an action or behaviour that is out of their control about 95% of the time. And I really am being conservative.
I usually hear “I want to score” or “I want to win” or “I want to complete all my passes” or “I want to win my tackles”.
The problem here is that these kind of objectives are out of your control. So stop setting them.
Think about the actions and behaviours you can control such as staying positive, playing head up, being vocal, or being strong in the challenge. Or how about actions like tracking man/woman and ball, or keeping great body language, or getting back to a defensive position when the opposition win the ball or helping teammates hold a high line.
These are just examples, but the player who has objectives he or she can control will give themselves a better chance to focus more effectively.
Dan Abrahams – Tip Two For Soccer Players:
What does focus look like?
Standing tall? Being upright? Being vocal? Looking up and around? Being busy and nonstop? Always looking involved?
You see, focus of attention can be embodied and enacted on the pitch. I know the terms ‘embodied’ and ‘enacted’ sound quite strange and a little complicated, but just take a little time to think about these words.
“What does focus look like to me?”
Ok, I can see that … I can embody that. I’m now going to go and enact this focus on the pitch …
“I’m going to go an ACT it out.”
The famous former footballer for Manchester United, Roy Keane, once said that that is how he saw the game.
Roy Keane is one of the most successful Irish soccer professionals,having won 19 major trophies, 17 of which came at Manchester United.
Just an act! When he walked onto the pitch he became an actor. For him staying switched on probably looked like being an enforcer, being the aggressor.
That might not be the same for you … if not, what does focus look like to you?
Find your answer … embody and enact!