What Soccer Parents Need to Know: Advanced Mental Strength Tips for Footballers
I have known Dan Abrahams for years. He lives and works in England and has written a column for our readers for many years. It is always with joy that I see him at various soccer meetings after he has crossed the Atlantic to share his wisdom and experience. One of his books, Soccer Tough II inspired this article.
Dan Abrahams is one of the most talented Mental Strength Sport Psychologist. As Dan says, “It is all about helping players perform.” In today’s competitive youth soccer world, and even for the successful soccer professionals, mental strength and resilience can make the difference between success and disapointment.
One of the often forgotten truths is that coaches want players who are consistent, self-confident but not arrogant. When a coach is under pressure in a soccer game, they do not want to put their fate into a player who is inconsistent, even if that player has rock star abilities.
Dan Abrahams book, Soccer Tough II, talks about why it is important for players to be consistent and provides tips on how to achieve this goal. Performing with greater consistentcy is the end result of being well prepared, which also paves the road to progressing faster as a player.
Dan Abrahams’ Advice For Youth Soccer Players: Intentional Training
“Greatness is not achieved under the lights in the arena. Greatness is a private affair. It’s achieved behind closed doors … on the training pitch. It’s achieved through drill and reinforcement. Greatness is built, not on match day but during practice sessions.”
“The quality of your training is the biggest determinant of your progress in soccer.”Dan Abrahams – Soccer Tough II
“Developing your game takes willpower and discipline of mind, as much as it takes energy and effort,” writes Abrahams and it is so very true.
Youth soccer players can’t approach soccer practice on autopilot. Youth soccer players who want to make an impact on the pitch have to be focused and know what they need to work on to improve their game. As Abrahams recommends, soccer players of all ages need to intentionally practice and be brave.
This is probably the most important concept for youth soccer players with big dreams:
“You have to train, you have to play, and you have to think kke there are no limits to your ability.”Dan Abrahams – Soccer Tough II
Players have to prove not only their consistency on the field, but their detemination to learn and their self-confidence … all while being in a sea of competition, and often without enough clear encouragement or guidance. For every great youth soccer coach who truly connects with his or her players and is able to be a meaningful mentor, there are ten coaches who fail to accomplish this.
While the road to becoming an impact player at a D1 college or university, or becoming a professional soccer player may be once complicated with unexpected twists and turns, it is more than the glamour that inspires today’s youth to reach for the stars. It is the deep desire to fufill their passion to play the game, and for successfully reaching this goal, it takes mental toughness that starts even at a young age.
It is important for soccer parents to understand the pressures their players face and how they can help them be relaxed, play happy and enjoy the game of soccer. As the saying goes, the more you know, the more you can help!