“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.” – Alex Karras
Facing those challenges can be difficult at times; especially if you don’t have the proper mental tools to deal with it.
Research on sports psychology for football tells us that top competitive athletes succeed because of their physical talents and their dedication to training. However, they also succeed because of their dexterity in dealing with the psychological pressures of football.
In short, football mental toughness and resilience are tremendously important for any athlete aiming to be the best.
Mental toughness has also been identified as a key quality that determines strength, athletic performance, and even predicts success in the sport itself, among high-level athletes.
The good thing is mental skills are trainable with the right mindset and strategies. Mental skills training programs can help you to develop valuable psychological skills, such as controlling self-talk, or the immediate application of simple methods, such as mental imagery and/or modelling. These skills are key to improving your football mental game and mental toughness.
An optimistic positive attitude is paramount to success in any endeavor. Nothing positive will ever come from a negative attitude.
Monitor your internal dialogue (self-talk) to ensure you are always optimistic and positive.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Every time you push your limits you get a little bit tougher, every time you quit when things get difficult you get a little softer and you are conditioning yourself to be a quitter. Make fatigue your best training partner.
Make fatigue your comfort zone. Make it a personal goal to outwork everyone in practices and be the hardest worker.
Focus on what you have control over and not on what you cannot control. You can control your thoughts with effective training, but you cannot control your surroundings during game time. You can control how you react to situations, but you cannot control or stop the situations from coming. React with composure and direct your focus to the relevant task- winning the game.
Don’t expect feelings of football confidence to come out of nowhere. Instead, ask yourself, what other mental tools do I need in my tool box to help me.
Try asking yourself what would a mentally tough athlete do?
Then, add that to your mental tool kit for later use in the time of need.
Top athletes, are the best at what they do. The mental skills they use to get there are the same mental skills you can use to. Their techniques aren’t based on muscles or natural talent alone. They’re all about persistency, consistency, and hard work. Apply those and you can get there too.
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