Sports Psychology for Football

Sports Psychology for Football Players and Coaches

Staying Focused to Boost Confidence

“Confidence doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s a result of something… hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication”– Roger Staubach

3d-workbook-building-confidence1Focus is the most misunderstood football mental factor among athletes. Most athletes think of focus as concentrating on one thing for a long time. But, given the complexity of the game and most other sports, it is probably much broader.

According to sports psychologist for football, focus is everything inside of you, such as thoughts, emotions, and physical responses, and everything outside of you, including sights and sounds, on which you could give attention. It is the ability to attend to internal and external cues in your attentional field.

In today’s competitive environment, staying focused is a key challenge for many athletes.

Prime focus involves focusing only on performance-relevant cues in your attentional field. In other words, only focusing on cues that help you to perform your best. For example, performance-relevant cues can include technique, tactics, your opponent, the score, time remaining, and many other cues. Prime focus gives you the ability to adjust your focus internally and externally as needed during the course of a game.

There are ways to keep your distractors at bay, once you start following these steps:

Keep Your Vision/Goals in Mind – First things first, why do you even need to focus? Do you want to become a great football player? Do you want to improve your football confidence? Think about it.

Knowing why you need to stay focused can help you push through the tough and tedious parts of accomplishing your goals. That’s when your ability to focus is really tested and when it’s most needed.

Focus on Your Priorities – You can’t expect to do things with sophistication if you’re too scatterbrained to focus. You need to break it down to the essentials.

Focus on only doing the most important task at the time, but no more than that. It’s all you need to take steps towards accomplishing your goals. Slower is much better than giving up early because you took on too much, too early.

Visualize Yourself Practicing – Champion athletes use this football psychology technique to great effect, usually by working backwards. They imagine themselves winning at first, then they act out the whole process in reverse, feeling and visualizing each step all the way to the beginning.

The process of focusing so intently on each step distracts you from how much you don’t want to do something, and the visualizations “ready your body” for each step you need done.

All you need to do is apply this process to whatever it is you need to focus on, just start with the smallest motion you need to do.

Momentum is like a discipline lubricant‒it helps ease the process of sticking with goals. That’s why it’s important that you never take true breaks from your goals; you end up losing momentum and relying on discipline to get back on track.

There will always be a bump in the road somewhere during the course of the competition, if not several bumps. But an unexpected incident does not need to be an unfortunate incident as long as you prepare for the unexpected.

Most athletes do not plan for the unexpected, erroneously believing this invites unfavorable conditions. There is nothing further from the truth. The more you prepare, the more confident you will be about your competency and expertise.

Top athletes mentally prepare for those unexpected events, thus, training their football minds to cope with distractions and adapt to circumstances.

Whenever you change something, it’s impossible to eliminate all of the unintended consequences. But the more you can anticipate the possibilities, and be ready to deal with them, the greater your chances of success.

To build your confidence you must change the way you think.

A 100% of the time it is 90% mental.

Confidence is a mind-set skill that doesn’t just happen by chance. You must work at it.
To build your confidence, specific strategies are required. These strategies can be found in my workbook – An Athlete’s Guide To

Peak Performance Series– Building Confidence
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Updated: January 8, 2017 — 4:29 pm

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