7 lies that soccer players tell themselves that hurt & help their game

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At any age it is easy to believe what you hear. Especially for youth soccer players or any youth athlete. I remember always having a hard time forgetting something negative that an opponent said to me. I knew things being said were to get me off my game. But would would help me bounce back was remembering all the positive things my coaches, teammates or family told me. I could think of 10 positive things, but it’s like the one negative comment was stronger than all of those. 7 lies that soccer players tell themselves are listed below. I hope they help you!

LIE:  I have to play the perfect game to get a scholarship

TRUTH: Everyone is human, coaches included. You don’t have to play the perfect game. A good highlight video is always the best way for a coach to see you – because the coach then sees your best. Then when they do see you play they know your style and touch. If you can complete 75-80% of your passes then you’ve had a good game. Read here why highlight video’s are so important.

Goal: Be consistent by getting playing time

LIE: It’s not fair

TRUTH: Life is not fair. Remember that all seasons are chapters in your story – not every season will be great. It might not even be good. But you can learn a lot about yourself and how to act and respond {not react} – especially with your body language. Reality check: if you’re not getting playing time {especially U-14} then go somewhere where you can play all the time – even if its one league below your current level. Prestige of a team only lasts as long as you’re in that league or area.

Goal: Stay focused on what you can control, not what you cannot

LIE: Coaches will judge me for that {Playing nice is not my style}

TRUTH: Attitude matters. If you disrespect yourself so much to have an attitude that colors everyone else’s perception of you then don’t expect to get respect in return. Respect can take many forms, including play time, friendships, scholarship offers and more. BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING BY FAR IS YOUR ATTITUDE AND HOW HARD YOU WORK.

Goal: Stay focused on what matters

LIE: Coaches won’t judge me for that

TRUTH: In soccer coaches are evaluating 3 primary areas: athleticism, skill, conduct. You decide how much your conduct matters in the evaluation and offer process at any level. But remember: you have to follow through. BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING BY FAR IS YOUR ATTITUDE AND HOW HARD YOU WORK. Knowing how to build your own personal brand is important! 

Goal: Make good choices

LIE: My talent is enough

TRUTH: Nope. Great talent only stays so if you consistently improve. Even more than wanting to improve is your attitude and work ethic – improvement will follow. With these two traits you are respecting yourself, the coach, the team, and the process.

Goal: If you’re not improving you’re regressing, there’s no such thing as standing still

LIE: I have no talent

TRUTH: Talent is only a portion of success. Some of the most high-level players are there because they did not get burned out and they had passion. Your self-script is vital . Another great measurement of truthful data is to document your progress. For example, this month you can only get 40 toe taps…but next month you are getting 60 consistently. That is proof of progress and this feels good.

Goal: Be careful what you choose to allow into your mind

LIE: I am so talented

TRUTH:  Scholarships are subjective to a certain extent. But the big issue is really your attitude. You had better correct it before you undergo a coaching change that leaves you sitting the bench because of your playing style or attitude. Leo Messi or Mia Hamm would never say such a thing.

Goal: Be humble

The most dangerous time for an athlete is when you are at the top. The 2 main reasons are because everyone wants to beat you and prove themselves. You can’t control that, but you can control how hard you work. Don’t get caught up thinking that you are so great. There is always a higher level, so make sure you are focusing on what you can be better at, not focusing on how good you already are. There is a quote from I forget who, but it goes “If you are the best player on your team, then you need to change teams.”  The whole point is you should want to keep pushing and challenging yourself and never get too comfortable. 7 lies soccer players tell themselves are common and there are more. So make sure you are not beating yourself up, but also don’t get too cocky either. It goes two very different ways and we want to stay in the middle of the two.


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