Saturday, 3 November 2012

Scoring Goals is all about Confidence

You've attended every practice, made kick after kick and honed your aim to razor-sharp accuracy.

Even so, you just don’t seem to be making the goals. What are you missing? If you are like many other soccer players, your main problem may be confidence.

Although confidence isn't taught in any practice drills, it is a trait that can be of huge use in soccer, especially when it comes to scoring goals.

Nothing in the game of soccer is as nerve wracking as shooting for goals, and it’s easy to see why.

WINNING GOAL by Joshua Santamaria_D3N_7926_fix...

The success of your team in this game may depend on the success of these few crucial seconds. Two full teams of soccer players and often a sizable number of spectators are watching.

Suddenly your past performance doesn't seem to matter; all you can think about is whether the ball will go in. A slight lack in confidence can lead to huge problems here.

There are a few signs that a lack of confidence may be an issue for you. First, do you find yourself over thinking every soccer move as the goal looms nearer?

Do you tend to picture the ball missing or being caught up by the goalkeeper rather than seeing it sail past him?

Do you get physical symptoms, like a stomach ache, excessive sweating, and nervous shaking as you prepare to shoot? If so, you need to work on your confidence.

While there are no practice drills that will give you confidence, there are a few exercises that can help build your mojo:

1. Practice positive visualization

When you are alone, try picturing yourself approaching the goal. See the defenders practically falling out of your way and your teammates cheering as you effortlessly make the score. By doing this often enough and picturing a variety of positive scenarios will counteract the negative thinking that may be plaguing you.

2. Examine your expectation

If you expect that every shot is a future goal, you are going to feel disappointed and let down in every single game. Even the best strikers don’t score even half of the goals they attempt and there is no reason to hold yourself to a higher standard. Learning to accept these disappointments, recover quickly and move on is an essential part of playing the game of soccer.

3. Don’t be intimidated by your opponents

Goalies and other defensive players tend to be large and imposing figures and you are going up against them every game. While they may seem imposing, they are merely soccer players just like you, with a similar level of skill. Intimidation is part of most teams’ defensive strategy, so avoid letting them be so successful in wearing down your confidence.

4. Practice your basic skills

Nothing will help your confidence if your skills truly are not up to par. Practice basic skills like dribbling, passing, kicking and you will feel more confident when it comes time to kick.

5. Create a supportive atmosphere on your team

If there is a lot of back biting and criticism on your team, you will have a hard time building your confidence. While you cannot control the actions of others, you can be as encouraging as possible and foster a supportive atmosphere on your team. If you are quick to judge your teammates’ failures, they may be equally critical of you, but if you give them the benefit of the doubt they are likely to repay with similar courtesy.

If confidence is an issue that is keeping you from scoring, you should work on it until you are comfortable.
Confidence will intimidate your opponents, inspire your teammates and ultimately win more scores. Don’t let another game be sabotaged by the power of negative thinking.
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