Updated: Jul 21, 2022
Every player wants to go into a game with a confident state of mind. Whether it be team practices, training on your own, taking care of your body, working out, and studying film, all are done for one main reason— to be confident going into the weekend matchups.
While all these things are important, there are 3 things you can do in your warm up that will ensure you capitalize on all the hard work you put in leading up to every game.
Most players prepare as best they can, and then hope it all comes together for them on the field. They think “if I take a clean touch, make a good pass, things will come together and I will feel good”
Instead feel good before, and then you will perform as you wish.
So… how can you control your state of mind, and specifically, a confident state of mind without any game time plays, and before you ever step on the field?
1.) Body Language
Studies have proven that a slight shift in body language sends neurological messages to your subconscious mind. Evaluate your body, and carry it as if you have already done what it is you are setting out to do. Be on your toes, chest high, shoulders pinned back, sharp motions, checking over your shoulder. This is how you carry yourself when you are playing well. So don't wait to play well to carry yourself in this manner, carry yourself in this manner and then you will play well. Your brain does not know the difference between what is real and what is not, it only knows what you tell it. Positive Body Language is telling your brain, I have arrived and I'm getting what's mine.
What are you focussing on in your warm up? Are you thinking about the field conditions, your opponent, what decisions your coach is going to make, who's watching the game? All of these things are what we call UNCONTROLLABLES. They are factors that affect the game but you have absolutely no control over. When you think about things that you cannot control, what happens is very simple — your stress level goes up, and your confidence goes down which results in a drop in performance. The good news is that when you focus on what you can control, or as we call CONTROLLABLES, naturally your stress level drops and your confidence goes up, leading to an optimal state for performance.
So….. we know what you can't control. Don't occupy your mind with that and replace it with what it is you can control. Your effort, aggressiveness, communication, sharp passes. These controllabes will replace the Uncontrollable thoughts and get you where you in the mindset you want to be in when the kickoff whistle blows.
3.) Self Talk
Stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself.
There is a huge difference between the two. You cannot control your thoughts, but you can control what you think about them. And when you are “Talking to yourself” there is no room to listen to negative thoughts, since your brain cannot have two thoughts at the same time. Statements such as:
“I'm the best player on the field”
“I am a beast and im gonna get what's mine”
“ Today im gonna put on a show”
These and any other you customize for you will send messages to your subconscious mind. Choose one that you vibe with and stick with it.
Your brain only knows what you tell it.
This whole process should take no longer than 5 seconds.
What's my body language look like?
What am I focusing on?
How am I talking to myself?
You do this, and watch the shift in mindset that will translate to Optimal Performance.