Control the Controllable

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A new season is coming up for a lot of soccer players across the country. With every new season brings new opportunities, new teammates, new coaches, new supporters, and even new obstacles. The start of a season (or preseason) is such an exciting time! It’s finally time to put all that work and preparation that you did in the offseason to the test and show the world what you’re capable of!

If you’re anything like me, you set goals and milestones for the upcoming season. And you’re hoping to get off to a hot start in preseason. Achieving the goals that you set for yourself can feel like such an accomplishment! It can feel like everything in the process leading up to that moment is paying off and now you can build momentum to crush the next goal that you set!

But, what happens when things don’t go right?

Or, even worse, what happens when nothing goes right?

All the work that you put in during the offseason — the long-distance runs, the early mornings of technical work, hours on the field and in the weight room — just aren’t playing out the way you expected and visualized it would. I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt like this before. And if you haven’t felt like this yet, I have a feeling that you will encounter this at some point in your career.

So, what do you do? How do you respond? Do you mope around and feel bad for yourself? Or, do you bring even more energy towards achieving your goals and dreams? Do you apply more effort and have an even better attitude? I believe we can agree that the latter seems like the best approach!

We can’t always control what happens to us. We can’t control where the ball will bounce. We can’t control the weather outside. We can’t control our opponents. We can’t control what others say to us. We can’t control where coach plays us. And we certainly can’t control the referee. Acknowledging these things gives us freedom. Acknowledging what we can’t control allows us to shift our focus to what we can control.

If you think about it, it really makes no sense to fret and worry about something that’s outside our control. We shouldn’t waste our precious and limited energy on any of it. Instead, let’s put all our energy on what we CAN control!

Here are some things I like to focus my energy on:

  • My attitude

  • My effort

  • How I feel

  • My thoughts

  • My preparation

  • My first touch

  • My belief in myself & my teammates

  • My mentality

I know this concept of “Controlling the Controllable” is easier said than done, but then again, isn’t everything in life?!?!

It’s not easy, but it’s possible!

My Challenge to you!

I challenge you to be aware of what you’re focused on the next time things don’t seem to be going your way. Ask yourself, “Is this situation in or out of my control?” If it’s in your control can you apply the 7 points I listed above and really push through whatever it is you may be going through? I know you can! The more you spend time and energy on what you can control, the less frustrated and anxious you’ll be. And you’ll also feel more in control of your life.

“I will control the controllable!” Repeat it often to train your brain to focus on what you can control!

Optimize your mind for your grind!

Brandt Bronico, #13 Charlotte FC

P.S. We at Soccer Resilience® would love to help you take your game to the next level! We know what it takes to get there, and we’ll take the guesswork out of mental training for you. Give us a shout! (, (336)575-3324) or grab a spot in our calendar to connect with us!


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