Preseason is right around the corner.
Are you ready for it?
Since our brains are hardwired to focus on the negative way more than the positive, you might have some thoughts like these running through your head;
These kinds of thoughts can cause your stress level to rise, and can lower your excitement and confidence. And this often leads to worries about your performance. No fun! Can you relate?
Why does this happen to so many players? Even the pros?
It’s because our brain goes into threat mode when there’s uncertainty and potential negative surprises. And you knkow what sends the brain into threat mode?
Follow these 3 steps to strengthen your preseason mindset:
1. Embrace the New Season, Let Go of the Last One:
No matter how good, bad, or in between your season was last season, make sure you focus on this season every day before, during, and after preseason training. By spending less time thinking about the past season, you will have more time to focus on the present. As a result, you are able to improve and enjoy the good moments more.
2. Focus on the New Opportunities for Growth, Improvement & Enjoyment:
Our mind will go where we tell it to go. Put your energy into focusing on the new opportunities you have, such as meeting new people, learning new skills, exploring new positions, and competing against new people (even your last team will be different this year). It is only through changes that push us outside of our comfort zones that we can grow. The ability to adapt to change and discomfort requires us to develop and strengthen new skills. As a result, performance improves.
3. Stay ready for Changes and Challenges Using the Triple P’s: Predict – Plan – Practice:
Preparation is the key to confidence. Predicting challenges you’ll face during preseason, having a plan for how to tackle those challenges, and practicing your plan will train your mind to focus on how to overcome them rather than being overwhelmed by them. Injuries, playing a new position, increased performance anxiety, and conflict with a teammate are common preseason challenges. When you persevere and overcome a challenge in preseason, you strengthen your perseverance and confidence for the next challenge.
Remember, you can’t control when negative thoughts enter your head. However, you can steer your mind to accept change, seek new opportunities for growth, and prepare for predicted challenges. Also Remember, practice makes progress. So, put the work in, and we promise you’ll start to notice the difference!
If you want more tools and strategies to strengthen your mental fitness, check out Soccer Resilience® FC!
If you want to work individually or in a small group with us or one of our Ambassadors, click here AND let us know who you would like to work with!
Let’s keep building resilience together!
Dr. Brad Miller, Psy.D.