By E-Perform | Confidence | August 2, 2022
Football Confidence: 9 Powerful Ways To Master Your Game
Football confidence can be the difference between players expressing themselves and showing their best or going into a downward spiral of underperforming. Football confidence is the feeling or belief that you can have faith in, or rely on, your football skill or ability and you will achieve the outcome that you want to achieve.
But how do footballers have confidence, how can you improve your confidence & what do you do if you have low confidence and how to play football with confidence?
We can all relate to moments when football confidence is high & it feels like nothing can go wrong, similarly we all know what it feels like when you’re having a bad day, or worse, on a run of poor form.
You can quickly see how some of the best players in the world are the ones that can control their emotions, stay level-headed & deal with huge amounts of pressure in the most pivotal moments.
Having worked with professional football players at the top of their game on a daily basis and helping these athletes develop their mindset and psychology, we want to share with you in detail some common techniques/areas to explore & try and learn lessons from some of the best players in the world to be able to improve your football confidence.
In this article, we will explore it all & we have some excellent football mindset tips and football confidence tips to help your game and show you how to build confidence in young footballers or even help top-flight pros.
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle”Napoleon Hill
Football Confidence: What we will cover
Football Psychology And Football Confidence
Football confidence and Self-belief are some of the most important qualities a player can have.
People with high self-belief are more likely to put in the effort and strive for success than those with low self-belief. The lack of self-belief can be a form of self-sabotage and lead to the individual not taking the steps needed to progress.
Why is confidence important in football
Studies have shown that confidence and self-belief has a direct effect on athletic performance.
Athletes who are convinced that they are better than their opponents consistently perform better than those who lack this confidence.
In football, confidence is often the difference between success and failure. The number of goals scored by an individual player will often reflect their self-belief.
As well as helping to determine whether or not you will be successful in football, self-belief and football confidence also acts as an indicator of how good you are likely to be. If you believe that you are good enough to make it to the top, then you are more likely to fulfil your potential simply because your mindset will be focused on doing so.
Self Belief has also been associated with lots of health benefits due to reduced stress and anxiety. It is associated with enabling you to be more resilient and overcoming setbacks during adversities. It also has performance-enhancing qualities such as the ability to be more creative and take more risks.
Belief is so important to keep us going and find a way forward. If you don’t believe, you’ll probably start to give up and ultimately not achieving your goals.
How to be more confident in football
When looking at how to build confidence in football it is important to understand that Football Confidence is underpinned by 3 Anchors.
- Evidence: What evidence do you have that you are currently on or off form (results/goals / assists etc)
- Social Consensus: What are people saying about you? Are teammates, coaches, the media, family or friends talking positively or negatively about your game?
- Emotion: frustrations and negative thinking leading to a negative emotional state
The most important thing to remember in periods of low confidence is; Beliefs aren’t real and can be changed over time – so let’s look now into how to build confidence.
How to regain confidence in football
Now we know the 3 anchors to confidence and what underpins low football confidence, lets looks at how to flip them and understand how to improve football confidence.
A good place to start is the below three tips to boost confidence
- Identify the positive evidence you have (What are the last positives you can remember, are you still getting selected? When did you last train well? What positive impact did you have on the team? What lesson did you learn that is positive?)
- Create positive conversations with teammates – Ask your teammates what is the most positive contribution you make to the team. Ask them to reflect on when you have trained or played well, what was good about it and why. By encouraging a positive conversation with a teammate you can understand your value to the team & you can focus on the positive areas of your game & contributions.
- Focus on what provides positive encouragement – It is human nature to focus on anything that is said that is negative. If you receive 5 compliments and 1 criticism, it is so easy to only think about the criticism. Learn to focus & reflect on the positive encouragement you are also recieving, whilst using the criticism as lessons to improve.
How to improve football confidence:
1. Simple Actions to gain confidence
- Identify the tangible successes you have achieved that provide evidence to support high beliefs (things such as winning, trophies, selection, captaincy, goals, assists, man of the match etc)
- Identify intangible successes (You felt like you have trained or played well. You feel like you are improving. Positive conversations with teammates, family, friends or your coach)
- Identify your strengths and qualities that have led to your successes. Write down all the things that you do that impact the game or the team positively. Reflect and think about them and consider how you can maximise them more, whilst developing your work on areas.
2. Reflection to gain confidence
Reflection is a way to better understand yourself and your environment through a process of contemplation.
In sports, reflection is a way to learn from your mistakes and successes. It’s about understanding what you did right and what you did wrong. It’s about looking back on a play and understanding the different options that you had on the field.
Reflection is about understanding your strengths and weaknesses. The next step is to establish a plan for improvement based on these observations.
In football, for example, a player might notice that they do better when they take more shots. This information can then be used to establish a goal of taking 10 more shots in their next game.
3. Reflective practice
Prior to training or a match, consider what you would like to specifically work on. This could be a specific area that you know is important to improve for your game such as 1v1 defending, write down what good looks like in this area & how you want to work on it.
When you have completed training, come back to your notepad and write what went well with the area you wanted to practice, what could have gone better & what you should look to try next time.
Keep this process across all the different areas of your game and continue to evolve and learn from every session and point of reflection.
This is known as ‘purposeful practice’ and it distinguishes the top players from the average player. To ensure you are getting the most from every training session you must be deliberate about what you want to achieve and whether you have achieved it or not, and why.
If you start this practice today – We guarantee over time, you will see dramatic improvements in your game and the ability to learn from every session.
Meditation and mindfulness to improve football confidence
Football is a game that can be mentally taxing because of the intensity, pressure, and contact.
The best footballers are able to focus their energy on the game at hand and not be distracted by their thoughts or external pressures.
One way to keep that focus is by practising meditation and mindfulness before, during, and after the game.
Meditation is a way to be mindful of your breathing and surroundings. It can help you to stay calm, focused, and relaxed. You’ll be able to avoid all the stress that comes with competing in an intense game.
A study was conducted on professional footballers to see how meditation and mindfulness techniques can help improve their performance on the field.
The footballers were divided into three groups. Group One was the control group that did not do any meditation or mindfulness exercises. Group Two was the group that went on a ten-day meditation course. Group Three was the group that went on a ten-day mindfulness course.
The results of the study showed that Group One and Group Three (the ones who had gone on meditation and mindfulness courses) had an increase in their performances by an average of 18%.
Take action: Mindfulness for football
Here is a mindfulness lesson for beginners that is worth giving a try!
Improve Football Confidence by Focusing
So how can a footballer use a focusing technique to improve their performance?
Well, first you need to establish a clear goal for your performance. This will help you focus on the task at hand and improve your performance.
When you’re performing, take a moment to check in with yourself and take note of what you’re feeling. This is important because it will help you take control of your thoughts and emotions.
You can also use visualization techniques to visualize what you want to happen. One last thing is to stay in the ‘now’.
When we’re focusing we can be tempted to think about what just happened and what we’re going to do next, but this will break your focus and lead to distractions.
TAKE ACTION: Meditation for Football to help focus
Try this 10-minute guided meditation designed for athletes to give you a first experience into meditation for football.
Improve football confidence with Pre-performance routines
Pre-performance routines, also known as pre-game rituals, are all about getting into the zone and getting one’s mind and body ready for the game.
It is a series of habits that an athlete will go through before a game.
This will help them mentally and physically get ready for the game and get in the zone.
One of these rituals includes eating a healthy breakfast, another one is avoiding caffeine and sleeping well the night before, and another one would be wearing their lucky socks.
Take action: Pre-game rituals
- Saying a Prayer before the Match Starts
- Listen to music to stay in the zone
- Have some positive self-talk with yourself
- Visualise the positive outcome of the game
- Setting some process goals or mindset tips and writing them down on your wrist as a reminder
- Eat healthy pre-match meals full of carbohydrates such as fruit, rice, potatoes, pasta and bread
- Keep your energy levels up by drinking water, energy drinks and gels before and during the match
- Remain Positive During the Match and focus on your controllable actions
- Being Positive After The Match Ends and consider the lessons you have learnt and reflect on your goals.
FREE GOAL SETTING FOR MASTERCLASS CLICK HERE
Positive Self-talk for football confidence
Self-talk is a technique in which athletes repeat positive statements in their minds to themselves to improve their performance. It is also called “affirmations” or “motivational self-talk.”
The statements are usually in the present tense and are in an optimistic tone. It is important to really believe the statements because if you don’t, they won’t work.
One way to use affirmations is to say them aloud. When you do this, it’s common to feel more energized or focused.
Another way is to say them silently in your mind. This technique can help with stress management, anxiety relief, and confidence-building.
TAKE ACTION: Build a positive mindset for football
Activities to build positive self-talk include:
- Talk to yourself like you talk to a child.
- Repeat affirmations daily.
- Put a sticker on the mirror that says, “I am great” or “I can do it”. You can also post positive quotes and say them to yourself when you are in the mirror. The more positive things you say, the better you will feel about yourself and your ability to perform at your best.
- Choose a positive role model, such as someone who has overcome adversity.
- Visualize yourself performing well and succeeding.
- Do a positive self-talk warm-up before you play.
- If you feel your self-talk is negative, try to think of a positive aspect of yourself.
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Football Confidence Summary
- Football confidence is the feeling or belief that you can have faith in, or rely on, your football skill or ability and you will achieve the outcome that you want to achieve.
- Studies have shown that confidence and self-belief have a direct effect on athletic performance.
- Identify the positive evidence you have
- Create positive conversations with teammates
- Focus on what provides positive encouragement
- Use the reflective practice to improve confidence in football
- Use meditation and mindfulness to improve football confidence
- Use pre-game rituals to help build football confidence
- Use positive self-talk
We hope you have enjoyed this football confidence article and even if you have just taken one positive thing away from reading it and put it into your game we are winning!
We would love to hear about your football confidence journey and if you have tried any of the techniques in the article. Please let us know in the comments below! Also please do ask if you have any questions or if there is anything we can help you with.
If you would like our FREE GOAL SETTING FOR MASTERCLASS CLICK HERE
Other articles you might find useful are;
5 Powerful Football Psychology Tips: INSTANTLY Improve Today