You might not believe this, but most players bad performances are not due to the lack of skill! They are rather due to a huge lack of confidence …
… As a consequence they just cannot perform at the best of their abilities and end up falling up short!
In this article I share 15 Solid Tips to help you improve your confidence for soccer!
Tips for Amateurs …
1. Learn what are your problems
Why do you not feel confident on the field?
Learning why you don’t feel confident in soccer is the best place to start. Easier said than done!
But before you can make improvement, you first need to realize what it is that is making you feel this way. Taking a few minutes to write down why you don’t feel confident will help deliver that clarity you are looking for.
Taking five minutes to write down what you are feeling is going to help you get past your first hurdle. Rather than spending too much time thinking about it, just start writing – nonsense at first until you start to make sense.
You’ll be surprised by how deep down you know the problem but are afraid to express it. This is your first step at building confidence. It starts with being honest with yourself. Once you know the problem, then you can start working on it.
2. Focus on improvement not Results!
Let’s say you took the time to learn why you don’t feel confident.
Great, now what?
Now, it’s time to focus on improving whatever it is that is holding you back. In reality, the majority of problems holding people back on the field are all in their head.
A major loss usually leads to a lack of confidence on the field. In this case, it is better to understand that losses happen. So do wins. Why not focus on the good as much as the bad if not more.
Learning early on what your problems are the sooner you can fix them. Ignoring the nagging feeling resulting in low confidence only makes the problem persist and sometimes get worse.
3. Determine your weaknesses
Another major reason for having low confidence is because of weaknesses that become apparent. Or, sometimes the weaknesses a player does not realize they have.
This is when a knowledgeable coach should step in. They can tell you what your weaknesses are and how to improve. By building up these weaknesses so will your confidence.
Weaknesses come in all kinds of forms in soccer from poor dribbling skills to an inability to get past a defender.
Here is where you’ll want a coach to look at how you perform on the field. They can find the solution you may not be able to find on your own.
Determining your weaknesses is not an easy task, this requires you being knowledgeable about the sport … For this, I encourage you to check those simple tips to help improve your soccer knowledge!
Tips for Kids under 10
4. Have fun
The most important thing for a young soccer player to remember is to have fun. Winning and losing are not the only end goals to soccer at this level.
At this age, having fun with friends is the most important reason to be playing. To do so, children should be reminded constantly it is only a game.
Taking matches too seriously causes weaker players to have even less confidence on the field. Instead, remind them they are there to have fun. Games that don’t keep score help achieve this goal also.
5. Practice basic skills
Kids under 10 have no skills or true grasp of the sport and its subtle nuances. This is a blessing and a curse.
However, that does not mean the basic skills are thrown out the window. It’s all about learning the basic skills for soccer when kids are around this age.
Important Tip: To improve your soccer skills, I strongly recommend to use soccer shoes with decent Quality and reliable Grip to perform at the best of your abilities. You can have a quick look at these quality soccer cleats to get an idea!
Being able to successfully pass and shoot will help build kids’ confidence. When getting out on the field and unable to get the ball where they want can be demoralizing.
Parents and coaches can help these children improve with simple drills during practice at home. Practicing as much as possible will benefit children with little confidence become better players thus improving their confidence in soccer.
6. Remember you are on a team
An often overlooked aspect for kids under 10 is that soccer is a team sport. At this age, they are unable to understand that everyone is looking at everyone.
The spotlight is not always on them. When they realize that other kids make mistakes too, then things don’t seem so bad.
They are too focused on themselves to realize they have teammates that make mistakes too and that are willing to help them improve.
Once children see that everyone on the team is learning alongside them then they can understand that being new to the sport is ok. It takes practice and time to get better.
Tips for Youth under 17
7. Learn the positions
Learn about the different positions on the field. One of the reasons a teenager may not feel confident on the field is because the position they play may not be the best for them.
Teenagers are smarter than they are given credit for. They know when something is not working for them.
Have them try different positions. The issue may be that they like being a defensive player and not an offensive player. Or, the goalkeeper sounds more interesting to them.
Knowing each position will give the teen a better understanding of the sport and whether or not where they are now is where they want to be.
Being in the right position will boost confidence significantly because then they will feel like they belong where they are at.
8. Use drills specific to you
Drills are excellent because they improve athletes overall, but to take it a step further is to find drills specific to each player.
What if a player is not fast, but is highly technical? Will focusing on dribbling help boost their confidence if they can not out run someone once they defeat them in a matchup using their amazing dribbling skill?
Being hyper focused on weaknesses is ideal for building confidence. Coaches can spot areas for improvement. However, it is up to the player to speak up and explain why a weakness is holding them back.
From here, drills can be tailored around working on certain weaknesses.
9. Take practice seriously
Teens are notorious for ditching responsibilities. It’s understandable. This age is a difficult time because they stuck between being a kid and an adult. More responsibilities are asked of them as they get older.
The urge to ditch responsibilities is strong in teens. But, soccer practice is the only place to get better at soccer. Sometimes putting in extra work during practice is necessary.
Or, at the least taking it seriously.
At this age it is difficult to understand why constant repetition during practice is so crucial. Soccer practice improvement is seen in slow increments over long periods of time. Unfortunately, teens want everything instantly.
Teaching teens the importance of practice will help them take this time more seriously which will in turn make them better players.
Tips for Beginners
10. Understand everything is new
No beginner is amazing the first time they touched a ball. Forgetting or not knowing this can be devastating if they don’t become a pro in a matter of a few weeks. The focus should be on improving the basic skills and understanding they are going to be terrible at first – sometimes for a really long time too.
Beginners are trying to learn a new set of skills with no prior knowledge. As simple as soccer is, it can also be extremely difficult.
Understanding that everything is new and that you cannot be good at the beginning is important. Also knowing failure is part of learning. Tons of failure in fact.
All of this fine. Don’t be discouraged.
11. Consistently practice the basics.
No practice or experience with soccer is overwhelming. It can seem impossible to get the ball where you want it to go.
This is why practicing the basics is so important. In order to become confident in soccer, first a person has to have the basics become second nature.
The only way to do this is consistent practice. Many hours have to be poured into the sport.
Without this level of dedication, it will be difficult to improve.
Having a decent set of skills will improve a beginner’s confidence more than anything else.
12. Fake it
One tip to help boost confidence is to fake it. That’s right, fake it. Eventually faking it long enough you’ll start to believe you have the confidence you lacked before.
Keep in mind, this tip can sometimes lead to the opposite effect. Cockiness
Try to relax and pretend you are confident in yourself. When you make a mistake, ask yourself if a confident person would just give up or try to get better next time?
Faking it will help you get past your mental hurdles.
Most of the time, lack of confidence is all mental. The best way to help fight this problem is by pretending it does not exist.
Visualize being a better player and slowly you’ll become a better player. Don’t let mistakes discourage you, instead use them as a tool to get better.
Tips for semi-professionals
At this level of play, it is understood that you have basics down, and your coach has walked you through weaknesses.
Next, is to mentally prepare yourself. Visualizing will help you create the image of what you want in your head first, then into reality. If you can picture it, then you can make it happen.
Getting the image of success in your head makes it more achievable than just hoping it happens by accident.
Every great athlete and artist visualizes the outcome before it happens. Use this powerful technique before executing anything on the field.
Regardless of what it is you are trying to achieve, first you must picture it.
14. Talk to yourself
That’s right, talk to yourself.
Similar to visualization, self-talk is another powerful technique highly successful people use. First visualize, then talk yourself into believing you can achieve your goal.
If you say it enough times, you’ll begin to believe it’s true.
You are creating affirmation about yourself. It will build your confidence in your abilities which will transfer over onto the field.
Self-doubt starts with negative talk. Changing the way you talk will change your attitude.
Simple mantras before practice or a match will change how you play. Being a confident player is more useful to a team than one who does not believe they will succeed even before stepping onto the field.
15. Focus on body language
Realizing what your body language is saying will open your eyes to how you really feel. Hunched shoulders and sunken chests are dead giveaways to someone who is not confident.
Your subconscious is telling the world how you feel.
What if you pull your shoulders back and pick up your chest? At first it feels silly, it’s almost as if you are trying to be Superman. But when you think about it, doesn’t Superman look confident in this type of pose?
Similar to faking it, using the correct body language will trick your brain into believing in what you want it to believe.
Stand tall and like you are in charge. Doing so long enough will make others and yourself believe you are confident in your abilities.
This is half the battle you won. Next is to use this new found confidence to your advantage.
Final Thoughts …
I really hope this article has given you some good insight on how to approach raising your confidence from the ground up …
… The reason why I’ve included so many different categories is because I’ve noticed a lack of self-esteem at all ages and at all levels of competition. That’s why I thought that would be a great idea to just provide tips for each category with the hope of providing helpful ideas!
Finally, I highly invite you to learn about these simple tips to help improve your soccer overall mindset! These are important if you want to become a professional in the future …