Football Psychology: Confidence Before Kick-Off

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Football Psychology: Confidence Before Kick-Off

Post by Gav on Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:02 am

Self-confidence in football consists of the following two criteria:

1. a general belief in your ability to perform well and win the game.
2. a task-specific belief in your ability to pass, run, tackle, and execute.

How do football players develop confidence? Confidence comes from many sources and it varies from person to person. Most players get confidence from one or more of the following: (1) past success, (2) experience, (3) performing well in the immediate past, (4) other persons, (5) practice, and (6) having a good support team.

Here are some ideas to help you feel confident at the start of the game:

Believe in your skills. This is really the definition of confidence. If you believe in your football skills and physical talents, then it is said you have confidence. If you back yourself more than anyone on the field, then you have confidence. This comes from your belief in football skills, such as passing, running, tackling, blocking, etc.

Reinforce why you will succeed. I ask athletes to list the reasons to succeed--sort of a self-help exercise. Many athletes don't give themselves enough credit for the successes and other skills that contribute to good play. Athletes sometimes overlooked their own mini successes. Other players disqualify positives in their career. What is your list for the reasons to succeed? It can be comprised of your ability, your team, past success, good coaches, practice, fitness, and many other areas that contribute to confidence.

Battle the doubt. Part of staying confident is battling your own internal doubt. No one is perfect and in times of adversity it's tough not to have any doubts about winning. The first place to start it to identify any doubts you have had in the past and that are themes in your career such as "My team is not good enough to win." The next step is to counter the doubt with statements that turns the situation around into an advantage such as: "I have the confidence that my team is better than any team we play."

You have to see it before you can achieve it. It's so easy for kids to have big dreams about the future, but as adults that same ability gets beaten down by others. Keeping the dream alive means seeing and feeling success close in hand. To win at your sport, you have to see yourself win over and over again. With the vision, comes confidence that it is all possible.

Use the past to feel confident today. Most football players would say that past success and experience in playing is the number one source for confidence today. You can tap into your success in the past to help you feel confident today by replaying successful games, practices, conversations, and kudos from others. In today's game, you might recall a successful play you had on a similar field or in similar conditions.

Patience is a form of confidence. A patient player is a confident player. The challenge in football is to stay patient when thing are not going your way today. It's easy to give in to internal doubt and criticism when you are not on top in your sport. But the better choice is to stay patient with results and wait for good things to happen. A patient football player says to himself that it might not be happing right now, but I know my play will take a turn for the better.



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