As you familiarize yourself with mental training for soccer, you may be curious to learn more about how it factors into making you the best player you can possibly be. Just like with your physical, technical, and tactical development, the mental side of your game requires attention and intention to improve.
1. Consistency is Key
Your mind is always at work, whether you’re conscious of it or not. So if you’re not training it to work in positive and productive ways, there’s a chance you could be forming detrimental habits or thought processes.
Like any skill, you benefit from consistency with your mental training. The good news is that it’s actually much easier to do mental training than other types of training because you can do it anywhere, at any time, even as you lay in bed at night.
Create a routine of listening to one of the Techne Mental Training tracks or doing some visualization or deep breathing every day. As you train at it consistently, it will become increasingly easier to do. Even just 1 exercise a day is a great routine to build from.
Techne Recommendation: For 7 consecutive days, do the 6-1-7 Breathing in the Techne App every night. Also, do this session on the way to any practice sessions or games during the week. Notice your breathing even within your training sessions and games. Are there tense moments when your awareness of slowing down your breath allows you to calm down and regain control?
Find it in the App: Training > Mental Training > Basic Skills
2. Quality Over Quantity
As with your other types of training, don’t just go through the motions when it comes to mental training. It’s easy to simply put on the audio file and lose focus. Do small amounts of work when you can deeply focus. The more seriously you take your mental training and the more seriously you consider the concepts shared in the Techne App, the more you will benefit from them.
For example, when you visualize, try to see and feel yourself playing–using all your senses, even the smell of your surroundings–in as much detail as possible. It’s been proven that great visualization can have similar effects on skill development as actual physical practice. When you listen to the pro players talk about the mental skills they use for success, don’t just listen to their stories as theirs. Make a connection to how the message can apply to your own life and soccer journey. You’ll soon find that what you put into your mental training is what you get out of it. This can be hugely transformative when you compete.
Techne Recommendation: Go through each of the tracks in The Pro Mentality. For each one-- even if you don’t play the same position or haven’t experienced exactly what the pro player is talking through -- take a moment to write down something you can take away to apply to your own game.
Find it in the App: Training > Mental Training > The Pro Mentality
3. Take It Easy On Yourself
Just like with other types of training, your mental training will be a journey. Whatever areas of the mental game you struggle with -- focus, anxiety, frustration, etc. -- they will not immediately improve or disappear. Every player has a unique makeup of mental strengths and weaknesses. Be ready to make mistakes. Under pressure, your mental skills will be tested just like your technical skills. When people are watching, when you’re fatigued or lose focus, or when you’ve had a tough day, it can be challenging to take what you’re learning onto the field. Your mental training is a long-term process, so be forgiving as you go. And make sure to note even the small successes!
Techne Recommendation: Pick one topic in the Essential Mindset section of the Techne Mental Training each week. During that week, listen to the audio session daily and pay attention to that specific topic when you train and play. After your session or game, evaluate how you did with it. If you feel you could have done better, in what ways can you improve for next time?
Find it in the App: Training > Mental Training > Essential Mindset