1) Create a winning environment: A positive momentum can be built before a ball is even kicked. Surround yourself with energizing influences before kick-off - your favorite people, songs, books and pre-match meals. Team activities can also build positive energy.
2) Avoid getting Sloppy: You’ve made a good start through discipline, hard work and collective thinking. You can lose control through bad behavior, laziness, overinflated egos and a lack of passion. Signpost your winning attitude through triggers: for example, use buzzwords during games. Tell each other “calm” to keep possession or “strong” if you want quality tackles. These help focus on the job in hand.
3) Avoid being afraid of losing: If your leading in a match, avoid playing safe to secure the lead. Remember you’re winning because you’ve been assertive, forward-thinking and brave. Winners keep winning because they’re confident in their ability “i.e. Spain”. Avoid thinking “What’s the worst that could happen?’ but “What’s the BEST that could happen?”
4) “Good Job!”: Create a culture of praise and communication. If your team-mates are playing well then tell them - confidence breeds confidence. Praise hard work, determination and selflessness to reaffirm a positive energy throughout the team. Chances are you’ll get the same feedback – and feel great as a result.
5) Think about the NOW: Avoid looking too far ahead. Avoid thinking about your good start coming to an end - that’s the future - but focus on the present. Create a clear picture of what your individual job is for the team and make sure you keep doing it. Don’t think about where the run of form could take you, as it will only distract from what’s important: the next game.
6) Cultivate ‘culture carriers’: These players transfer the motivated mindset of the coach to the team during the match. Think Ali Krieger or C.J. Sapong. They lead through performance and character. A culture carrier is about constant improvement and maintaining high standards. Engage these leaders to empower and motivate the team. They lead to keep the team focused, driven and in control of the game.
7) Look to build ‘response-able’ mindsets: At some stage during your good start a setback will occur, as an individual and as a team. To keep momentum, activate your ‘response-able’ minset. You can’t always control the circumstances you face in games, but you can always control your response to them. Champions are response-able during setbacks.
“Wisdom is not reacting, wisdom is doing!”