The Feeling of Knowing
In my opinion self-belief is the feeling of knowing. It may pull on thought or reason or logic, but it’s primarily an intangible source of emotion that fuels performance.
· I know I can deliver great crosses
· I know I can move and lose these defenders
· I know I can split open this defense with my passing
When I work with a player who lacks self-belief (and let me tell you there are a lot of them) I know I have to help this player feel differently about her or his game. I know there inner voice and their inner pictures have to adjust to change how they feel about their game and how they feel about themselves in relation to soccer. I know that they have to start knowing that they can. In short they have to cut off the pessimistic explanations of the world around them and the negativity that is embracing their soccer. This is an important process because there is a strong relationship between a player’s everyday self-belief and the performance confidence they fell and demonstrate on match day.
Let me pose this question. Do you think that if a player rehearses failure Monday through Friday that they are going to perform to a high level come match day on Saturday? Do you think the goalkeeper who sees himself drop every single catch, who reckons on a poor game at the weekend, who only remembers his mistakes, is going to stand tall on Saturday? Is he going to dominate the area with his voice and his physical presence? Is he going to command his backline and be drawn from his line decisively when a striker runs in behind his defense?
The soccer player requires an exact feeling of self-belief going into a match if she or he is to guarantee a performance with confidence. And for this to happen they need to rehearse success. They need to explain away negative or embrace the challenges that come with tough times. They need to create a mental blueprint of the triumphs of her past and spend time rehearsing the plays that will give them a future full of accomplished performances.
Too many of our players dwell on what has gone wrong in training. Too many of them exercise a mindset of failure leading up to a big match. Too many internalize disappointments and use them as evidence that ‘they can’t’ and ‘they won’t’ and ‘they will never be able to’. Too many of them who have the skill consistently fail to show the will. This isn’t down to lack of motivation, but fixed firmly in the negative. And too many of our players fail to build skill at the pace you’d like them to – not because that are burdened by past failure and future insecurities.
‘The highest form of confidence is to KNOW. I am confident I will play well, I believe I will play well, I KNOW I will play well’
Are our players building or Breaking their self-belief?
“Did you build your self-belief today?”