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How to Get to the Next Level

Soccer Psychology

The most significant aspect determining the level of success you can achieve is your belief.

How far do you think you can go in the sport of soccer? What do you think you can or cannot achieve in your soccer career?

You cannot climb higher or achieve greater than your belief. Self-imposed limitations cause players to fail to reach their potential, fall short of their goals, and restrict the degree of effort required to get to the next level.

In our Mental Game of Soccer Survey, a high school midfielder asked a simple and common question:

“How can I get to the next level?”

This player further added, “I’ve been playing soccer since I was six. This past year, I haven’t improved at all. I want to play in college but feel stuck at this level.”

Your self-talk causes self-imposed limitations such as “I’m not fast enough to play in college.” “I’m not as good as others on my team.” “I can’t break through and improve my game. “I will be stuck here forever.” “I should quit because I’m not good enough.”

Limiting thoughts hold us back more than ability or talent. When you have limiting beliefs, your efforts and focus will be less. In other words, if you think you can’t, you will not try as hard. Thus, self-imposed limitations become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Imagine what you could accomplish if you changed your self-talk or challenged your self-limiting thoughts.

What could you achieve if you told yourself, “If I worked on my speed and agility, I could improve enough to play in college. There are many players in college soccer without blazing speed. If I work hard, I will get to the next level.”

When you change your thoughts, you change your results.

The goal is to turn limiting beliefs into positive or achievement thoughts.

Take, for example, 28-year-old Carson Pickett. Pickett, a defender for the North Carolina Courage, made USWNT history by becoming the first player with a limb difference to start a game for the women’s national team on the international stage.

In a 2022 friendly against Colombia, Pickett helped the U.S. to a 2-0 victory. Pickett, born without a left forearm and hand, believes in her potential and ability to perform on the world stage.

PICKETT: “[My parents] told me never to say the word ‘can’t’ and nothing was impossible for me and to never get discouraged and to continue to try every time.”

Pickett never limits herself nor listens to the limiting voices of others.

PICKETT: “My dad always told me, ‘Never let anyone turn your sky into a ceiling’ and … just to follow your dreams. There’s no one out there who should ever tell you that your dreams are too big. Continue to be yourself along the way and just enjoy the journey.”

As a soccer player, your mind game is your greatest asset–after all your practice is complete. Achieving your potential requires managing the content of your thoughts.

Self-talk is a powerful attribute of elite athletes. Pay attention to your self-talk and identify the thoughts that limit your play. Write those thoughts down and counter them with three positive statements.

Resources for Athletes, Coach, and Sports Parents

Download a free sports psychology report to improve your mental game!

Learn more about our one-on-one mental game coaching.

Boost Your Confidence in Sports

The Confident Athlete

Can you experience yourself right now walking out onto the court, diamond, course, or playing field with complete conviction in your ability and unwavering confidence beaming like a bright light? Imagine feeling dominant, positive with only confident thoughts, and ready to take control of the game.

You can learn how to think like a champion and have ultimate self-confidence just like the pros. It’s not hard or impossible to achieve – I help athletes reach their goals every day and you, too, can learn the same strategies I teach to my students who pay me well over $1000 per day for personal coaching.

Do you prefer confident and in control or doubt and helplessness? I thought so. You can empower yourself to take action and I have the mental strategies to help unlock your confidence and instill confidence-enhancing thoughts – so you can be in control with greater levels of confidence – consistently.

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