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How to Mentally Prepare for a Soccer Game

by Patrick Hutchison

Like many sports, soccer is a game of physical and mental skills. If you are familiar with the game, you will realize that the movement of the ball and the players is not unlike a game of chess. One of the best ways to execute your physical and mental game out on the field is by enacting solid mental preparation before you ever step foot on the pitch. Reviewing your goals and focusing on your plans for the game before you begin will help get into the game quicker and start making plays.

Step 1

Find a quiet, solitary place where you can focus on mentally preparing for the game. A locker room or bathroom are often handy and provide the privacy you need for a few moments of focused preparation.

Step 2

Realize that nervousness is a natural part of the game and do not fight it. Nervousness indicates that you want to perform well and that desire is a powerful mental tool.

Step 3

Consider the playing style of the opposing team, whether they are offensive or defensive, whether they favor one side or one player, and use that information to form a playing strategy that correlates to it.

Step 4

Disregard worries about hypothetical situations and variables that are out of your control, such as weather. Worrying will not prevent mistakes or failures. You can only adapt and execute as situations are presented to you.

Step 5

Focus on the tenets of solid soccer playing, including using good communication, exploiting space, hustling, seeing the field, preparing for passes and using as few touches as possible.


  • Create a mental preparation routine that you go through before every game, writing it down if necessary. Mental preparation skills are no different than physical skills that require hours of practice before they begin to work well.

Photo Credits:

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.