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mental training for soccer

Discussion in 'Coach' started by nswsoccer, Apr 7, 2012.

Moderators: elessar78
  1. nswsoccer

    nswsoccer Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Location:
    FLorida
    One aspect of soccer training which I think is neglected at the moment is mental training. I would like to get all of your opinions on the following video which is primarily about this type of training. I thought maybe we all
    can discuss it and likewise delve into the importance
    of mental training, and how/if you incorporate into your trainings.
    Video below:


    http://bit.ly/HhatQl
     


  2. nicklaino

    nicklaino Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    I saw your video and have also read all of your posts that you made on this site.

    It gives me a good idea on just who you are.

    The person making the video has obviously taken a public speaking cource. Are you the person in that video something tells me you might be. Any way the person speaking on the video has his mother and some friends on his left side. But he probably does not have anyone he knows on his right side. He should have done that because he looked to his left about 70 percent more then he looked to his right. I notice little things like that. He has a microphone so he does not have to worry about the people in the back hearing him speak. He should have put some one he knows in the back any way.

    Well on positive thinking reinforcement when your not playing. It works I have been doing that since I have been playing our football and American football since I was a kid. Day before a game I would visualize what I would do in that game especially after I went to bed. That worked for me. Nobody taught me to do it I just did it. Hell Maximus even mentioned it to his men before they went into battle against Germania in the Gladiator :).

    I have been coaching since 1970 even when I was still an active player.

    On remembering the bad things from the past. Well I do that I don't remember the good things of the past most of the time. It might be because a lot of bad things happened to me as a kid. Everyone did not live in Disney land I know I didn't. But now years later when I think back on it. It seems more like Disney land now to me crazy right?

    One thing that maybe I could have used in the video. There are certain players who are just not good at headers. No matter how good you taught them to do it. They never did it so I always thought they never really wanted to head the ball. Maybe with positive thinking of them picturing themselves doing when they are not at practice. Then see if they can do it in real games.

    Sometimes it looked like they can't judge the ball.

    What I used to do is working on them just getting their body on the ball with no defenders no keeper. Then just stay with the ball until they can put it in the back of the net.
     
  3. rca2

    rca2 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Looks like an info-mercial to me. Pepperdine is in Florida. You are in Florida. Coincidence? If you are plugging, this thread should be deleted. If you are not related to the speaker and don't have permission to use the clip, then your post of his speech may be illegal.

    Mentality is one of the four pillars. Every coach is always training mentality, whether the coach is aware of what he is teaching or not.

    For Zone 1 and 2, feel good positive thinking platitudes, which is what I assume the clip is about (I stopped watching when the speaker reached the podium), has more to do with coaching methods than with Mentality. This kind of rah rah stuff becomes relevant when you reach the point of preparing athletes for consistency during competitions and dealing with high stress situations. For most of the early development process, you don't want to put the athlete in a high stress situation.
     
  4. nicklaino

    nicklaino Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    On positive reinforcement from the coach. There are some things players don't believe they can do. For them to believe they can do it they have to see that you believe they can do it. The coach really has to believe it because players can tell when you don't.

    Like your so called best players are not there or you are playing short players. You as a coach really have to believe the team can still win the game. You have to make them believe they can still win the game.

    How do you do it? We practice it also we start friendly games playing short players for a half. Then we add players after that. So when it happens in real games they really believe they can still win and so do I.

    ---------------

    On mistakes they know mistakes did not bother me. I want them to make mistakes in practice because that is how they learn. They learn from their mistakes.

    When a team get's behind in a game. They start to get tired. Get behind by more then a goal they start to get real tired. If they lose their exhausted after the game.

    But if they get a head they are less tired. If they get 2 goals a head they are not very tired at all. If they win they feel they can play another game right after that game.

    It is all mental. If they get behind in a game and they really believe they only have to put five passes to gether to get the a goal their still fresh. Even if they get 2 goals behind. They still believe they can win the game. But if they lose you want them to believe they lost because they just ran out of time. So they don't cry when they lose.

    They just want to get on with it and practice for the next match.
     


  5. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    Nov 25, 2005
    Don't get me wrong. I think sports pyschology is important. I just prefer reading a Harry Dorfman book to watching some info-mercial.
     
  6. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I haven't gotten deep into the video but his first point about body physiology and mental state being linked—I've ran across that before.

    James Loehr is a sports psychologist and has worked with top athletes. His book is Toughness Training for sports. He has a concept called Performer Self and that basically when we step into the competition area we are like an actor stepping onstage. You leave behind your real self and step inside your performer self. In real life you may be heart broken, but you put that aside and you visualize yourself to be confident, energized etc.

    The way we carry ourselves feeds into the performer self. We walk tall, confident. Move confidently, etc.
     
  7. nswsoccer

    nswsoccer Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Location:
    FLorida
    My name is Nate Weiss. I am professional soccer player in Germany. no plug was intended. Just simply starting a discussion.
    This is in no way an informercial, it is not my video, and I have not changed or edited the video in ANY way. With that being said I dont see how it's illegal to post a public video on a public forum.
    In my team, a bunch of the guys were using an iPhone app, which deals with visualization. Upon research, I found that the founder of the app is from USA. I thought I would share it here, because maybe it might seem interesting to you all. It is not possible to post content from an iPhone app, so I posted a video with the philosophy here.
     
  8. nicklaino

    nicklaino Member

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    Feb 14, 2012
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    So how has this improved your game? What club do you play for and what division. I am going to be in Berlin and Dresdin during May 7 to the 13. I arrive on the 6th and leave on the 14 mainly to visit my Grandson Henry. But always have time to see a game. Give me your team name and where you play and your schedule and I will catch a game.
     
  9. rca2

    rca2 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    My apologies for suspecting that you were promoting a commercial product. It happens here a lot.

    Sports pyschology for professional athletes is mainstream here in the US and widely recognized as important to consistent performance. The first instance I recall of its systematic use in the US in the sport of soccer was with the women's national team in the 1999 world cup. The coaching staff included a sports pyschologist. MLS wasn't formed until 1996, so the field grew up around other sports: Baseball and golf are sports where consistency is extremely important. Harvey Dorfman was the leading mental skills coach in the US before his death last year. He began working with professional baseball players in 1984 and has written a number of books.

    While sports pyschology is important for all coaches, coaches at the beginning of the player development spectrum are not concerned about match performance. Rather we are more concerned about developing confidence, mental toughness, and a love of sport generally and soccer specifically. Insisting on consistent performance in a developing athlete tends to create a risk-adverse atmosphere, which does not promote player development. This is why I say for youth coaches we apply sports pyschology in how we coach. For instance we may incorporate visualization into our exercises, but we would not have a separate visualization exercise like a professional player would use to prepare for a match.
     
  10. JoseP

    JoseP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2002
    FYI, Pepperdine is in California.
     
  11. La Magica

    La Magica Member+

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    Aug 1, 2011
    Club:
    AS Roma
    I have used visualisation exercises and I do believe it has helped after repeated use. Thinking positive at all times, every thought you think, learning not to dwell on a mistake etc. It has a lot to do with mindset.

    I repeatedly visualised a way of beating an opponent a certain way in the centre for a week, 15 min sessions and that next game I managed it with ease. I think it works and I am going to continue to use it.
     
  12. Eph4Life

    Eph4Life Member

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    Sep 4, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    What ages are we talking about? I can tell you that keeping the kids out of Chik-Fil-A or Pizza Hut an hour before game time is more important than a sports psychologist..;-) at U-10 and under.
     
  13. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    Nov 25, 2005
    Up to and including adult professional teams.
     
  14. Rebaño_Sagrado

    Rebaño_Sagrado Member+

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    Mexico
    I don't know where I found the link but there is a study in Sweden on first division and second division players and none soccer players, all three categories both male and female, where the players all showed higher game intelligence compared to their nonarhlete counterparts, or what the psychologists called executive function. In particular the first division players showed higher executive function than the lower division players.

    The study seems to support Bruyninkx approach to training. I kept thinking about him as I read it.
     
  15. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    Nov 25, 2005
    Executive function included abstract thinking and problem solving. The conclusion that the study supports Bruyninkx is your conclusion, not the studies. They merely safely concluded that the higher function of the elite athletes was probably due to both nature and nurture (environment and genetic). [Note: I didn't read the paper itself, just an abstract]

    My conclusion is that elite players (ones playing at the higher level) are generally those with the best ability in the four pillars, one of which is mentality. It is a chicken and the egg question. I don't think being an elite player made them better players. I think that being better players made them elite players.

    As far as Bruyninkx's approach to training, if by that you are referring to including decision making in your training exercises, then you don't need support for it as it has been generally accepted in the coaching community for over 30 years that I know of. If there is any controversey, it is because coaches have forgotten lessons learned by prior generations.

    I come from a time when soccer was a player's game. Once the whistle blew, coaches were spectators. Now there are a generation of youth coaches trying to micromanage the players. That brainless approach by the way is the "English" approach as opposed to the "Continental" approach to coaching players (in the Dutch view).
     
  16. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    Nov 25, 2005
    By coincidence I happened accross this abstract of a study of rugby players.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22465311

    It found that whether a coach's post match feedback was negative or positive significantly affected hormonal levels (in men of course) which are important to performance later in the week. It is only one study, but some objective evidence of what some of us have concluded subjectively about the benefits of positive reinforcement.
     
  17. Isabel57

    Isabel57 New Member

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    Mar 28, 2012
    [​IMG]One aspect of soccer training which I think is neglected at the moment is mental training.
     
  18. MB433

    MB433 Member

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    Aug 7, 2009
    Club:
    DC United
    www.adeptico.com

    I went to a coaching workshop by this company a few years ago and was very impressed. To be honest I have not had the time to continue learning about it, but I have implemented some of the techniques I learned from them and have noticed results. I am not sure it is quite the same type of "mental coaching" as the OP is referring to, but it's definitely a good approach to emphasize game intelligence.
     
  19. pasoccerfan

    pasoccerfan Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2002
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    Looking for feedback regarding the mental component for young players (u11 travel team). I've just started helping to coach them. We played in a tournament this past weekend, and there was a lot of good and bad. They're an athletic, competitive group, but I was surprised at how fragile they seem to be. When all is going well and they're winning, no problem. As soon as they go down by a goal, however, several of them really seem to fall apart, regardless of how much time is left.

    Many of them get the "fake" injuries and cry to come off; a few of them didn't want to go back on. Most of them have been together for 2-3 years; I assume this has been a problem during that time. Neither the head coach or myself are "screamers", and we're certainly not negative. I don't know if parents are somehow putting the kids under too much pressure, or if it comes from the kids themselves. When they go down, they seem to break down and try to do too much themselves. They don't blame each other, which is positive, but they essentially try to go to 5th gear and stop playing as a team and looking to solve problems.

    I'm not sure where it comes from, and I'd like to try to help the kids turn that part of the game around.

    I've never seen so many young players on one team respond like that. There's always one, but this really surprised me. Any ideas are welcome!

    Thanks!
     
  20. nicklaino

    nicklaino Member

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    Brooklyn, NY
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    Manchester United FC
    There is a lack of confidence in themselves on some of the players on your team. They are not pushing themselves I think you have to put them under some pressure in practice and in games. Next game you play if they just stop playing when there tired, and you think their quitting. Sub them out and don't be in a hurry to put them back in. Tell the sub if your tired walk up and down the field, but don't just stop. If they stop they are telling you they want out so you sub them. Tell that also to the guy you took out later when he asks you why he did not go back in. Do the same if a player says he is hurt if your sure he was not hurt and just wanted out. Next time he will think twice before he asks to be taken out.

    Keep telling them all it takes is to put 4 or 5 passes together to get a shot on goal and draw level. If they believe that they won't quit when they get behind. You have to believe that as well. Work on finishing so you will score more when you put those five passes together.

    Do drills that push them from attack to falling back behind the ball work on the transition game. Then work on the counterattack right after you win the ball. Can't do itby the third pass then play a possession game.

    You want a team full of a winners will to push themselves. Then when you get the lead. Try to make the lead even bigger. It takes time, and it might mean letting go the players who won't push themselves for the players who will.
     
  21. nicklaino

    nicklaino Member

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    Feb 14, 2012
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    Brooklyn, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Players who quit at a drop of a hate is contagious to the rest of the players on the team. Push them not to quit maybe some parents are making it to easy to quit in their lives. It should not be easy to quit.
     
  22. pasoccerfan

    pasoccerfan Member

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    Mar 7, 2002
    Location:
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    Thanks for the feedback! I'll see how this works. The league schedule starts in 2 weeks, and we'll soon find out!
     
  23. ranova

    ranova Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Not having seen them play myself, I have a real problem judging their performance based on beginning-of-the-season tournament play. It doesn't surprise me at all that 10-year-olds fade fast--both mentally and physically--after the first match of a weekend tournament. In August.
     
  24. pasoccerfan

    pasoccerfan Member

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    I agree with you; however the head coach - who was familiar with the team last year - said this isn't a one-time problem. It happened often last year.
     
  25. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I think you start by building a new mindset with these players. While our focus is developing their skill base at U11 make EVERYTHING a competition. EVERYTHING.

    At warm-ups set the tone: who can do the most tic-tocs/foundations in 30 seconds? Who can do the most toe taps? Relay races. 1v1s. SSGs. Tag. Juggling. Always emphasize the competitive element of each game. Keep score and reward and praise winners and punish losers.

    My players hate wearing pinneys/vests so we've started a tradition that winners (in SSGs) don't have to wear pinneys. Kids throw off their pinneys or take 'em off and hand 'em to the other team. It gets really spirited. And kids ask to keep playing so they can win back their pinneys. The history of which is that the pinneys used to not be washed as frequently, hence no one wanted to wear 'em. I think it works great for my group because it arose naturally, it's part of team identity.
     
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