How to increase your competitive edge as a Goalkeeper
These blogs are not just for goalkeepers but also for businesses, teams or individuals who want to change their mental attitude to reach whatever personal goals they want.
The search for PERFECT performance brings lots of stress on an athlete. This type of stress starts with nervousness and it quickly turns into fear of making mistakes which leads directly to a series mistakes during games.
Tips to reach a competitive edge:
- Train like you play.
- Get a training that pushes your limits physically & mentally
- During your personal or team training, work to accomplish more today than yesterday
- FULL commitment and EFFORT during every training is required
- Quality of training vs Quantity; More is not always better.
How can a goalkeeper or athlete overcome fear, nervousness, tension or how can they maintain their concentration during competition to gain consistency? To achieve a competitive edge your physical and mental aspects MUST WORK together and starts in TRAINING (team or individually).
The biggest reason why many amateur goalkeepers or athletes are not reaching consistency and better performances is because their training is not simulating how they will play their games. In fact, some their trainings are not CHALLENGING enough to test them physically or mentally.
As a goalkeeper you can work on your physical aspects by getting stronger, faster, be comfortable with ALL your goalkeeping techniques (catching, diving, accurate distribution etc) and be FIT. Just exercising with no real understanding why you are doing it is not going to help at all. An understanding of modern training systems such as stabilization to power development, neuromuscular control, functional training, speed, agility etc will get an athlete on the correct patch to success . This is why TRAINING is a crucial part to reaching a competitive edge.
On the Mental area: by learning the powerful aspects of mental toughness, being in the zone, learn to deal with distractions, heightened your concentration, living with a mistake, stay away from negative talks, self talk, visualization, how to read the game, re-focus; these are few items needed in the mental aspect that need to be used in combination to the your physical aspects to reach an optimal performance.
Quick points about your competitive edge:
As stated above, a combination of your mental & physical aspects is a POWERFUL source to your competitive edge.
However, Most training today are very generalized. For example, some teams have coaches who get their weekly training from YOUTUBE. Also, many programs and coaches are designing trainings to appear “busy” in front of Parents & those watching on the sidelines, you will see the results of this training during their season games on the weekends. I’m not talking about SCORES & game results, I’m specifically referring to the team or individual mentality and competitive edge.
The goalkeeper/athlete has to be 100% committed to their training. This means, is not just important HOW MUCH you train but the quality of training you are getting from nutrition, health & quality of REST. Furthermore If the athlete is NOT convinced nor is willing to make sacrifices or learn about their physical & mental aspects then they will never find consistency in their game.
For younger goalkeepers, the high level mental & physical aspects is too much to ask. However, parents & coaches can still provide the young goalkeepers a mental & physical support with a sound environment where they learn to LOVE their sport. Give them ALL THE FREEDOM TO MAKE MISTAKES. STOP rescuing them all the time from issues they can solve themselves. If they struggle to make the first team, BE HONEST; if you see they are not as good as the other keepers, there is NOTHING WRONG with being honest…just be honest!!! You can do this approach with ANYONE even to a NON-ATHLETE child.
With young or older goalkeepers, I simply cannot stress enough how important HONESTY & ALLOWING THEM TO STRUGGLE will help them mentally.
Any goalkeeper or athlete that can find some balance between their physical and mental areas, will consistently be able to perform well and become more confident every season, but starts in TRAINING.
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