As with any sport, keeping it cool on the soccer pitch is key to success. Soccer gets exceptionally fast-paced, however, which means stress doesn’t have time to dissolve. A soccer player with too high expectations can also be one to quickly lose control or easily frustrated when something doesn’t go their way. At FC Highland, we want players to become exceptional on and off the field. That’s why we emphasize developing character alongside skills. We never want anyone to lose their love of the sport. Here are a few ways players can stay focused and loose during a soccer game.
First, take a breath.
Quick actions can lead to sparks of frustration. That’s okay! It’s natural to find that players are so passionate about sports they love! But the first thing they should learn how to do is to breathe when something doesn’t go their way. Taking a moment can prevent anything escalating on the field.
Let go of thinking you’ll play a “perfect” game.
Generally, perfectionism can cause a lot of people to lose composure. But when it comes to the fast pace of soccer, perfectionism can add on to stress for both players and parents. When players worry they won’t perform perfectly, their stress starts as soon as they step on the field for a game.
Look for learning opportunities.
Whether you win or lose on the field, you’ll always learn something you need to improve upon. No player is perfect (not even the pros)! If there was a mistake a child made, they can focus on incorporating more drills to improve on the issue. Our FC Highland coaches do a great job of identifying learning opportunities for all players and the team as a whole. The best time to focus on those individual learning moments is also after the game. Dwelling on errors during the game can compound stress and frustration.
Remember to smile.
Soccer is supposed to be fun! Smiling is one of the fastest ways to release endorphins to the body, while also decreasing stress hormones like cortisol. If stress happens on the field, players can give a smile. It can literally change their mood in a millisecond if they need it.
At FC Highland, we want our players to have fun on and off the field as a team. Respect for coaches and other players is crucial to the success of our program. Our coaches go above and beyond when teaching kids the skills to succeed — and the attitude that can help get them there.