Coach Equipment

Train with your head

No one can do more than they dare!

Author: Jörg Jakobs - Futsaltraining.com

Train with your head
© vishnukumar-Fotolia.com

You can teach yourself soccer-playing technique.

It begins in your head, not in your feet.

This should be complemented by hard work, tireless practice and constant repetition – in your head as well as in your feet.

Decent technicians with little talent are often the most successful soccer players!

The difference is in their mental strength!

Use your head, your senses, your feelings, and your body language to be mentally strong!

Think about the way you see yourself. Close your eyes and imagine you are standing in front of yourself – live and in color, like in the movies.

What kind of a guy is standing in front of you? Someone who constantly blows it? A coward? A wuss? Someone who always puts his foot in it? Or a real trickster?

Of course, you don’t have to tell anyone the answer, but be honest with yourself. If you can’t say with a clear conscience “that’s a proper dribble-ace in front of me”, then it’s time to bring your mind into the game.

Your head constantly shows you mental images. When you’re asleep, you see them as dreams. These dream clips are mostly strange and confusing. And as soon as you wake up, they’re gone.

Even when you’re awake, your mind produces pictures. Even if you don’t notice. They are there and have an effect on how you feel. If your mind plays images of you as a dribble ace, then it will be easier for you to become one, because then you’ll know how to act.


In your mental movie theater, you’re the script-writer, director and actor. Close your eyes and create scenes where you are celebrating with your friends. Your mental images will help you in every situation: be it before tests in school or during the next penalty shot. Whenever you want to switch on your mental movie theater, you should be undisturbed for a little while and able to switch off. A good time for this is the time before you go to sleep and in the mornings before you get out of bed.

During practice and games, you should observe the following:

  • Listen to your coach and other players
  • Cheer for your teammates and yourself
  • Ask questions and talk about your feelings
  • Always think positive thoughts
  • Set big goals for yourself
  • Practice as often as you can
  • Be aware of your body language
  • Work on your technique
  • Train your mind
  • And the most important thing: play with your heart

Use the following secret tips regularly:


Psst . . . – Secret tip 1:

The “I’m a dribble-king” wall

Use a wall in your bedroom: full it with great pictures of you and your team, quotes, your strengths, certificates, your wishes, dreams and goals. Hang pictures of your heroes up on it. Do you have other things that evoke nice memories? Hang them up too.

Have fun!


Pssst . . . – Secret tip 2:

Dream of success – your mental movie theater

Imagine anything you want to achieve in soccer. Be your own coach and use your brain as a mental practice field.

This is how it works:

Find a place where you won’t be disturbed, close your eyes and dream of a place where you feel content. Breathe calmly and relax your muscles. Remember your successes and concentrate your senses on your strengths and abilities. What positives feelings did you have? What did you hear, see, feel, smell and taste?

Formulate all of that in one sentence, such as: “Today I am unbeatable!”

Imagine doing everything correctly. Your experiences of success are memories that you can keep thinking about. Like an exciting movie.


Pssst . . . – Secret tip 3:

Dream of technique – your mental practice field

Just as a racing-car driver learns the racetrack by heart, you should practice new techniques and tricks in your head. Or, for example, to learn how to head the ball, imagine the whole process, step by step. Imagine exactly and intensely how you would head the ball. And finally, imagine a few set-ups and goals scored by heading the ball, then imagine you and your friends celebrating the goal.

Connect your imagination with sentences you can remember:

  • I get into position and jump at the right time
  • I keep my eye on the ball
  • I tighten my neck muscles
  • I hit the ball with my forehead
  • I keep my balance with my arms

Psssst . . . – Secret tip 4:

Think positive!

Always think positive. Even if something makes you sad or angry, or you feel doubtful. Always ask yourself: what is good about this situation, or: what opportunity does this present? Find what opportunities open up to you with every given situation.


Psssst . . . – Secret tip 5:

I’ll do my best!

Good feelings are important for athletic achievements. If you want to play soccer successfully, you should always be able to gain strength from your feelings in every situation. That works best when you, amplified by your body language, keep telling yourself these things:

  • I’m doing my best
  • I am confident and optimistic!
  • I’m playful and competitive!
  • I enjoy playing!
  • I’m full of positive feelings!
  • I’m calm and relaxed!
  • I’m awake and concentrating!
  • I’m enthusiastic about the game and playing with all of my strength!
  • * I know my strengths! * I’m always intuitive and at the right place at the right time! * I can score with skill!

You can record these sentences on an mp-3 player and keep listening to them when you’re on the bus, on long car journeys, or on the way to an away game.


Pssst . . . – Secret tip 6:

Show your strong side!

You are confident, walk upright with a spring in your step, your shoulders back and your head held high; your arms and hands are relaxed. You feel strong and fit when you have the ball. Standing straight improves your mood. Use your body language to show your opponent that you will not be intimidated. Stick your chest out. Show them that you are a player who is confident of winning.


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