Who’s Mentally Tough?

As I have traveled around the country to coaching education classes, seminars, and clinics I have had the privilege of sitting down and talking “shop” with many coaches of all levels.  As we discuss training and development, I always ask the coaches if they do any mental training with their teams and athletes. More often than not I find that coaches overlook the psychological aspect of the game.

Here at the Fort Collins Soccer Club and for me within the Intermediate League, we teach our coaches to focus on the “Four Pillars of Coaching” which are Technical, Tactical, Psychological, and Physical. We ask that coaches put players in environments on the field where they can improve their skill level within the four pillars, setting up a training session that focuses on the technical and tactical aspect of the game is easy, as well as the fitness level of your athletes, however how do you help to improve the mental ability of your players on the field? How can you help to recreate the pressures of a “real” game at a training session, so that when the stress of a big match comes they can handle it appropriately? In order to truly succeed and continue to move forward I believe being mentally tough is crucial, so how do you teach your players to become psychologically strong?

Below is a link to the US Youth Soccer website where an article of mine on the importance of mental training has been published; I invite you to read it and let me know what your thoughts are on the importance of preparing intellectually for competition.

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/assets/coaches/Importance%20of%20Mental%20Training.pdf

-Jayme “Beamer” Halsey – Assistant Director of Coaching

About FCSC / Arsenal Colorado

The Fort Collins Soccer Club strives to advance and foster the game of soccer among individuals of all ages by promoting sportsmanship, leadership, service, education and opportunity to the community through soccer.
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1 Response to Who’s Mentally Tough?

  1. Damian Clarke says:

    Jayme,
    your ideas on mental toughness are very refresshing, and so good to hear! I really believe in what you have shared in your writting about the topic. Every year since my hiring here at FLC, I have tried to improve the atmosphere of the program through teaching a growth mindset.

    I think in this never ending quest to practice leadership/accountability as well as teach it, we have to keep a healthy dialogue as coaches. I think part of that, you have adressed in a way that really hit home for me, and that is fear of failure issues. I fought them as a player, and I do the same as a coach everyday, being brave enough to fail in full effort is hard! Seems as if many of us as coaches are afraid to admitt our mistakes, and when we allow our egos to get in the way, we fail to grow.

    Our program(FLC Women’s Soccer) has had a lot of failure in the past, and we are just starting to taste a bit of success! Every piece of this journey has been a lesson in practicing the correct mindset, not in tactics!

    Thank’s again for sharing your thoughts!
    FLC WS
    Damian Clarke

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