It’s true that soccer is all about entertainment and fun. However, soccer games are usually taken very seriously by many soccer player around the world, and this kind of seriousness can lead some player to panic before and during a soccer game
The main reasons behind panicking as a soccer player is the fear of messing up and losing the ball and the game. This is especially true if the game has a large audience.
The bigger the audience of the game, the more pressure some soccer players feel on their shoulders. There are many ways you can counter this fear as a soccer player, and I’ll be talking about them in this article.
If you are a player who panics a lot during a soccer game, then here is a step by step guide that can help you:
1- Make sure that you have the basic soccer skills mastered
The first step in fixing the fear of messing up during a soccer game is to actually have the required skill set in order to lower the chances of mistakes.
The more confident you become with the set of skills that you have, the less likely you are going to panic in the middle of the match when your teammates pass the ball to you.
For example, if you know how to handle the ball pretty well, then there isn’t any reason for you to feel afraid.
So, before you proceed with anything else, the first thing that you should do is to question whether you have mastered the fundamental skills needed in order to reduce your chances of messing up during a game.
Here are some of the things that you should ask yourself if you are a forward or a midfield player:
Are you good at dribbling?
If the answer is no, then you should start working on your dribbling skills as soon as possible.
Having the dribbling skill can make you feel more comfortable when surrounded with your opponent players. If you know how to dribble past your opponent’s defence, then you are less likely to panic when you receive the ball in a tiny space.
Are you good at kicking the ball?
If you think that you can’t kick the ball accurately and with enough force, then you are more likely to panic when you come closer to your opponent’s goal.
So again, you need to work on improving your kicking skills in order to reduce your fear in front of your opponent’s goal.
If you are a defender, the main question that you should ask yourself is whether or not you know how to block your opponent and whether or not you know how to tackle them.
If you think you need more tackling skills, and if you fear tackling in general, then you should start working on changing that or else the panic might keep popping up.
Other skills that you need to check:
So you get the point. Before you look anywhere else, try to look for the gaps in your skill set as a soccer player, and practice as much as you can. Once you close all the gaps in your skill set, you will find yourself more calm during a soccer game.
2- Stay aware of your surrounding during the game
This is by far the biggest advice any soccer player has ever received. Be aware of what’s happening around both when you have the ball and when you don’t have it.
Next time you watch a professional soccer game being played, try to keep your eyes on the players when they don’t have the ball. The main thing that they do is look around all the time to stay aware of everything around them.
But how does this help you get rid of your panic?
Well, it’s simple. As a soccer player, if you do not know what you should do next, then you are more likely to panic. When you run out of options, the fear begins to rise.
However, if you always know your options, and if you always know what to do next even before you receive the ball, then you are less likely to panic because you know exactly what you should do and you know how to do it (because you worked on your skill set as mentioned before).
So in simple words, just keep looking around all the time while in the middle of the match, and always keep calculating your options at every moment.
In every second of the game you should be asking yourself the following question:
If my teammates pass the ball to me at this moment, what should I do with it?
If you have the answer to this question at every moment of the game, then you are very less likely to panic because you’ll always know what to do next.
Note that you don’t have to over complicate things. For example, you can just decide that you will immediately pass the ball to your nearby friend and nothing more. The most important thing is to know your options.
To wrap this section up in a few words, I would say that you should always keep your head up, and look around you.
3- Remind yourself that it is all about entertainment
Sometimes we forget that soccer is all about entertainment and fun. Some soccer players take soccer too seriously to the point that it becomes a burden on their shoulders.
Soccer should always be all about fun. When you play soccer for fun, you are less likely to panic when you receive the ball because you know that the consequences of messing up aren’t really that scary after all.
I have been guilty of this myself. I took a lot of soccer matches too seriously when the main point behind the whole match was to have fun and spend some quality time with my friends.
My fear of messing up melted away whenever I reminded myself that it’s just a game and that there is nothing that I can really lose if I mess up so badly.
4- Stop caring about what other people think
The constant fear of what people think of you as a soccer player will most definitely ruin your fun when you play and might also ruin your performance.
If you care about what the audience thinks of you as a soccer player, then you will always panic when you have the ball no matter how good of a soccer player you are.
Just breathe, and completely forget about the audience while the game is in play.
Also, it’s good to remember that even the best soccer players in the history of the game have messed up many times.
If it makes you feel better, Lionel Messi missed a penalty kick in the Copa America finals, and almost all of the biggest soccer players in the history of the game have made at least one major mistake in their career.
If the best of the best still do stupid mistakes, then it’s alright if you too do mistakes when playing soccer. Keep this in mind whenever you receive the ball during a game, and you will be able to handle your fear much better.
It all comes down to how well you physically and mentally prepare yourself before a soccer game.
If you properly work on your skills, stay aware of your surroundings during the game, and remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes, then you won’t panic at all during your next game.
Whatever you do, just enjoy the game and have fun. Good luck and goodbye.