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Mistakes happen, they’re inevitable.  The important thing is to learn from them.  You want to make sure that they never happen again…or at least decrease the likelihood that they re-surface.  For this blog I would like to demonstrate how a lapse in concentration can lead to a big mistake – a game changing mistake.

The mental aspect of soccer is so crucial to a good performance.  In order to be play well, you must first of all be in top shape, but secondly — and more importantly — you must be mentally prepared.  Concentrating on the task at hand seems like such an easy concept.  For example, if there is a penalty shot, the goalies task is to stop the ball and the shooters task is to score a goal.  Sounds so simple, but there is so much more to it.

Mental strength involves concentrating on the task at hand in its entirety.  A shooter has not scored a goal until the ball completely crosses the line.  A goalie has not stopped a goal until the ball is either in his/her hands or safely away from the net.  I repeat, until he/she is sure the ball is safely away from the net.

Looks silly doesn’t it? No task is complete until you can check it off the list. You can only check a task off the list once you are sure all the factors that need to be fulfilled are checked off. This goalie should have turn his head and made sure to check the ball is out of the net. Similarly, never allow yourself to assume a task is complete on the field. Maintain concentration and mental awareness of everything around you at all times and you will avoid mistakes and become a better player for it.

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