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5 tips to overcome Anxiety

updated on November 31st 2023

5 mins read

I’m gonna tell you a secret right now: You’re not the only one!

All footballers are dealing with anxiety!

Some definitely more than others but deep down we’re all afraid to fail, let down our team & family or simply embarrass ourself in front of other people.

But it doesn’t have to stay like this. All professional players have found ways to deal with anxiety. And here are the best 5 tips how you can do it too!

1) Treat every match like a normal game

Regardless if you’re playing in the park with your friends or in the Champions League final - it’s just football. Two goals, two teams, one ball.

Don’t make it bigger than necessary. Of course be motivated to give your best and win the game, but isn’t that your mindset regardless where you play?

So don’t forget why you’re here! To play the game you love. A game that always works the same, no matter who you play against and how many people are watching!

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2) Simplify the game

An effective method of staying in this mindset is to keep the game simple.

You don’t need to do the extraordinary just because you’re playing an important match right now.

Just play like you did in training and according to what your coach told you.

A good way to do this is by asking yourself: “What are my key tasks in this match?”

And then simply try to fulfil them to the best of your abilities! That’s all you need to do in order to deliver a great performance in any match!

So take a deep breath - you got this!

3) Speak to other people

Mentality is such an important topic. And finally people have realised how much of an effect mental well-being and confidence can have on a player’s abilities.

So if you feel like you’re struggling with anxiety and can’t really get rid of those negative thoughts, then don’t keep that to yourself!

Find people you can trust and speak to them about your emotions and feelings! Weather if that’s another player, a coach, a member of staff - there are many people that can help you see things in a different light and can support you in developing strategies to deal with your anxiety!

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4) Remember: You’re meant to be here!

Always remember: YOU are MEANT to be here!

There are many reasons why you are in this team and (for example) in the “starting eleven” for the upcoming match.

First and foremost that’s because your coach believes in YOU and your abilities. He had other options, but he CHOSE YOU!

And you don’t even need your coach for this! You are where you right now because of your hard work in training, the extra work you’ve been putting in outside of team training and the way you prepared yourself for this match!

5) Build a Pre-Match Routine

And that’s where now the 5th tip on this list comes into play:

One of the best ways to avoid negative thoughts and anxiety is by having a strict pre-match routine!  

This way all you’re focusing on is checking off the items on your (imaginary) check-list. A checklist that will optimally prepare you for the next match.

This starts with your training sessions leading up the game, the way you end your last training session before the match day and continues with your 24 hours before kick off:

  • the time you’re going to bed
  • the time you wake up
  • the food & drinks you’re consuming
  • the music you’re listening to on your way to the match
  • the things you do during warmup
  • and so on …

Whatever works for you to perform to the best of your abilities - build your pre-match routine and see your anxiety disappear!

picture of a football player who got into a D1 college through Train Effective

But becoming better at dealing with anxiety is only the start when it comes to building the mentality of a professional player! Self belief, discipline, motivation, how to deal with setbacks ... there are numerous of topics you need to work on your path to PRO football!

So don't stop now but continue your mentality training on the Train Effective app!

Download the app and start your 7 Day Free Trial today!


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