Remaining calm under pressure is one of the most important attributes a top-class footballer can possess.
Players who suffer from nerves or get over-excited before or during games can suffer a significant drop in their performance, potentially costing their team the opportunity to win a match.
There are many factors that can affect performance, but it is possible to use numerous techniques that will allow players to relax and perform to the best of their abilities.
Read on as we look at eight tricks footballers use to stay calm.
Live in the moment
When footballers allow their thoughts to drift back to the past or jump ahead to the future they are inevitably putting themselves under pressure.
Training themselves to live in the current moment during training or games helps players to stay cool and calm in pressure situations.
By concentrating on what is happening right now and the factors in play at a specific moment, footballers can ensure that overthinking unnecessarily does not impact their performance.
Focus on yourself
Footballers often find themselves under intense scrutiny from a variety of areas. These include the media, fans, coaches, teammates, family members and more.
Staying focused on doing your own job well will keep a player calm and confident, but worrying what others are doing is a surefire way to have a negative impact on your own performance.
It is also important to avoid making comparisons with other players. Focus on yourself and what you do well in order to get the most out of your own talents.
CBD oil helps recovery
There is plenty of evidence that some athletes use CBD oil as a means of recovering from intense exercise or their regular training sessions.
The best CBD oil is a powerful and natural alternative to more traditional medications and numerous top sportsmen have switched on to its benefits.
The product helps to relax sore muscles and settles the mind and body, helping to ensure that players can trust that their bodies can handle the stresses of playing at the top level.
Leave personal goals at home
All footballers have personal goals they want to achieve during their careers, but it is crucial not to become consumed by these when playing the game.
For instance, a striker may want to score 25 goals in a season but if this takes over his thinking in key moments it can have a detrimental effect on his team.
Focusing on outcome goals can make a player too nervous to play well and ultimately cost you the chance of actually achieving your aims.
Use distraction techniques
Overthinking is a guaranteed way for a footballer to make themselves nervous. While a player can’t really stop themselves from thinking, there are ways to train your mind to focus on something else.
In the run-up to important games many footballers will keep themselves busy. Spending time with family or friends, listening to music and watching a movie are amongst the ways players can distract themselves.
Avoiding-football related conversations helps players stay calm and composed in the days leading up to important matches, allowing them to perform at their best once the game gets underway.
Concentrate on what you can control
There are numerous aspects in football that players have no direct control over. Any time a player focuses on something beyond their control it can make them nervous and affect their confidence.
Some players make lists of what they can’t control – the officiating, the crowd, coaching decisions, the outcome of the game, other people’s expectations and so on.
By keeping this in a highly visible place they are giving themselves repeated reminders to concentrate only on the aspects of football that they can control.
Get plenty of sleep
Research has shown getting enough sleep is an integral part of maximising the performance of top level athletes.
Many football clubs have ‘sleep pods’ at their training grounds to allow players to have a power nap in between sessions.
Clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester United have even employed sleep coaches to work with players to help them get the maximum benefit from sleep.
Football is fun
Football, even at the top level, is sport and sport is meant to be fun. Extracting enjoyment from any activity is the secret ingredient to staying calm and doing your best when the pressure is on.
If a player gets too serious then nerves can kick in and performances suffer as a result. Playing with a smile on your face shows that you are confident and enjoying what you are doing.
It can also impact on your opponent, making them think that they cannot unsettle you no matter what they try to do to put you off your game.