• Pato Jerzak

What Is Mental Training? (For Footballers)

In this blog post, we will talk about what mental training is and why it is important, especially for football players.

What Is Mental Training and Why Is It Important?

We have previously mentioned mental training in our previous blog posts such as "4 Healthy Habits of Football" or "5 Soccer Training Drills to Improve at Home During Coronavirus".

But in this post, we will dive deeper into mental training.

What is it?

What is mental training?

Mental training is about identifying limiting thoughts and beliefs, and working on them to reach the peak performance by the athlete. Mental training is about improving mental skills, about improving ones attitude and confidence.

In fact, mental training is the building stone of your performance. You can be great technically, psychically and tactically, but if you lack mental toughness and confidence, those other factors won't matter.

That's why mental training in football is so important. But sadly, it's one of the most neglected and overlooked parts of training out there. Mostly, because coaches don't believe it makes a difference.

Ask yourself. Do you play better when you feel confident or when you don't feel confident?

Obviously when you do feel confident!

Mental training is there for you to make you perform the best every single time!

Why is it important for football players?

Not only athletes can benefit from mental training. In fact, everyone should practice it to improve their mental health.

The reason why it is so beneficial for footballers is that it will help you reach your peak performance as a athlete.

With mental training you can improve:

  • Confidence

  • Managing performance anxiety

  • Preparation for a game

  • Control your emotions

  • Decrease your negative thoughts

  • Maintaining composure

  • Being focused

Mental training can really improve you as a player, and can help your reach all your goals.

How Can I Practice Mental Training?

What is mental training?

Here are a few exercises that we recommend for you to try in order to improve your mental game.


Visualizing is powerful. Why? Because our brain can't tell a difference between reality and imagination.

That means that with right amount of mental training you can set a blue print in in your brain, which means that you can basically train yourself to think, react and feel certain ways.

For example, visualize your perfect performance. How you did the perfect dribble that led to a goal. That amazing through-ball to your teammate.

Visualize how you want to play and it will help you actually play that way.

Tangible Goals

You need to set tangible goals going into a game or practice. Don't set goals that you don't have control over , like winning the game. Set goals such as:

That you will keep your good body language. You will take on players 1v1 in the penalty area, and so on.

This way you will be able to reflect after the game and ask yourself if you accomplished the goals and what to do better next time.


It's very easy to be critical on yourself after a lost game or bad practice.

Try to always find something positive.

For example after every game or practice, always ask yourself: What 3 things did I do well in the game today (or practice), and what 3 things can I work on and improve?

It can be very simple things like: You won the ball back directly after you lost it. You made a pass that led to a corner. You were communicating to your teammates the whole game.

What Is Mental Training? (For Footballers)

We hope this post was helpful and your learned something new today!

If you want more tips on mental training in football, we suggest you check out Progressive Soccer.

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