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Getting your Head in the Game

The power of positive self-talk is immense in moments of self-doubt and has a direct effect on a player's performance in football and life.

"Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen and a push in the right direction." - John Crosby

At TSFA, our players' well-being is of the utmost importance. We believe it crucial to teach youngsters to continuously manage their physical and mental health in order to achieve their goals. Teenagers experience all sorts of pressure to perform academically and within their chosen sport, not to mention the innate peer- and social pressure! At TSFA, we strive to be not only coaches but also mentors, which often results in becoming a shoulder for players to lean on.

"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."- Carl Jung

To avoid a player's mental confidence being affected by turbulence in their lives, a mentor must be intuitive and observant of changes in attitude and performance. TSFA's objective with regards to mental health is simple: to teach the players the necessary coping skills to deal with adversities. Firstly, by encouraging players to identify the feelings and challenges they experience as teenagers often lack insight into their own emotions. Players are then empowered with a safe environment and different coping skills to tackle the various numerous challenges they are bound to face.

"In any given moment, we have two choices: step forward into growth or step backward into safety. - Abraham Maslow

TSFA squad participated in their first group session with Nicole last week learning about the importance of positive self-talk, which can be applied to training as well as competitive games. Once the players understood the skill, how to use it, and why it is important to implement in physical training, they participated in an interactive exercise engaging with both Nicole and other players. A self-talk worksheet helped players to rephrase negative self-talk statements to positive and more productive statements. The worksheet aimed to mentally train players to recognise a negative mindset, stop negative thoughts and then rephrase the thought to be positive, powerful and productive.

"I am the greatest! I said it even before I knew I was." - Muhammad Ali

Mastering and maintaining positive self-talk is hugely beneficial for physical and mental performance in everyday life and can also be used to aid a player's mental game during training, a match or when overcoming challenges in life. Make sure you have your head in the game, not only when you step out onto the field, but in every other aspect of your life as well - mentally healthy, happy and conscious players achieve their goals!


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