Soccer Psychology Tips: Why You Should Recognise The Power of Your Words
Do you ever consider how powerful your use of words are?
The 2022 Soccer or Football World Cup in Qatar is beginning very soon, I’m looking forward to it and I’m also very interested in seeing which players thrive under pressure and which players buckle when the going gets tough. Recently, I heard the World in Motion song released by New Order in 2002 and it’s fair to say it gave be a buzz. It’s such a nice, feel good song and very upbeat. Some of the words and lines are powerful. John Barnes’ singing made me chuckle too 😊
Below you’ll note I’ve purposefully capitalised and bolded certain words in GREEN and others in RED from the lyrics of the song.
So why did I BOLD these words. Well words have power. Their meaning and delivery crystallises our perceptions that go on to shape our beliefs, drive our behaviour, and then impact on how we perform on and off the pitch. The power of certain words arises from our emotional responses when we read, speak, or hear them.
So on to the words and what I like about some of these words and why players, coaches, parents and support staff should be very careful in the words that they use both internally to themselves and when communicating with others.
One of the reasons I wrote this article was I’ve watched a lot of sport recently live and some of the comments I’ve noted from well meaning coaches, parents and spectators has really made me question people’s approaches.
The emotional rollercoaster that sport puts people through can have a huge impact on how we behave and often provoke irrational and unhelpful behaviour. Things I’ve witnessed include:
Coaches so focused on winning that by their reactions clearly losing means that their own self worth is dented.
Parents who shame a young child for losing control of their emotions because they worry about how that impacts their own self-image.
Players who are very harsh criticising team-mates for making mistakes yet who don’t seem able to take responsibility for their own failings.
Coaches on the training pitches who tell players “not to do” yet fail to tell them what behaviour they actually want to see.
How we solve this puzzle begins by taking a step back and considering our use of words. Recognising that words are very powerful. Spoken, written, or simply the words we use in our own minds all have potential power. Improving our own self-awareness is critical. I’ll leave you with a task to consider why not simply make a note of some of the words that you say to yourself or to others in a journal for one week. This can be a hugely helpful in improving your use of words.
Oh and you may want to view this video if you want to lifted by the upbeat nature of the song and some of the top class singing on show “World in Motion.”
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Online Soccer Psychologist who supports soccer players in all corners of the globe from San Diego to Abu Dhabi, to Cape Town to Adelaide, using ONLINE Video Conferencing.
Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence, Host of Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcast and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub. With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, faster.
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