5 Reasons Why Mistakes Will Make You a Better Soccer Player
It might sound counterintuitive, but making mistakes on the soccer field can make you a better player.
Mistakes or misjudgments provide the ultimate learning opportunity to understand what options could have been taken and how to correct and improve the next time you are in a similar situation.
Mistakes Happen At Every Level
Even the best players in the world make mistakes, they lose the ball in the wrong place, take a bad touch, switch off for a moment, or fire in the dreaded own goal.
Don't beat yourself up over taking the wrong option, learn from it, grow as a player, and the next time you find yourself in a similar situation make the right decision.
Identify What Went Wrong
In the moment a mistake happens, or immediately after, it's hard to accept a blunder, or even remotely imagine how it might have a positive end product.
When the initial emotions have subsided, ask yourself what you could have done differently, what was your mindset when the mistake happened, were you physically drained, mentally distracted by someone watching the game, or another player?
Recognizing what the causality of the mistake was is the first step to turning it around in your favor.
Once you've examined a case study of the mistake, create a plan to counteract it ever happening again. Create some self-defenses against falling into the same scenario again.
Did you run out of gas physically? Maybe it's time to face-up to the fact that you need to get fitter. Or perhaps a holistic approach is needed if crowd noise gets to you, what can you do to get centered? Consider closing your eyes during a restart and taking a few deep breaths to refocus your energies and mental capacities.
Did you commit several foul throw-ins? Go outside in your backyard or local park and practice the proper technique. Was your first touch too heavy? Work on your ball mastery to gain a higher comfort level with the ball.
Ask for Help and Advice
Asking for help from a coach, peer, or parent is a good thing and shows that you want to learn and correct your mistakes. As much as you think you might know it all, your knowledge or ideas might be minuscule compared to someone who has been around the game for a lifetime.
Ask specific questions about the mistake that occurred and seek out specific resolutions to avoid it in the future. One you've come up on the resolution, you'll be able to engage in focused practice and make sure it doesn't happen again.
Don't Fear Mistakes
Mistakes happen in all sports at every level. Great athletes don't fear missing a shot, trying something audacious, or coming up with a new idea or approach that might seem outlandish at first.
A lot of the greatest techniques and inventions in the history of sport, and in science for that matter, that are now accepted as the gold standard, were derived from people making mistakes.
Mistakes are natural so never fear them. Digest what went wrong, practice hard and long to fix it, and you'll become a stronger soccer player and person.