5 Ways to Develop Mental Toughness in Forwards
If you're going to be a top class No. 9, the target forward leading the charges in the hunt for success, you're going to have to learn to block out the noise, shutdown the haters, and get on with doing what you do best: playing your game and scoring golazos for your team when it really counts.
Here are 5 ideas for helping you develop the mindset and mental toughness to become the game's next great striker:
1. Send an Early Message
On so many different occasions you hear commentators mention that defenders like to send an early message to the forwards they're marking, as they get stuck-in and leave a little something extra in the tackle for forwards to think about.
If you play as a forward, you can send the same type of early messaging back to your opponents.
Go hard into a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge, slide into a tackle and get a little bit of the defender who will be marking you, don't cross the line and be a dirty player, but send a message that those who defend you are in for a long match.
2. If You Miss, Let it Go
Never be afraid to miss, if you don't shoot, you will never find the back of the net, and if you shoot and miss, let it go and move on to the next chance that is bound to come your way.
Embracing a short-term memory as a striker is one of the best things you can do to become a mentally tough forward.
It shows that you're ready to keep fighting for the cause, knowing that you may not have converted the first chance, or even the second, but when the third time comes around you're going to be hitting the back of the net with authority.
3. Block Out The Noise
All players will have their critics, and forwards will face some of the most intense criticism, your conversion rate will be under the microscope, and it's critical that your learn to block out the noise and go to your happy place.
Let it all fade into the background as you are tasked with mentally challenging moments like PK's, free-kicks, or 1v1's with the keeper.
4. Bleed for The Badge
A forward with a strong mental toughness will be willing to bleed for the badge on his or her chest, giving 100% to every run, challenge, or hunt for lost causes, and if you want to be the very best, this characteristic will set you apart from your peers.
Cultivate an unshakable mindset that ensures that all of the other 21 players on the pitch know that your the one player who will never stop working for their team.
5. Play Like a Boss
If you're going to be a top striker, with the mentality to win championships, you've got to strut your stuff and make sure people around you know that you're the king of the pitch, the boss that comes with the amazing finishes, flicks, tricks, and assists that make jaws drop all around the field.
Playing with confidence and swagger is one of the most important components to becoming a mentally strong player, so work hard, build your skills, and play like a boss.