THE OPTIMISTIC FOOTBALLER

What is Optimism?

 Optimism is a mental attitude characterised by hope and confidence in success and a positive future. Optimists tend to view hardships as learning experiences or temporary setbacks. Even the most miserable day holds the promise for them that “tomorrow will probably be better.”

What drives optimism?

Optimists are likely to see the causes of failure or negative experiences as temporary rather than permanent, specific rather than global, and external rather than internal. Such a perspective enables optimists to more easily see the possibility of change.

 Footballers who have an optimistic explanatory style are more likely to believe they will succeed in the future. There have been various studies that show the benefits of being optimistic such as: Better performance and less variability. 

Optimism is a Game Changer

Coaches want players who are resilient, gritty, and relentless. Optimism is a driver of those characteristics. Winston Churchill put it this way, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Ways to Cultivate Optimism in a Footballer.

 Ask Optimistic Questions

The questions you ask send a message to your son/daughter about what is most important. For example, if you ask them about how their team won tells them that winning is all that matters.

Ask, “What went well?” rather than “How did it go?” Focus on the positives first. Then you can talk with them about strategies to improve their game.

Promote Controllability

A large part of optimism is focusing on what is controllable. This is especially true when things don’t go a Footballers way.

If your son/daughter didn’t perform well, or their team didn’t win, help them focus on what they can do about it. What can they work on in practice? How could they focus better or put in more effort?

Focus the conversation on what your footballer can do differently next time. If they performed well, ask how they can play well again.

Lead By Example

Your son/daughter will model your view of the world. Model a ‘Glass Half Full’ attitude of always thinking about the good things in a situation rather than the bad ones. Your son/daughter will model what you do more so than what you say. So it is important that you demonstrate an optimistic view of the world.

YouTube: 5:39 Minutes: Sports Psychology Tips:

How to Practice Positive Self-Talk as an Athlete: Mental Game Tip

Key Messages:

  • Self -Talk directly affects how you feel.
  • Positive Self-Talk improves your confidence.

Don’t hesitate to contact me wellness@goldcoastunitedfc.com.au or 0438184994 for a chat or to arrange to meet at the club wellness centre on a training night.