Nicklas Bendtner: Mental toughness

Shrug off criticism with advice from VfL Wolfsburg's Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner

“I’m a semi-pro player and have been getting criticism in the local press and online. It’s really knocked my confidence. How should I react?”
Ronan Judge, via Twitter

Nicklas Bendtner
“If I receive criticism from the press, I don’t listen. I don’t have much respect for people who talk about things they’ve never been involved in. If a good sports journalist has an opinion, sure you can listen, but the most important thing is the opinion of your team-mates and coach.

More after the break

We all know when we’ve played a bad game, we don’t need a paper to tell us that. There are matches when the coach asks you to do a certain job and the media don’t understand what that is. We could win 3-0 without me looking like I’ve played a big part in the game. It comes down to the role you’ve been specifically asked to play.

Before a game I just listen to my music and think about whatever we have agreed to do tactically.

Just laugh it off if an opponent attempts to put you off your game with trash talk. If they keep it up and there’s a situation where you can take him out, take him out.

If you start talking sh*t to me and I dribble past you and score, then you’re going to look like an idiot.

But if you don’t say anything at all, a nutmeg or whatever won’t hurt anywhere near as much.”

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