Tom Ince: Overcome crippling pre-match nerves

Derby County hotshot on overcoming those crippling pre-match nerves

“If you spend too much time thinking about who is coming to watch you, how many fans are going to be there or who you’re playing against, you can get caught up in the moment.

You worry instead of relaxing and expressing yourself. I used to do this when I started, but now I go into games a lot mellower.

More after the break

The penny dropped for me in the 2012 Championship play-off final. I had the worst dry mouth ever walking out of the tunnel and the first 20 minutes felt like two hours.

It’s important that you block out what’s around you and instead think about what you do with the ball and make sure you work hard for your team-mates.

Confidence and belief in your ability comes through practice and working hard at your craft. If you do that and prepare properly throughout the week, you should go into every game feeling good.”

Tom Ince wears Warrior’s new Gambler Pro SG boot. To learn more, visit

For more football tips see:
Rooney: Big match preparation
Gary Neville: Become a master of mentality
Michael Ballack: Coping with pressure
Demba Ba's big match preparation
Shake off those pre-game nerves
Theo Walcott: Big match preparation

Promo sitewide