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How to win those crunch games: Part One

Create a winning mentality with Richard Nugent, talent coach who has worked with players from Liverpool, Newcastle and LA Galaxy.

DO THE SIMPLE THINGS WELL

When players freeze in big games it’s because they have made the task too big in their heads – creating pressure. Instead of focusing on the end goal, just focus on doing your job.

GET IN ‘THE ZONE’

Think about the last time you went into a game feeling really confident. Where did you feel that confidence? What were you saying to yourself? What was your body language and mood? Now try to recreate this state of mind in the dressing room before taking to the field.

REHEARSE FOR SUCCESS

The brain doesn’t differentiate between what is real and what is imagined. If you mentally rehearse well the brain will release the same chemicals into your body, helping you do what needs to be done during the big match.

STICK TO A ROUTINE

Don’t change your routine for a big game. Arriving to the ground earlier than usual or wearing a new pair of football boots will only add to the tension. If you’re feeling the pressure ahead of kick-off, you will be much better served keeping to your usual routine as much as possible.

Also see:
How to win those crunch games: Part Two
How to win those crunch games: Part Three
How to win those crunch games: Part Four
How to win those crunch games: Part Five

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