How should I feel at peak performance?
In short, you should be relaxed yet energized. Your best state for performance is being slightly above your normal level of stimulation. You shouldn’t feel like you just had a double espresso, but you also shouldn’t feel like you just ate a Thanksgiving feast. Don’t mistake the stimulants of energy drinks with your natural own high. You definitely don’t want to be bouncing off the walls and jittery. Think calm, cool, collect with the ability to turn up the heat!
How can I achieve my optimal state?
It takes confidence, focus, control, and enjoyment.
When you are confident, you have positive thoughts of success. You know you are going to succeed. There is expectation. You aren’t scared or nervous. Being a little nervous won’t hurt you, but it shouldn’t be your affecting your psyche negatively. Confidence is within yourself, in your teammates, in your coach, in the gameplan. You trust your preparation and you trust yourself. Your instincts are true and your intuition is on point.
Focus cannot be forced. You have to be it and feel it. It might help if you try hard to be in it, but in the end, it has to be true. You have to be in the now. You are present in the moment with all distractions out of your mind. You could be in a stadium of 100,000 people and you wouldn’t be bothered by it. Having complete focus sends your energy in the right places.
You are in control. What you want to happen does happen. Everything you do is what you want. It almost comes at ease. Every touch, pass, movement is effortless. You don’t want be a robot, but you also don’t want your thoughts or emotions to affect you. It is almost like you are on autopilot.
You cannot perform at your best if you are not enjoying the moment. You can be withdrawn, bored, or uneasy. When you are having fun, you play your best games. You are in the moment enjoying and taking it in.
These four things contribute to your state of peak performance. Next time you play a game or practice check in with yourself and how you are doing in these departments. If one is lacking, how can you elevate that component? What can you do to feel more confident or why do you lack in confidence? Why aren’t you having fun? Why can’t you focus? What makes you feel like you aren’t in control? By dissecting these issues, you can figure out how to be at your state of peak performance.
If you want a resource with more than just footwork in, check out our introductory training system, '2 Weeks to Better Soccer' here:
Until next time, remember this always... CHAMPIONS DO MORE!
Not in any particular order, here are five ways to become a better soccer player!
#1 Improve your SAQ. What’s SAQ? Speed, Agility, & Quickness. These three things are important in most sports, especially in soccer. SAQ is needed to compete athletically with other players, but can also be the determining factor in you being successful in beating players. Imagine you are racing to the back post for the cross to score a header, chasing down someone on a breakaway, or maneuvering through defenders to score; speed, agility, and quickness can help you be successful in these actions.
#2 Be strong and physically fit. The second one is pretty obvious. You have to be able to run for 90 minutes. It’s not just running at one pace either. Start and stop. Sprint, run, jog, and sprint again. Soccer is nonstop and the pace is always changing. Unless you are a goalie, you have to be able to keep up with the running (keepers require a different kind of fitness). As for strength, it is important, to once again, compete athletically with players. You need to be able to hold your own. You need strength going up in the air for a 50/50 ball, or when you are holding off a defender and waiting for the rest of your attack to get involved. You don’t want to be all muscles though. Core strength is key soccer. Instead of bulking up, look to do bodyweight exercises. You still want to be able to be quick and agile; having too much muscle can actually hurt you.
#3 Improve your footwork and practice on your own. We don’t do this enough! It’s great to be physically adept at the game, but technique is key. The only way to better your technique is to practice! Find any way you can to get touches on the ball. Take a ball everywhere with you. Or do like Beast Mode Soccer and juggle a tennis ball! You can take that anywhere with you. If you have a wall, use a wall to hit the ball against the wall.
Take it from the legend, Dennis Bergkamp:
“There, a worn-out brick wall still stands testament to the innate footballing mind, maturity and drive present even in an 8 year old Dennis. He spent countless hours practicing, kicking the ball against it, experimenting with different ways of how to control it, seeing how it bounced and how many times, how that affected how it came back … things that still don’t occur to most professional footballers. It was here that his technique was refined to such precision that he would aim for a corner of a particular brick, each time with different pace, power and spin to see how the ball’s trajectory changed. That wall is the birthplace of Bergkamp’s obsession with control, the importance he gave to that first touch, the challenges he set himself from a very young age in order to come as near that perfection as possible.”
“It’s not thinking. It’s doing … Most of the time I was by myself, just kicking the ball against the wall, seeing how it bounces, how it comes back, just controlling it. I found that so interesting.”- Dennis Bergkamp
#4 Play Fifa. No seriously, play fifa! How can playing fifa improve your game? In playing fifa you have to make decisions for the players. This helps with your tactical game. You also get of sense of what to do in ALL positions. Playing fifa will help you improve your decision making. Also, you will start to learn about the players and the teams. This will help with #5…
#5 Watch soccer!!!! This is so important. Watching the game will take your game to new heights. Watch a player in your position and you will really benefit. You can then know what to do offensively as well as defensively. If you were doing #4 and playing Fifa, you will be able to really get into watching as you will know the players and teams. You can even join a fantasy league picking your own team and players. Getting into soccer in any aspect you can is the true way to become the best soccer player you can be. Beast Mode Soccer completely supports all things soccer. Whether you need to better your touch, better your fitness, or better your brain, we are here to help you achieve your goals. A great place to start is The Soccer Vortex (www.thesoccervortex.com). You will find ways you can work on for your game whether it be technical, tactical, physical, mental, and even information on nutrition.
Go out there and starting working on your game so you can become a better soccer player! #ownyourdevelopment
So rest up, eat clean, roll out, and get ready to rock your preseason!! This is what you have to look forward to:
This past weekend the top youth teams in the nation met in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Over 185,000 players and 10,000 teams competed. Just fourteen teams from U13-U19, boys and girls, were declared National Champions! These champions fought hard. Battling through their perspective State Cups and then wreaking havoc in their regions, they made it to US Youth Soccer Nationals, a series that has been around since 1935 (http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org/nationals/History/).
Welcome to the Beast Mode Soccer Blog!
Here you will find all things soccer. From updates on what we are up to in the BEAST MODE SOCCER house, to tips and tricks to take you to the top, to just good old soccer knowledge, this blog will serve as another resource for you to #OWNYOURDEVELOPMENT! Feel free to comment and share our posts. Cheers!
Beast Mode Soccer founder David Copeland-Smith explains why having high expectations for yourself is SO important. This is an exert taken from a seminar in Vancouver Island, Canada during the Women's World Cup 2015. Check it out below:
Check this video out where I show you one of my favorite drills to teach players the 'kill' touch. The girl in this video is one of our D1 College players and her touch is absolutely out of this world. You can have that as well!
Don't forget to let me know how you got on over in our Facebook Group! You can get direct access to the team and myself, as well as be surrounded by like minded players!
If you missed part 1, just click HERE
Our third technical breakdown is a doozy! This was Zlatan’s first goal for Paris Saint-Germain a few years ago. This is what I would call your ‘typical’ Zlatan finish, cool with the ball at his feet, great use of the body to manipulate the defender with a phenomenal finish. Let’s break the goal down!
Ibrahimovic receives the ball is in his own half. Immediately plays it back to his midfielder (playing the way he was facing) and spins off his defender, and turns into the space. Note that the defender is still with him at this point
Before the player on the right has even touched the ball, Ibrahimovic has seen the massive gap and has already called for the ball. Note that he holds the defender off when starting his explosive run, actually pushing off him to gain an extra yard. This is where his experience and physical dominance comes in!
The ball played to Zlatan was impeccable, rolling in line with the run he had made. Zlatan has beaten his defender in the foot race, glanced up to where the keeper is and looks like he is about to shoot the ball. Look at how his body shapes like he is about to strike, this is one of our FAVORITE 1v1 moves at Beast Mode Soccer and we believe to be the most effective… Why? Defenders will always try to block the shot when coming from the side, and always shield their body when coming straight on (it’s human instinct and literally impossible to stop yourself from doing… Nobody enjoys taking a ball in the face!) Look how realistic the shot looks, would you fall for it? I would!
As the defender comes to shoulder level with Ibrahimovic whips a Cruyff turn (another move that makes an appearance in our footwork series). This wrong foots the defender, who to be fair recovers well. Look how controlled Ibrahimovic looks, he knows that the ball will do exactly what he wants!
The defender did really well at this stage. He recovered from the Fake shot cruyff and now look how close he is to the ball. Ibra keeps the ball moving though and puts a quick left foot lunge step, then quickly pushes the ball across his body with his right foot (we call this the ‘scoop bell’), immediately shaping up for his left footed shot.
He allows the ball to roll just enough across his body, then gears up to strike. Again, the defender doesn’t actually do that poorly, he hasn’t gone to ground, but it is probably in the back of his head that inside the box, Ibra is the master of the fake shot. As Ibra shoots, he tries to block the shot but it’s too late, the ball is in the back of the net.
Great footwork from Ibrahimovic- A fake shot into a Cruyff into a left footed lunge into a right foot tap into a left footed shot.
Check this finishing drill out that I do with USWNT star Alex Morgan. You can add that fake shot into any of the elements. Join our Facebook Group and tell me where Alex does the fake shot!