How to achieve better mental focus while playing soccer

When sportsmen and women play sport, there’s a lot more going on than the physical aspects of the game or activity. Mental focus is just as important for those seeking to perform at the pinnacle of their ability. Do you have difficulty maintaining your focus for the full 90 minutes of a football match? Here are some ideas that might help:

Recognising the onset of fatigue

You can’t improve mental focus if you don’t know when it is required. If you start to notice that your shots are going wide or you’re feeling a little off your best, then it’s probably time for a break and a reset. You might feel physically strong, but your soccer brain is telling you to take a rest.

Sport science has conducted studies that have revealed that mental fatigue is just as real as physical fatigue in terms of performance. Accuracy of shots and passes decrease, as well as reaction times and the ability to forward plan. This was explained as the result of mental tiredness than any physical issue. Inject some fresh interest into your training to keep players motivated with Soccer Training Drills from

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Take it easy before kick-off

When you need to complete a task over a prolonged period or the activity requires concentration, this can lead to mental tiredness. Therefore, it’s important to keep things like team talks and tactic meetings short and to the point or avoided completely before a game. This can lead to what is known as ‘analysis paralysis’. Keep it simple, short and energetic.


Many people think that to prepare for a big game, you should avoid socialising and create a tranquil environment around you. However, a little bit of escapism can be refreshing. There is no reason not to see friends and family, in fact having that break from training can leave you feeling fresher and more energised. Consider the World Cup, where players were given time and space to see family and have some ‘down’ time away from the pressures of the competition. From a psychological point of view, this is really important.

Half-time pick-me-up

If you’re feeling drained by half-time, don’t overlook the benefits of a bit of caffeine. A quick cuppa or coffee works wonders for supplying an energy boost to the brain and body, enhancing physical and mental performance. If you can’t face a hot drink at half-time, consider getting your caffeine boost from gum, capsules or gels.

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As a country, we’re not great at opening up and talking to each other about our feelings, particularly in a sporting environment. It’s so important to know how your teammates are feeling and coaches should be monitoring the kinds of fatigue levels that their players might be experiencing. Some methods employed to help boost performance and lower fatigue include brain training and allowing players to rest from games of low importance. Meditation also has many benefits and is recognised as working wonders for invigorating and energising the mind.




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