Soccer is an incredible team game that demands a mix of speed, endurance, and skill. As players rise the ranks, the mental game becomes more and more important.
Those that consistently play with confidence, trust their training, and relentlessly play their game have a significant competitive advantage.
But many players get caught in the fear mindset – afraid to make mistakes. They end up tentative with the ball, overthinking key decisions, and doubting their abilities.
We work with Soccer Players to improve their mental game and consistently show up in an attack mindset. Here are the most common situations we help Soccer Players with:
They make a turnover or giveaway, the coach gets upset, they start to fear mistakes, play too safe, start hesitating or panicking with the ball, and stop having the impact on the game that they can. This often starts to decrease a players playing time or starts happening because they are not getting the playing time they want. In addition, They struggle to decide whether to shoot or pass, to skate the puck or dump it in, to make a hit or play the puck. These lead to less confidence and more indecision.
How We Help
We help them go from a fear mindset to an attack mindset. We give them the tools and perspective to overcome the fear, trust their training, and impose their will on the game. Instead of being caught up in trying to be perfect and impress their coach, scouts or teammates, we help them focus on what they can control, see mistakes as learning opportunities, and start playing with unshakeable self-confidence. Regardless of the current amount of playing time, they now have the tools and the mindset to go out and make the most out of the minutes they get. Which is the best way to earn more playing time. Furthermore, we help them to stop trying to be perfect and over analyzing every decision. Instead, we get them to focus on being aware and doing what they feel is best. They trust their training and follow their instincts.
Defence will often get afraid to get beat and play too far back. Their gaps are off and this actually makes it harder to play good defence. They give up zone entry too easily, the opponents are able to generate more shots, and they are often left with no speed so they get beat more in 1on1 situations.
How We Help
We help them push their comfort zone so they no longer fear getting beat. Instead of sitting back they push the pace, have tighter gaps, and shut down plays earlier. They also develop a more assertive and attack mindset that is fierce and embraces the physical battles. They no longer play passive or timid, but learn how to effectively play with an edge.
Derailed by Goals Against
- The Problem
Many goalies can get unravelled by one ‘weak’ goal against, a series of goals in short amount of time, or too many goals against in a game. By holding on to past results they get into their own head and stop performing at their capabilities. Which results in more mistakes and goals against. Some goalies beat themselves up while others at times blame their teammates (at least in their own head). Regardless, they all suffer from tying their confidence to the results instead of their actually capabilities.
- How We Help
We help them to find the balance of caring about their performance while being able to accept the results, learning from them, and keep moving forward. We help them develop a mindset that lets go of perfection but still holds oneself to ever raising standards of execution. This way they are now able to bounce back after goal against and stay focused on what they can control.
- The Problem
A lot of goalies feel the nerves before the game even starts. They put unrealistic pressures on themselves to be perfect. Many goalies also feel like they need to have a good start to the game to build confidence. Which is clearly problematic cause that means they are not starting the game with confidence and are now less likely to have a good start. Instead of channeling their nerves, their nerves are getting the best of them and they make more unforced errors, dropped balls, and let in too many ‘weak’ goals.
- How We Help
We help them channel their nerves, manage their expectations, and give them the perspective to have calm & confident starts. Nerves are just a form of energy that they need to learn to embrace and channel toward the process. Having high expectations for results is not inherently bad but they need to be able to manage those expectations instead of causing unrealistic goals and unnecessary pressure. The bottom line is the new mental state combined with the fundamental tools and strategies helps them to consistently start games off calm and confident.
At CEP, our purpose is to help you achieve Consistent Elite Performance.
In order to do that, you need to spend more time in the ZONE.
The problem is, like most soccer players, you spend too much time in your own head.
This can be frustrating and discouraging because you have put in all this work to develop your physical abilities, but your mindset is causing you to underperform.
We understand that working on your mindset can be difficult and confusing.
That is why the CEP System has 3 simple steps that have helped 10,000’s of athletes get in the ZONE:
When you join our programs, you will stop spending so much time in your own head and start achieving Consistent Elite Performance.
You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint – and in the same manner you shouldn’t work on your mental game without first knowing what to work on.
The CEP assessment breaks down your mindset into the 7 Mental Skills that you need to develop in order to build a strong foundation and win the mental game.
This breakdown not only helps us determine which mental skills to prioritize in your program, but also ensures we keep you accountable to making progress.
Now that you can see what you will be working on, let us show you HOW you will work on it.
A good blueprint won’t help without the right tools. For example, you may have tried the cookie-cutter advice perpetuated by sport culture like ‘be positive, forget about it, or don’t worry about it.’
But when you build your mental game by patching together all these fluffy quick fixes – it’s like building a house out of straw – it is not sustainable & will fall apart in the face of adversity & pressure.
Instead, you need to build your mental game – like you would a brick house – out of practical & personalized strategies that deliver reliable and repeatable results.
We have 3 sets of tools – you might not need to use all the tools, but you do need to build your personalized mental toolbox based on your blueprint and current needs.
All of our athletes consistently implement these 4 Fundamentals to get in the Zone on game day. The Alter Ego is at the core, and the other 3 strategies create a continuous Prepare-Play-Reflect Process that maximizes your ability to show up as your best self.
Mental Preparation is used before games and practices, the Reset Routine is used during, and the Reflection Process is used after. When you consistently implement these cyclical strategies, it results in an upward spiral in your mindset and performance.
There are also 7 Support Tools that help optimize the 4 Fundamentals. Integrating these tools into your Prepare-Play-Reflect Process will help you overcome your biggest mental blocks.
The key to optimizing your performance identity always comes back to consistently implementing and refining the 4 fundamentals.
This set of tools is key to building the right habits before and after games, as well as away from the arena or field. These habits not only include what to do, but what not to do. For example, frequently checking stats is a common habit athletes need to remove or limit.
These 5 Tools help you manage daily stresses, create effective feedback mechanisms, and build an optimal environment to maximize your mental and physical preparedness for game day.
To support these tools, you also have the option to integrate the most current technologies for elite athletes (e.g., Whoop, Muse, HeartMath).
The final set of tools is the pinnacle of working on your mindset. It helps you be the best leader you can be and positively influence others. These 3 Tools work together to optimize the ‘soft’ skills of leadership.
Most athletes will not start their programs working with these tools, but as they master their performance identity and elite habits, they naturally become better leaders and are primed to tap into these tools.
Implementing steps 1 and 2 can get you results quickly, but if you stop doing the work you will gradually stop getting the benefits.
Similar to how a brick house needs be maintained and modified – the mental game requires constant work and refinement. It never ends.
It is a constant process of self-awareness, self-discovery, and growth.
As time passes you will need to evolve & upgrade your alter ego and reset routine.
You should also constantly tweak and tinker with their personalized scorecard, imagery scripts, and core priorities to match your ever changing landscape.
At CEP Mindset, we like to use our 5 Milestones to make the mental game more tangible and help keep you committed to the constant upkeep and upgrades.
Every season you start from square one and have to put in the work to reach each milestone.
Note that the numbers above are generic and are altered depending on the sport. We use 95% plus in the zone to avoid the trap of perfection.
1-on-1 Coaching Programs for Soccer Players
We work with Youth, Amateur, and Professional Soccer Players
The 1-on-1 coaching sessions are in person, on zoom, or via phone and they are schedule based on your needs and availability. You start with a free 30 minute 1-on-1 intro session, then your coach will recommend which option will be the best fit for you. The first session in your program is generally 1 hour and the remaining sessions are 30 minutes. Here are the options for amateur soccer players:
Try It Out – Risk Free
Start with a free 30 min intro session. Once you choose a program, then we promise that within the first 30-Days you will be satisfied with your program and see results or we will give you a 100% refund. You choose a program that you plan to complete – you are not locked in and can stop at anytime.
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Because of this level of commitment from us, we ONLY select athletes that are highly committed to achieving Consistent Elite Performance into these programs, and once in, athletes are required to meet certain expectations to stay in the program.
Acceleration Days (approximately a 2 hr session) are meant to expedite your journey up the Mindset Mountain. When and how these sessions are used are unique to each athlete and their needs, but generally, they are used for either:
a) Reviewing a recent game performance, where your coach has either watched video prior to the Acceleration Day or has watched you perform live (if possible). In the session, your coach will give you their analysis of your game, particularly in regards to your mindset and body language. This will facilitate important dialogue that will help you achieve optimal performance through better alignment of your mindset and actions.
b) Tackling a meaningful opportunity for growth, such as: develop the fundamentals quickly, help you break through a major mental block, or take a high-level assessment of your overall situation, then narrow down on the greatest opportunities for growth and create a highly detailed plan for development going forward.
The rule of thumb is that our programs are NOT covered under most benefits because Dr. Cassidy Preston & the CEP team of coaches are not clinical therapists and are not licensed to diagnose or treat mental illness. They are coaches and consultants who help athletes strengthen their mindset, get in the ZONE, and achieve Consistent Elite Performance. You can read more about the similarities and differences between a sport psychologist and mental performance coach by clicking here.