Paper Example on Psych Skills Training: As Important as Physical Training

Paper Type:  Term paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1771 Words
Date:  2023-01-28


Psychological skills training (PST) alludes to the uniform and consistent application of psychological skills to improve satisfaction, increase performance, or to accomplish better sports and physical activity (Birrer & Morgan, 2010). As a result, Psychological Skill Training ought to be goaloriented, systematic, arranged, assessed, and controlled.

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Psychological skill training is as significant as physical training comprising of programs intended to train a variety of psychological skills at the same time using different techniques. Despite the existence of various programs, they, for the most part, have a similar essential centered goal, which is to give comprehensive training (Birrer & Morgan, 2010). This paper is an extensive review of Psychological Skill Training in soccer, with a focus on Megan Rapinoe, an American professional soccer player of the U.S.A Women's national team. She also the captain of Reign FC in the United States National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), primarily playing as a winger. In her career, she has played a significant role in helping the U.S.A win the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015and the just concluded 2019 tournaments.

Psychological Skills for Soccer

People are born with a set measure of mental toughness, yet this mental toughness is also a skill that could be taught and learned by individuals to 'toughened-up.' Mental toughness is a psychological characteristic of sports that should be maintained, improved, and developed to be impactful. Maintenance and development of mental toughness is a long term process impacted by various systems and characteristics comprising of a variety of valuable psychological methods that decrease adverse cognitive and somatic effects (Thelwell, Greenlees & Weston, 2006). Mental toughness empowers athletes to perform well regardless of the situational factor continuously.

The suggested training programs usually are general. To progressively boost the sports performance result, it is critical to realize what standards athletes need to attain to pick the most favorable and bestadapted intercession. Psychological standards of soccer demand the following psychological skills:


In sports, Self-confidence is an outstanding component that may improve or enhance an athletes' skill execution. It is a component of psychology that coaches and athletes consider as pertinent for ideal performance. Since footballers are continually assessing their performance, it is simple for them to have low confidence in their ability to perform soccer skills, for example, shooting of a penalty. A person's judgment on their capacity to effectively present specific skills is named self-efficiency. Self-efficiency is a person's trust in their ability to prevail within certain circumstances (Thelwell, Greenlees & Weston, 2006). An athlete's feeling of self-efficiency can assume a significant role in the way they face difficulties, objectives, and tasks.

Self-talk helps with self-confidence and focus. Soccer specific instances of self-talk may include: "please concentrate, you can make it, you have made this shot previously" to inspire confidence and certainty. Thoughts lead up to feel so if an athlete has miserable thoughts; then they feel sad. Self-talk is the considerations people have in reaction to a specific circumstance. If the athlete reveals to themselves that they can succeed, at that point, they have a much higher possibility of achieving. Therefore an athlete's self-confidence and efficiency depend on four primary sources of data. These are past performance achievements, the imagined performance of others, emotional arousal, and verbal persuasion. Past execution achievements bring certainty through accomplishments made in sports events or objectives came to during training; however, they can make the athlete's expectations good or bad. Vicarious performance enables the athletes to envision the actions that they ought to perform through a model player; generally taken from a performer in a similar competition or of a former successful athlete. Also, Verbal persuasion can be offered to the athlete by the fans, coach, or guardian; giving the competitor a feeling of confidence to perform well. Emotional arousal is that point where the competitor is in the correct state of mind to accomplish. If the arousal level is excessively elevated or excessively low, at that point, the athlete performance will be negatively affected.

Anxiety and Arousal Level

Anxiety is a natural reaction within the body that reacts to threats in the surrounding environment, making part of the process of preparing for the 'fight or flight' reaction. Anxiety refers to confronting an uncertainty, existential threat. Sports performance anxiety comes about when there is an excessive amount of perceived stress, explicitly when this perception is made and formed by a person's emotions and thoughts. How athletes consider a competition or an event is the start point of the stress but not the game itself. An approach to start to handle performance anxiety is to attempt to comprehend what these feelings of fear about the competition are. At the point when the needs of the training or competition surpass an athlete's ability, anxiety is unavoidable (Lerner, Ostrow, Yura & Etzel, 1996). Apart from giving challenges and incentives, the sport also provides uncertainty. Even though this sort of stress may motivate a few competitors, it can enhance anxiety in other athletes. There are definite factors that can increase athletes' anxiety. For instance, very prominent competitions evoke more stress; hence, they are most likely to develop anxiety. Sports fans also have an immense influence on how the athlete feels. Another factor that causes performance anxiety is the athlete's desire to succeed. Since supporters anticipate that the player should win the competition at hand, athletes are exposed to significantly more stress to fulfill these expectations.

Another recognizable factor is that the degree of mental arousal impacts an athlete's performance. At the point when arousal levels elevate, it can prompt a rise in poor decision making, muscle tension, decreased focus levels, and alteration in co-ordination. Distinguishing and controlling arousal level is critical to boosting athletic achievement. Skills useful in controlling arousal levels include frequent muscular relaxation, visualization, and positive self-talk. Furthermore, in addition to utilizing these abilities to regulate arousal levels, these psychological skills have various advantages to confidence and concentration.


Decreased confidence will eventually affect an athlete's motivation levels, their preparedness to take risks and capacity to improve. Two forms of motivation enable competitors to accomplish specific objectives or tasks. The primary type is extrinsic motivation, whereby in sports it originates from external influence or individuals. People are extrinsically motivated to win prizes, financial benefits, or social acknowledgment. The second form is the opposite of the first, intrinsic motivation, and it is a person's internal self-drive to achieve an objective or goal. Intrinsically motivated individuals emphasize on undertakings for their wellbeing. They usually have a sense of self-determination and see themselves able to satisfy the needs of a specific task. Athletes who take part in sports for essential purposes experience a less negative and more positive result; they are more determined and express more level of sportsmanship. Defining objectives in competition and training is an effective method to improve motivation. When using goal setting, athletes should make them precise and quantifiable. Distinguish the areas that they should work on to accomplish the set objectives as well as making them sensible. Athletes should record the advancement that they make towards goals and also set a time frame on targets to assess improvement. Soccer players can set short term objectives and long term objectives (Thelwell, Greenlees & Weston, 2006).

The long term objectives mainly focus on a definitive result, for example, winning a competition. Short term goals, on the other hand, are the stepping stones to accomplishing the long term objectives. They also enable contemplation on contemporary performance and may help in evaluating the suitability of the long term set goals.


Focus is essential to concentrate by figuring out how to focus on the right things at the right moment. Concentration refers to as the capacity to maintain focus for a required period, and utilize the suitable mental effort so as not to concentrate on any interruptions. By focusing their thinking on the challenge, athletes can plan on how they will play and enable them to examine the potential circumstances that can emerge. The highly skilled players lay down clear objectives, and they usually are more organized in setting training sessions or competition strategies, in self-assessment also, after each game. They also are successful in maintaining focus over a longer timeframe bringing about more concentration levels. On the soccer field, distractions come in different forms. The external focus may be affected by; sports equipment, the target, the breeze, and an opponent's score. Interior focus can be diverted by; an athlete's feeling, where they need the ball to be, how hard they need to hit the ball. These are only a portion of the diversions engaged with during a soccer match.

After adapting these Psychological skills, the test is to execute them in a game. A mental routine before a competition, created among the athlete and coach, enables the athlete to get their mind in the best state to perform well. Anxiety, concentration, motivation, and self-confidence are significant factors in effective sports performance.

Psychological Skills Training Methods

Psychological skills are gained and improved through the use of training techniques. Likewise, with psychological skills training techniques may be isolated into classes: Specific PST methods and foundation methods.

Foundation methods are self-examination of a player's present PST training level based on particular Psychological Skills Training methods that will be valuable to them in building up the intended psychological skills that they lack or lowly poses; and also the attested physical routine with regards to those methods.

PST methods incorporate relaxation, goal setting, mental readiness, mental imagery, self-talk, and mental rehearsal. Every method empowers the athlete to aim at developing and improving various psychological skill. For them to work on maintaining their strengths, for example, concentration, commitment, and motivation as they develop the areas they are weak.

Goal Setting

Goal setting is characterized as "that what a person is attempting to achieve; it's an aim or point of a specific activity" (Lerner, Ostrow, Yura & Etzel, 1996). The athlete has specific short term and long term objectives for their sports performance. However, they do not possess a program set for the goal, that is, stages in the short term or long term objectives inclination, to help the athlete in attaining them.

Additionally, they either picture or speak of their desired goals, by themselves or with their coaches/mentors, rather than keeping them written down. Keeping note of their goals can assist the athlete in setting up a goal process. Achieving this process increases self-assurance, by goal accomplishment, indicating improved psychological and physical skill performance and mastery.


Self-talk is an internal conversation, which we do whatever point we converse with ourselves. It has subjective and persuasive functions. The persuasive/ motivational role focus on various things, a...

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