February Wrap-Up: The Mental Side of the Game

Soccer player throw in
Confidence is just one of the mental skills young athletes require.

As I write this, the Gulliver boys’ varsity team are basking in the glow of having won the FHSAA State Championship title last week. To say I’m proud of their accomplishment would be an understatement. The grit and determination these young men demonstrated throughout a challenging high school season – as well as their willingness to trust me when I placed them in uncomfortable situations and asked them to dig deep and give more – were extraordinary to witness. As exciting as the State Cup win has been, I also know that the mental toughness and passion the boys acquired during the season will propel them to many future successes.

The next time you’re watching a youth soccer game, see if you can spot the signs of a confident athlete. This guide will help you identify some of the intangible qualities these athletes possess.

For the overachievers among us, here are some ideas for keeping things balanced.

Parents of young athletes may benefit from this advice for helping kids reduce stress.

And if you’ve ever experienced pre-game jitters, these three quick tips can help you stay calm under pressure. As you know, mastering both the mental and physical aspects of the game is critical to success at every level.

Middle school or high school players wishing to experience what it’s like to train at a college level are welcome to join my weekly training academy in Charlotte, which will take place on Fridays starting March 6th. Session dates and registration details can be found here.

Finally, if you’re a soccer mom with ambitious personal or career-related goals, working with a mental performance coach can help fast-track your results. Our partner, Ignite Confidence Coaching, offers professional coaching via webcam and is a valuable resource for any woman pursuing career, relationship, parenting or well-being goals.

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Chris Bart-Williams is the founder and owner of CBW Soccer Elite. After an extensive career in the English Premier League, Chris now uses his vast soccer knowledge to assist families throughout the college recruiting process and prepare players for the mental and physical challenges of collegiate soccer. You can reach him at