The mental side of the World Cup is a big deal. Sure, skill plays a major role in the success of a team, but if players do not think properly about the task at hand, it could cost their country a victory.
Thinking seems basic, but it isn’t.
All too many of us, all too often, fall into the mindset that all you need to do to win is run faster and kick harder. Yes, we know accuracy matters, too. That’s why we grow our experience base, we get professional training, we network, we work hard—as if the best kicker on the field always scores the most goals.
But that’s not how it works, in soccer or anywhere else. You need to think.
A pass in one direction might put your teammate in trouble, lead to an interception, and next thing you know your goalie is having to make a remarkable save. Or, you could pass in a different direction, towards an open teammate with green space in front of him—a teammate who could make a cross to your striker, who you know can beat his defender.
What was the strategy that led to the decision? What did you think? Did you think?
Thanks for reading, “World Cup Lesson #2: Think”. World Cup Lesson #3 is upcoming. You can find World Cup Lesson #1 Here.
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Image of Fernando Torres was taken by Ytoyoda under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License.