How to Deal With Being Benched

Guess what... being benched happens! Even to pros like Jess McDonald who is the all-time leading goal scorer in the NWSL. 

Being benched is never fun, but it is in these uncomfortable times where we learn the most and can grow the most. Real mental toughness is easy when things are going your way, but the best athletes have learned to be consistent in the controllables regardless of the circumstances. 

Learn from Jess, who has experienced it all, on how to deal with being benched.

How To Get Out Of A Slump!

Guess what! Even the pros go into slumps. Those times where you feel like nothing is going your way, your frustrated, and know you are not playing your best. Why does it happen, I am not sure. But I do know that our team has masterminded the best techniques to make the innevitable "slump" a short one. Take a look! 

Soccer Confidence with James Riley

Being a confident player has a lot more to do with your mental approach to the game rather than if you are playing good or bad at the moment! The best and most consistent players, like James Riley, understand that confidence is a tricky subject, but an important one as you progress through your career.

Have a listen to what James has to say about confidence.

Was Leicester's EPL Championship a Fluke?

If you follow soccer, you probably heard and saw what most analysts called a miracle last year: Leicester's EPL Championship. If you don't know the story, the team started the season started with expectations of doom and despair as "experts" gave them a 5000 to 1 chance of winning the cup. The same odds as Lady Gaga becoming president of the United States. Since it is March, we all know and love a good cinderella story, but none better than this. The team gave up possession and committed itself to counter attacking. Although their style wasn't what you think of when someone says EPL CHAMPIONS, it rendered results, week after week. Sure enough, they won. 

NBC did an amazing story: Check it out if you want affirmation that you can achieve anything.

As a new season came around, expectations changed. They were now the champions. They spent more money,  got new players, and on paper were a better team. 

So as I look at the standings today, Leicester is back where it has settled for so long.... at the bottom of the table in the EPL. It may make the run they had last year even more special but as a student of the sport, I have to ask myself... was it a fluke? 

In short...NO.

As an underdog my entire life, from backyard pickup games against my older brother to being a walk-on at Butler University, I know the advantages of being on the bottom of the totem pole, the thrill of walking on a pitch when no one knows who you are and they take you lightly and the joy of winning against all odds. For me, I am an underdog and wouldn't want it any other way. I say this because I know that being an underdog is the fastest way to be a top dog. As I write this now, my energy level boomed and my focus sharpened. I love defying the odds.

Leicester too had these advantages. Low expectations. A challenge so great that a new level of motivation is ignited. A self-belief that only those like Jamie Vardy, who started in the 8th tier of English football, can know. A factory worker leading the EPL in goals... he knows something about the advantages of being an underdog and rode it all the way to the top. 

Living in that mindset is powerful and sustainable, but the interesting thing about this story is that as the new season is in route, we have seen the powerhouse clubs rise back to the top and Leicester fall back to the bottom. They now expect to play a style that is representative of EPL champions, they now have a target on their back, and their "magic" has seemed to dissipate. 

BUT this only reaffirms my belief in the power of an underdog mentality. To even nail this point further, Leicester's disappointing season in the EPL has been starkly countered by the exciting thrill of their Champions league run! If you haven't noticed, the same team that is 16th in the standings is pulling off "miraculous" run in Champions League. WHY? No one expects them to win. They have been written off. They are back in familiar territory of being an UNDERDOG as they go into the quarterfinals where their name is amongst clubs like Barcelona and FC Bayern München.

We will see what happens but... hey maybe embarcing the underdog mentality is the fastest way to being a top dog. 

 

 

 

10 Mental Training Techniques to Boost Performance

We all have those days, where we lack the motivation to get the most out of training. As a professional, each day I don't show up and perform at a very high level, the repercussions can be huge! ie losing a starting position, losing confidence, and even losing your contract. If I have learned anything to be true about pro soccer, it is that nothing is certain and you are always replaceable! 

Here 10 performance skills you can implement to be your best every day! But first, GET UP AND SHOW UP! 

  1. Goal Setting
  2. Accountability
  3. Competition
  4. Attitude of gratitude
  5. Body Language
  6. Self-talk
  7. Confidence
  8. vicarious Experience
  9. Intentional Ques: breathing and moving forward
  10. Thought Stopping!

Here is a video of Luke going up the incline...which is the ultimate test of mental strength! 1 Mile... straight up! 

Let us know what you think! 

 

Jordan

A Letter To My Younger Self: Stephen Keel

I recently was prompted to reflect on 10 things that I know to be true now, that I did not know 5 years ago. First of all, this is a great exercise that I would encourage all of our audience to do. Additionally, it got me thinking and I wondered,

What would be different in my soccer career if I knew everything I know now, when I was a youngster?

In short... A LOT! Gosh almighty, 4 years of high school soccer, 4 years of college, and 4 years as a pro, it would be CRAZY if I hadn't learned a ton. Since it doesn't do much help to reflect on where I COULD be, I got excited about the knowledge we can pass on to the next generation.

Think about this (ready for some math?). We have 39 mentors contributing to our content and our curriculum. Let's say on average, our mentors have 5 years of experience as professionals (which is probably a very conservative estimate). That is 195 YEARS of experience to pass on as professionals. It gets better! All of our mentors went to college... that is another 4 years of experiential learning which equals 156 years of growth! Another 156 years if we count high school. WOWZA! 

OVER 500 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE FROM OUR MENTORS

Combine that with oversight from Dr. Lee Hancock who has devoted his life to sports psychology and building into athletes... I KNOW we are curating some invaluable knowledge for the younger generation of players. As a pro, I have been very deliberate on learning from seasoned pros and picking their brain about 100's of different scenarios. Because of this, I am playing today. 

My encouragement to you is to take advantage of those around you who have been there. If we get to be apart of your journey, all the better because seeing growth in our clients is what makes us tick. It is why we do what we do. 

With that, here is just one of our mentor's "Letter To His Younger Self." Hope you enjoy! 

 

How To Live an Amazing Story: Rony Argueta's Path to Pro

Greatness is for the few that choose.... no matter what the circumstances are! You are writing the story of your life and have the opportunity to write it however you'd like! Take it from our mentor Rony... he crafted an amazing story that isn't over through HARD work, dedication, and persistence against all odds.  

He was cut from his college team... who is laughing now. Rony is a PRO! Here it from the man himself.

Dream big and put in the work that reflects your dreams! 

Mental Reps

Visualization is talked about a lot... but not many people take advantage of it! At Pro Performance, we know that this is a proven technique and you should take advantage of it because it accelerates mastery. Take it from Luke and learn more about the science of visualization below! 

How To Get Out of a Slump

We all go through slumps. They are terrible.  It feels like you are letting your team down. It feels like you are letting yourself down. There is no way to describe them other than, they suck! 

Well, the good news is that there are ways to get out of slumps! Sometimes it just happens naturally, but usually, you need a little STRATEGY! Our pros have years and years of experience and over time we have all developed strategies for getting out of a slump. Check out how Luke Vercollone has dealt with slumps in the past!