Fernando Torres has recently said that he wants to fight for a place in the Spanish team for the World Cup in Brazil. He has said he’s going to work hard, because this is all he knows to do. No Fernando that isn’t all you know. Working hard isn’t all you can do. There is plenty you can do Fernando. Here is your confidence building plan.
1. Fernando, study your movements from your days at Liverpool. Grab a keen eye for the steps you used to make, the runs you used to take, and the openings you used to create. Study your former self Fernando – it’s still in there.
2. Fernando, go out onto the training ground and practice this movement. Do it unopposed first of all. Just move in and around the area. Get that feeling of commitment, certainty and decisiveness. Then add some defenders but keep your same movement. Let nothing and no-one take you away from that movement.
3. Fernando, practice the feeling of freedom. Practice the feeling of being on your toes. Practice the feeling of sharp, alert, alive and lively. Every second of your training practice these feelings. Get that love for the game back. Fun is a forerunner to excellence.
4. Fernando, practice your shooting. Do this unopposed first of all. Your mate delivers, you shoot. Do it without a keeper. Then with a keeper. Gradually add more complexity. Add a defender who closes you down. Then another defender. Then another. Have your mate deliver the ball from all angles and with increasing firmness. Control, out your feet then bang!
5. Fernando, spend everyday changing your inner ‘story’. Rehearse success rather than failure. Lay down tracks of excellence on your mind by recalling your special goals. But don’t just think them…live, breathe, eat, and sleep them. Whenever you think football you think of your best.
6. Fernando, shift the image you house in your mind of yourself by working on your perception. “I Fernando Torres am a goal-scoring machine. How? I move, I run, I find space. That is who I am. I play with unabashed confidence. I play with complete fun, freedom and focus. That is who I am. I score goals. That is who I am. Nothing and no-one takes me away from this.
7. Fernando, study your opposition. The older you get and the slower you become, the more intelligent you have to be. Know the centre backs you are up against. Know them like they know themselves.
8. Fernando, keep incredible body language on the pitch. Compete with fun and freedom. When the ball is close act with confidence and commitment. Be it to become it. Yes that’s right Fernando, there is plenty of evidence to suggest you can be it to become it.
9. Fernando, add a portion of focus to the fun and freedom you will be serving up. Create a match script. You’ve seen my book Lo Duro (Soccer Tough). Read it again – create a match script for yourself. Playing football is two thirds bottom up and one third top down. A splash of thought added to a soup of automatic is your ingredients for high performance.
10. Fernando, make sure that after the game you engage in some analysis. Start by picking your peak moments. They are your fuel for a journey that can consist of road blocks and speed humps. Then look at the things that could have gone better. Improve these tiny tidbits in training so you can ready yourself for your next game.
Fernando – it’s not about can’t. It’s not about won’t or maybe or perhaps. It’s about can-do. It’s about now. It’s about no stone left unturned. It’s about will and skill. It’s about guts. It’s about tough. It’s about desire and dedication and discipline. It’s about emotion and intelligence. Never give in. Fight until you have nothing left to fight for. Work religiously on your football psychology and your psychology will work for your football.
Image credited to: Yiannis Kourtoglou / Shutterstock.com.