A high school soccer player came to Head Coaching with a self-described “lack of confidence.” Before the start of the season, this player’s coach had switched his position—from midfield to goalkeeper. The player was angry at this sudden switch; later, however, it became apparent that this anger was the manifestation of his fear of letting his team down. He had played goalie for his team years before and could only remember the mistakes he had made in this position.
The Head Coach Approach
Dr. Petro worked with this athlete to change his focus and thought processes about the sudden position switch. She encouraged him to:
- Revisit the successes he had experienced when playing goalie.
- Realize that the success or failure of the team did not depend on his skills alone
- Change his self-talk to a more positive script
The athlete had an exceptional season and, as a result, is currently looking at college soccer programs that will welcome him as their goalkeeper.