How to play football with confidence

How can you become more confident as a footballer? Firstly, you must understand that confidence begins with you. The best footballers in the world such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo believe in their abilities on and off the pitch. These players are able to understand that confidence comes from within.  The likes of Messi and Ronaldo constantly use tools to develop and re-establish their confidence.

These are three areas you need to work on to improve your confidence as a football:

  • Self-talk: You are the most important person you talk to every day.
  • Body Language: Fake your confidence until you have it. Let the body lead and the mind will follow.
  • Mental Rehearsal: Visualizing success improves your confidence.


Every word you speak to yourself impacts your emotions. How your body feels and performs is dictated by the way your speak to yourself. Some of the self-talk phrases that are common in football are: “We got this”, “I’m going to get there first”, “Let’s do this”, “Fight for the ball”, “Get that header”, “Get there first”.

Confidence from practice

No athlete just walks onto the pitch and suddenly plays the game of their life. Footballers need to practice. Without practice, they cannot improve. By practicing, you will improve your confidence over time. Your confidence cannot be built from simply relying on past performances. Practice occurs every day or multiple times a week. As you develop your skills, you should grow your confidence. The more confident you are on the pitch, the better body language you will have.

Mental rehearsal

By visualizing what you are going to do on the pitch, you are mentally rehearsing for matches. If you picture what you are going to do before playing a game, then you will know exactly what you are going to do when the actual match is played. Visualization, in some cases, can be just as important as training.

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