Psychological Skills training/Plan of action for an Athlete

Psychological Skills training/Plan of action for an Athlete

Goal: Increase confident, reduce stress. > Change mindset to reduce stress with the end goal being to increase confidence

Background on athlete: Female freshman college soccer player. Non-starter. Defender. She goes to training afraid to make mistakes. Throughout practice she is constantly thinking, “do not mess up.”


Psychological Skills training/Plan of action:

  1. Relaxation Imagery- purpose is to reduce stress before going into training.

*Side note: pretend that I applied this to the athlete. So say something like, “ I chose to do a relaxation imagery because I wanted her to go up to practice relaxed instead of stressed. I applied this relaxation imagery once, 30 minutes before the athlete having to go the locker to get ready for training. I recorded the session so the athlete can then continue to listen to the relaxation script without the need of me being there. Her instructions were to do it everyday before training.

*Please find a relaxation script online and twist it to your own version. Doesn’t have to be anything relating to sport or soccer. I do not want it to related to soccer or sport because I want to distract the athlete. (find a source that supports this).


  1. Thought Stopping- Goal is to help athlete detect when she is having a negative thought.
  • When a negative thought happens to the athlete. I want her to realize that it is a thought. Now I want her to change the direction of it. Instead of thinking to herself, “Do not mess up.”, I want her to focus on task oriented In other words, focus on the technique of the skill. For example, “Lock your ankle to make a firm pass”.
  • Side note: Add why I decided to do this (which is briefly explained already for you). Find a supporting source on thought stopping and task oriented thought/self talk.
  • The way it was applied to the athlete: I first explained to her the thought mechanism so how her thoughts affects her behaviors. So her thinking not to mess up is actually increasing the chances of her messing up since that is what the mind is focusing on.Also I explained to her, how does she expect to perform and execute if you are constantly beating yourself down. The reason I am saying this to her is to create awareness of why it is important & have her realize that she is in control.
  • Find resource on why it is important to create awareness to the athlete and thought mechanism process.


  1. Imagery applied- Goal is to have the athlete feel what a confident athlete acts like. SO pretty much, fake it until you make it kind of thing.
  • I instructed athlete a homework to atleast give three loud commands on the field per training to her teammates. For example: “Mark that player!” “Drop back!” “Push up!”. This are common commands a defender in soccer.
  • Before everything the way I assessed this psychological skill is by asking her what a confident player looks like for her. (Add what she said) For example, loud and strong voice, chest high, stuff like that. Add at least 3-4. So, based on what she answered. The goal is to have her act like that during training. This is where fake until you make it comes in to play.

 At the end of the two weeks we met again so we can reflect on how it felt for her, if she actually was consistent with her homework, did she feel like it helped her or not, what did she find difficult to do, will she continue to practice what I told her.

Make up answers don’t make it seems like it was 100% successful. Make it realistic. So add somethings that maybe she did do as well or that maybe she didn’t find helpful.

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