Soccer Skills:

Mental Toughness in Soccer: Interview with Simon Hartley

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The concept of “Mental Toughness” is a tried and true rallying call for most teams. Every coach wants players who are ‘mentally tough’, but really what does that mean? I had the opportunity to interview Simon Hartley, our resident Soccer Psychology Advisor, about this hot topic. Simon provided his thoughts in an earlier article about “What Does Mental Toughness Look Like?” and in this interview we delve into the next steps of understanding the topic.

Essentially, our conversation broke down into two key elements:

  1. It seems that there are many different ideas as to what mental toughness is. How can we actually see mental toughness in athletes? Is it chest beating and shouting?
  2. What do you see in a mentally tough athlete? How do they give themselves away?

Coach’s Questions

  • What is a mentally tough player in your mind?
  • What are some tactics that you use to cultivate an environment that produces mentally tough soccer players?
  • What questions do you have for Simon?

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About the Author

Jerry Macnamara is "The Coach" and founder at Soccer Classroom. For more than thirty years, Coach has been a player, coach, trainer and administrator. He shares your passion for the game and helping players grow through age appropriate soccer skills and drills. Feel free to contact Coach with questions

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