Mindset For the 2023 Season

Mindset is so incredibly important as a professional player. Obviously, to get to this level you have to have the skill, but what sets apart the great players is their mindset. In the sports world, mindset is a player’s beliefs, thoughts, and mental outlook about their abilities. Confidence levels, ability to focus, dealing with pressure, overcoming losses and attitude are just some of the core aspects that go into a player’s mindset.

Now that I have one tournament under my belt in the Mexican League, I have a better understanding of what I need to do in order to grow as a player and how to do it. I have been able to do a lot of reflection after the last season and during this preseason, learning what worked for me, my strengths, and what I need to improve on. And this season, I realized I need to take a step back and work on my mindset. In order for me to accomplish my goals physically on the field, I first need to master what’s going on in my mind. 

My mindset is the foundation, but if that’s weak, it’s very difficult to build up to my goals. I can train for hours every day, but if I lack confidence and have negative self-talk, there’s very little growth that will actually occur. There’s no point in spending hours building a house if the foundation isn’t solid! Therefore, I believe, strengthening and establishing my mindset is the most important thing I can work on this season.

So, here are my mindset goals and practices I will be implementing this season: 

  1. Treat every training session like a tryout. We have a lot of competition in the defense this season which is great because every training session is a fight for a starting position. You cannot be relaxed or complacent because things can change in an instant. Every week is a clean slate and you have to prove yourself in order to play in that weekend’s game.
  2. Focus every day on bettering myself. When the new defenders joined our team in pre-season, I honestly got nervous and started comparing myself to them. I became focused on trying to be better than them because I didn’t want to lose my starting position this season. As a result, I started to lose sight of my playing style and really struggled, making dumb defensive errors, missing easy passes, and playing in fear of making a mistake (which in turn caused more mistakes!). Focusing on my own abilities takes away the pressure of trying to be perfect and instead encourages slight improvements.
  3. Love the Process. When you enjoy playing with your teammates daily, putting in extra work in the gym, and being obsessed with improving and getting to the next level, everything becomes easier! Growing as a player becomes fun and as a result, it motivates you to be the best you can be.
  4. Never look past the basic fundamentals and little details. No player is too good to stop prioritizing good passing technique and their first touch. Consistently training these skills and not overlooking them will keep me sharp. Being disciplined about little details can win or lose a game at this level. Staying focused at training will help me remember these details and make sure I execute them.
  5. Be grateful. Every moment I get to step onto the field, whether it’s for training or game day, I will remind myself of how grateful I am to be in this position. Very few people can say they played a sport professionally, and I know so many players would kill to be in my position. Sometimes I take this for granted and forget about how truly blessed I am! Being grateful will only make me want to train and push harder.
  6. Starting or not starting, the goal is still the same: doing everything I can for my team to win. As a competitor and professional athlete, I always want to start and play the full 90 minutes of every game. That drive and fierceness have gotten me to this point in my career. However, being on a competitive team with a lot of talented players means that playing or starting isn’t guaranteed. I want to make it to the Championship game so badly this season and I am willing to sacrifice anything to do so. So starting or not starting, I will give everything to help my team win.
  7. Mediation. Meditating is something I have started implementing in my everyday routine. It has already helped immensely and will continue to help with: increasing my confidence, understanding my negative thoughts, decreasing my anxiety/stress, being in the present moment, and unlocking flow.
  8. Journal after every training session and game. Writing every day about how I felt while playing, my energy and concentration levels, things I struggled with or did well in, and notes about our next rivals will help elevate my game by giving me insight and information on how I can improve.
  9. Take accountability. Being accountable for your mistakes and not placing the blame on anyone else helps you learn and grow. Because this is a team sport and many players are at fault if something goes wrong, it’s easy to place the fault on other people. But I believe taking ownership and being responsible for mistakes helps challenge you and makes you more in control of your performance.

I had a great first season with Xolos, but things change drastically from season to season. I’ll be completely honest, I have been struggling with my confidence and being consistent this season. It has been a challenge mentally, but if I stay consistent with my mindset practices, I will only grow and become a stronger player from it!

I’d love to hear from any of you reading this if you have any other mental practices that help elevate your game! Also, feel free to reach out if you have also gone through tough periods in your sport and what you did to get through them. As always, thanks for taking the time to read AuthenticallyAdy! Until next time<3.


Published by

Adyson Willett

A professional soccer player and blogger from the United States.

3 thoughts on “Mindset For the 2023 Season”

  1. Ady, always so amazed at how you can be circumspect during your times of self-doubt! I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to be under the microscope and challenge yourself to be better and overcome the negatives and low periods that invariably come with being a professional soccer player. Keep up the good work. I am so proud of you!


  2. Really good read. As an aspiring professional footballer I’ve always been told about the importance of working and training the mind. I consistently put in loads of hours of training on the pitch collectively with the team and individually but I need to start actually working on my mental strength to raise my level further and get me into a pro team


    1. Wishing you the best of luck in your future professional career! Just remember that your potential is limitless and no one (except for yourself) can stop you from achieving what you dream! You got this 💪


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