By David “Dirk” Smith, M.Sc., SDL (He/Him)
Working with the professional soccer team during our preseason training, we’ve had a few matches already contested with other teams around our local area as is normal in the preseason. These matches don’t count for any points or rankings, but instead offer us coaches and sport psychologists insight into how our athletes are performing in match conditions so we that we can adapt our training plans accordingly.
One of the biggest things we noticed regarding our team is that, while they were able to execute the tasks and drills, we conducted during training and even performed well in inner-team scrimmages, once it came match time it all fell apart. The athletes were hesitant and less willing to engage with the opponent. In short, they were lacking confidence and were having difficulties in being aggressive in their gameplay.
David "Dirk" Smith M.Sc, SDL, CSCS, (He/Him) is a sport psychology expert, strength & conditioning coach, swimming coach, sports diversity leader, published research scientist, teacher, writer, journalist, and athlete. He brings over 12 years of experience, education, and training to empower athletes to build self efficacy, strength, confidence, and express themselves through sport.