Generally, fear is a feeling we deal with frequently in our lives. It is always in our heads telling us what we cannot do, limiting us from enjoying our lives and telling us we have limits. This has stopped us from enjoying many opportunities as we chose to believe the fear and not do things.
Nevertheless, the same rule of fear applies to soccer players. Individuals who are scared of the ball don’t get to enjoy the game of soccer due to this fear. Hence, it is necessary that these players face their fears headlong and conquer them.
As you know, soccer is a game where the ball is always coming at you. Of course, you can try to evade it, but it will surely come at you. Sometimes, you might be unable to predict where and when the ball will be at a particular time.
For this reason, to enjoy it, you have to ensure you are willing and ready to meet or be hit by the ball anytime, unexpectedly. This is the level fearful individuals have to get to before claiming fearlessness again.
This article will examine why people are afraid of the ball in soccer. Then, we will examine several methods of overcoming such fear. We do this because we believe that everybody should enjoy the game of football.
Let’s get started!
There are several reasons why an individual can be afraid of the ball in soccer. Firstly, it is necessary to know these reasons before delving into how to solve or overcome such fear. Some of these reasons are:
The Suddenness and Unexpectedness of the Ball
Some players get scared of surprises or sudden movement. Therefore, they tend to calculate and prefer to be aware of the movement of a thing long before it gets close to them. Moreover, these players prefer to know when such a thing would get to them.
When the movement is sudden and unexpected, they have no time to be aware until the last minute or when the ball hits them. This alone brings about the fear of what the ball can and would do to them when it hits them.
This type of player would rather prefer to control events. But, the unpredictability of the ball’s movement is quite much to handle. Why?
Most times, they have a second or two to decide what they would do with a ball that is on its way in their direction already. So, they prefer to have a long time thinking about a decision before making it.
- Learn to control the things you can
To overcome the fear of being wary of the unexpected, you have to put your mind at rest. Furthermore, you must realize that the world is filled with uncertainties that are unpredictable or uncontrollable.
Therefore, before dealing with the fear of the ball’s suddenness, you have to get accustomed to general unpredictable events and have a relaxed mind concerning it. You can develop this mindset that though you cannot control everything in life, you can control some things.
So, you become content with those things you can control and learn to improve on them. For instance, you can control the ball when it gets to you, so you should be calm and not scared when the ball is coming at you.
When you have this notion that you can control the ball when it gets to you, you will not be scared of the suddenness or Unexpectedness of the ball.
- Practice: face your uncertainty
To overcome the fear of uncertainty, you have to face that uncertainty headlong. As a soccer player, you can face your uncertainty by practicing. You can have any of your friends throw the ball at you at different angles, and you try to control and react quickly to the ball.
It will ensure that no matter how quick or what angle the ball comes from, you are sure to have a handle on it when it gets to you. This would build your confidence and remove the fear from you, making you more relaxed with the soccer ball.
The Flight of the Ball
Some people are pretty confident of the ball when it is on the grass or the pitch. This is because they can play and enjoy their game by playing a low-level game of soccer. However, they begin to feel apprehension when the ball is in the air.
Players like these seem to fear anything in the air and would prefer to deal with things they can maneuver and reach on the ground.
Things flying in the sky are beyond their reach, and they are scared of the things they could do to them as they have no control over where the ball will land.
Since soccer is limited to the ground, these people are content with not playing the game at all as they cannot cope with seeing flying balls coming towards them. They become perplexed about what to do and how to control the ball flying towards them.
These people are often in shock and become immobile until the ball hits them anywhere on the face or the body. And this will only further increase the fear of the soccer ball in them.
- Changing the mindset
Individuals who would love to be interested in soccer but fear flying objects will have to change their mindsets and work towards being comfortable with the ball coming at them at an aerial level.
One way the mindset can be changed is to become familiar with every part of the soccer ball. You touch the ball’s surface several times to feel it and be confident of the object’s texture flying towards you.
This would boost your confidence when the ball comes flying at you because you have become accustomed to it. Instead of having a fear of strange objects coming at you, your thoughts are now having a familiar object coming at you. This would reduce your fear of the flying ball.
- Practice: Have the ball fly at you several times until you are convenient with such sight
Another way to overcome this fear is to practice. Since you know the reason for your fears, you should develop a routine to help overcome those fears. One routine is having the ball fly at you until you develop the confidence to approach the incoming ball with clarity of mind instead of apprehension.
Since you have changed your mindset and you are confident about the ball, you should have a go at it by practicing. However, you must practice continuously with these thoughts in your head until you make them practical.
Enough practice will boost your confidence and take away your apprehension about having no control over flying objects or being hit on the face.
Scared of People’s Presence
Some people are scared of people focusing on how they act that they lose their comportment. This happens because they are scared of being watched and prefer to carry out their actions within a limited space with no one or very few people observing them.
However, there could be over thousands of people at a soccer game, and sometimes, more people watching online; a shy person will find this problematic. A player like this will lose their comfort when they discover that the ball being with them brings the focus and observation of the fans.
This may make them feel ashamed, naked, or more exposed than they would want to. Hence, the fear of the ball. Another reason why some individuals are scared of people’s observation is because of the underestimation of their capabilities, especially with the ball.
Although these individuals are well trained and have the skills to be on a pitch, they have no confidence in their capabilities. So, they feel vulnerable whenever they notice the attention of the fans is on them.
Instead of creating wonders with the ball, they feel numb and are unable to touch or play the ball. Since they are unsure of themselves, believing they aren’t at the level of great players like Messi or Ronaldinho, they would prefer not to get into a match or kick the ball at all.
- Build your confidence
Building your confidence is one of the ways to ensure that no matter how large the viewers or onlookers are, you will approach the ball with the skills and experience. You can build your confidence by repeating positive words to yourself and telling yourself you are good enough.
Also, you should take in more positive reviews and dwell on those. Generally, building Confidence makes a person more bold and unaware of piercing or discouraging eyes.
Instead of underestimating your abilities with the ball, you should develop a mindset that this audience came to cheer and watch with awe the beauty you create.
- Know your ability
While it is encouraging to aim and aspire to be like Messi or Ronaldinho, every soccer player has their distinct ability and should develop them as much as possible. The fear that the fans came to watch every soccer player play like Messi is false.
Know that they came to watch the team play together, and each player is showing their distinct ability. So, you should be realistic about your ability and be proud to show the people what you can do with the ball.
The fans are there to see you make beauty at your level. When you know this and internalize it, you would banish the fear of people’s presence (and expectations) away from you.
Doubt and Pessimistic Beliefs
Doubt and pessimistic beliefs are those thoughts that some individuals have that limit them from doing some acts. So, they would instead not carry it out than try to build their self-confidence and skill where they seem deficient.
These beliefs also affect some individuals when they kick or play a soccer ball as they do not think highly of themselves. Players like this believe they are not good with the ball and lack confidence in kicking the ball.
These beliefs often come from other people telling them they were not good enough or joking about how they misplaced a pass or two. These negative feedbacks develop in these individuals, and they take those as the gospel while neglecting other positive reviews that may come also.
- Practice: Practice until you feel confident enough
Many people believe they cannot do a thing even without trying at all. It is essential that before deciding that you would not be great at soccer, you should take time to practice and grow in your handling of the ball.
You should know that there are no top-flight soccer players who developed all their skills and techniques in one trial. They trained and practiced until they became confident of their skills and their handling of the ball.
Repeating the same thing removes doubts and allows you to grow in your confidence and ability. Just like professional soccer players train periodically to build their skills, anyone can develop their magical skills on the ball. But, you have to do it, even if you’re afraid!
- Find people who had the same issues with the ball and overcame
Another way to overcome doubt and pessimism in soccer is to find people who struggled with your current issues and overcame them. When you see people who have gone through the path you are going through and have succeeded, you would find optimism.
If you can reach such people personally, they would likely have suggestions and tips for overcoming fear of inability and pessimism. Several people have gone through this part of feeling inadequate and lacking when it comes to playing the round leather ball, but know that there are also many overcomers.
Unsavory Encounters with the ball previously
Some people have had their experience with the ball, and they have either thrived or performed averagely with it. However, they leave the active kicking of the ball altogether after going through an embarrassing moment that they held and contemplated upon.
This is because they fear repeating such embarrassing moments, and they prefer to avoid the ball altogether. An embarrassing moment like this could come from kicking the ball wrongly or failing to control the ball rightly.
Mostly, this fear happens to people who believe all their acts must be perfect. Therefore, where there are imperfections, instead of fixing them, they may decide to avoid such scenarios altogether, causing their gap or distant relationship with the ball.
Another unsavory encounter could come when they are hit square in the face by the ball, and it injures them for some time or probably knocks them out. This, to them, may be a signal of how dangerous the ball could be, and they would love to avoid danger in all its forms.
They do this even after seeing professional soccer players hit the ball in different parts of their bodies almost every game.
- See setbacks as opportunities to Improve
People are not perfect, and they go through failures and downtime frequently. Where someone fails at a thing, the beauty is that the person rises and tries again until they succeed.
Many times when you watch a match, you might see a professional player misplace a pass or kick the ball the wrong way. You may have also seen players kicking the ball away from the net when they are free and should have put the ball in.
However, these players do not feel shame to the point they decide to stop playing the game. Instead, they continue to strive to do better and sometimes, they get so lucky that they have an opportunity to score.
So, it would help if you view setbacks as opportunities to improve until you overcome those difficulties and excel in what seemed impossible before.
For example, when you kick the ball wrongly or fail to score a goal, you should challenge yourself to improve your skill until you are satisfied.
- Practice: Put yourself in positions where you can take a hit
Soccer is a game of contact where other players or the ball can hit you. Often, it may lead to a scratch, an injury, or worse. For this alone, many people would stay away from the soccer ball; unfortunately, it is part of the game which cannot be avoided.
In life, people go through difficulties and stress to excel; they see those difficulties as necessary sacrifices to be made on the journey of excellence. This is the same thing with having a ball hit your face or other parts of your body.
You can get accustomed to this situation by placing yourself in positions to take a hit. This would make you familiar with the pain that comes, and your brain would be accustomed to it. This will help in cases where you get hit with the ball, you would feel less pain and would not be threatened by a soccer ball.
First Time Encountering the Round Leather Soccer Ball
Some people fear kicking the soccer ball because it is their first time encountering it. They are either kids or people who lack exposure to soccer and find it difficult to take the ball and all its possibilities in.
These people often need time and patience to familiarize themselves with the ball and its properties to excel.
For kids, seeing a big ball rolling towards them might seem shocking and confronting. So they would prefer kicking the ball than seeing the ball rolling towards them with speed.
Probably you are a soccer instructor, and you have students who are having their first kick at a soccer ball, you should be patient with them. They often might not click into a new experience immediately; as they may need more time to get information and prepare their minds for the new experience.
Being Patient and teaching the students how to kick the ball and how much fun it can be would bring them around and make them relaxed and confident in having their kick at the ball.
- Do not pressurize
Whether your student is a kid or an adult, you should not pressure them to kick the ball, especially their first time. Putting pressure on an individual might make the person more fearful and have a resolve not to kick the ball as they would associate, unconsciously, such events with pressure and fear.
Taking the teaching one step at a time and making them relaxed and confident would go a long way, especially for kids who find it easy to get fearful. To bring around kids who are fearful of balls running towards them, you can boost their confidence by showing them how harmless the ball is.
You can do this by asking someone to kick the ball to you, and you stand and let the ball roll towards you while the kid watches.
This article examined why people are afraid of the ball in soccer and offered some solutions for them to gain confidence and feel less afraid when a ball rolls up to them.
As you know, the soccer game is a beautiful one that no one should be scared of as it brings society together and creates unity. So, to enjoy this, you have to be confident with the ball around you as there is no soccer without the ball.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!