The late heavyweight-boxing champion and self-proclaimed greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali, garnered a reputation for his positive self-confidence. Ali illustrated this confidence both in and out of the ring as he eloquently stated, “A man who has no imagination has no wings.”
As a boxer, he taught us when knocked down, get right back up and jump back into the ring. The importance of developing this kind of self-confident attitude allows an athlete to grind through the grueling season of his or her sport.
Self-confidence arises from one’s belief in his or her abilities. Soccer players, as well as other athletes, occasionally lack the belief in their abilities and skill sets to reach a higher level. At TOCA, soccer players increase their self-confidence through hundreds of quality repetitions in a mistake-friendly environment.
The number of quality touches players receive in TOCA Training gives them the ability to master soccer techniques, which ultimately breeds confidence. Thereby, creating more confidence in their decision making on the pitch.
TOCA makes me have better instincts. I don’t feel I must overthink when the ball is coming towards me on the training field or in the game.
“TOCA improves technique so that players can better execute their next move,” said Laura Holmes, mother of two TOCA users. “My boys have always possessed a natural understanding of the game, but TOCA certainly helped improve their technique to execute their decisions more consistently on the field. Consistent execution builds player confidence.”
The fact the Touch Trainer delivers a ball every few seconds makes it easier on players to focus on the task at hand alleviating time to dwell on mistakes. The Touch Trainer neither yells at the athlete for a mistake nor praises the athlete. It merely delivers the next ball.
This allows for a mistake-friendly environment that is often absent in the performance-based pressure of a game or team practice. This also develops game-ready mental toughness.
TOCA Trainers further create a supportive environment. Their main goal is to encourage their players to work on areas of weakness yet recognize their strengths in a comfortable setting.
Players who train at TOCA benefit from the cognitive effects of allowing them to develop a skill and work on a technique over and over without dwelling on past results.
While it’s vital for a player to play to his or her strengths, it’s equally important to step outside of the comfort zone. Overcoming a new challenge further boosts confidence.
TOCA sessions allow players to experiment with skills they may not have mastered. Receiving 300-400 deliveries can quickly turn a weakness into a strength.
Lewis goes on to say, “It’s important for athletes to master positional core techniques to better set themselves up for success in a game,” said Eddie Lewis, founder of TOCA and former 15-year professional. “For example, a defender usually doesn’t need to be a world-class volleyer but needs to excel in other areas. TOCA provides the defender that opportunity to develop those core skills that are required. Being confident in core techniques, the player has a better chance of playing well.”
A factor that can destroy a player’s confidence is any injury that forces one to be sidelined for a lengthy period. When a player returns to play, he could be hesitant to go in for a tackle or challenge a player for a header in fear of re-injury.
TOCA exposes those hesitancies and challenges them head on to ensure skills are sharper by re-creating any soccer movements with hundreds of touches to eventually re-gain confidence on the ball.
Whether returning from injury or working on mastering techniques, TOCA fosters a culture for building self-confidence. After hours of training and hundreds of repetitions, athletes can trust their ability to perform on the pitch.
The most successful athletes believe in their abilities no matter the odds, no matter the difficulty, no matter the adversity.
Even the greatest may fall, but it’s their confidence that raises them back up.