When it comes to sports, fans and athletes have come to expect one constant – the unexpected.
Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports sat down with Carlsbad United FC’s Director of Coaching Michael Duggan to get his thoughts on preparing for the unexpected.
In our exclusive Take 5 interview, Michael shared that he helps his young athletes mentally prepare for a big game by stressing proper preparation for the opponent and development of mental toughness. Michael told us that visualization techniques are a part of boosting mental toughness among young athletes.
“One of the best ways to be mentally prepared is to practice visualization,” said Duggan. “Visualization can be very helpful the night before your big game. Think about what you want to do during the game. Imagine the shot you want to take, the pass you want to deliver and the defense you want to play.”
Michael added that preparing for the unexpected is also key but you can only do so much, especially in a sport like soccer.
“As a coach, you try and prepare your team for every eventuality, but obviously you can never cover it all,” said Michael. “Anything can happen in soccer; that is why it is such an exciting sport.”
Michael told us that consistency in training and practice are key to young athletes achieving sustained success. Michael believes that this kind of proper training includes a thorough commitment to not just practice sessions and visualization, but also proper diet, nutrition, hydration, stretching, rest and more.
In our interview, Michael went into great detail to describe how young athletes can properly prepare via all these avenues.
“You need to prepare yourself mentally and physically for competition,” said Michael. “Training and practices are key, and thoroughness is vital. Good preparation involves many aspects.”
To read the full Take 5 interview with Michael, visit ResponsibleSports.com. Come back next month for another exclusive Take 5 interview!
At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field.
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