The Mental Game of Football: How Mind Training Can Unlock Your Gridiron Success

Looking to Move Past Doubt, and Unlock Your Greatest Potential in Practice, and the Big Game?

In recent years, mind training and hypnosis have become increasingly popular among football players, as they can strengthen results by helping athletes improve their confidence, decision making, resilience, team dynamics, focus, mental toughness and performances under pressure.

Let's look at the some of the ways it improves your game, when you need it most..

Creating Mental Toughness

Among many others, visualization is one of the powerful techniques which can transform your overall performance, as well as specific areas of your game as well. This is where you imagine yourself performing all your skills successfully on the field, in vivid detail.

By visualizing yourself succeeding and executing plays flawlessly, results invariably improve - along with your belief, confidence and focus.

This is because the same areas of your brain which activate and light up when you are out there on the field, also activate when you simply imagine yourself out there, playing brilliantly (in your mind). 

Your subconscious cannot tell the difference - so this allows you to practice extremely successfully... in your mind.

Regular relaxation techniques (though never in the few hours before a game) also have an enormous calming effect on nerves and emotions, so you can make the best and clearest decisions under the heat of intensive competition.

This also strengthens your concentration and mental clarity while you are on the run, so you can focus and execute your plays, while reacting and adapting quickly and successfully.

And when this process is working at its optimum... you click into the mental state known as 'the Zone', while you are playing. This state delivers the peak of human performance Those are the days when everything works perfectly, and you are extremely difficult to beat.

The Power of Belief

Of course, the most powerful fuel of all, is belief. This is one of the major aspects that makes an athlete unstoppable - which only mental training can really provide. 

Any player can have all the skills in the world, but if they do not possess true inner belief... once the pressure is on, they will fold like a pack of cards.

When a player truly believes in themselves, and their abilities...look out. This is where YOU want to be that player, not your opponents. Because when you believe in yourself, anything is possible.

There are various manual ways you can increase belief - such as positive self-talk, which involves using affirmations and positive statements to reinforce your confidence.

Silently repeating positive affirmations for 5-10 minutes, such as "I have unlimited ability" before you head out onto the field, can have a positive impact upon your game.

Similarly - and more automatically - hypnosis can help to truly embed this belief into the subconscious - this is actually what I specialize in with my hypnotic audio recordings (more on those later).

This is along the same lines of being 'in the zone' as far as performance is concerned. Where you trust themselves to make the right decisions, your calculated risks come off perfectly, and see the ball like an eagle, staying strong and focused under pressure, blocking out all distractions, and with the resilience to lift up another gear anytime, or bounce back just as quickly.

Champions Who Use the Power of the Mind

To name just a few...

• Tom Brady is considered one of the greatest American quarterbacks of all time, and he has been known to use mind training techniques such as visualization and positive self-talk to help him prepare for games.

• Russell Wilson is another highly successful quarterback who has used mind techniques to help him stay focused and motivated on the field, such as meditation.

• Drew Brees - another successful quarterback who has used inner training for focus and concentration on the field, and to help him stay calm under pressure.

• J.J. Watt - the successful defensive end who has used techniques for mental toughness and resilience.

• Marshawn Lynch - a retired running back, used similar methods to improve mental toughness and confidence.

• Ray Lewis - the former Baltimore Ravens linebacker known for his intense inner preparation.

• Russell Okung - the Carolina Panthers offensive tackle has been vocal about his use of mindfulness and meditation techniques to manage stress and improve his resilience on and off the field.

• Aaron Rodgers - the Green Bay Packers quarterback has used many different techniques to improve his focus and decision-making during games.

• Michael Strahan - the former New York Giants defensive end has used a variety of methods to stay calm during high-pressure situations.

Needless to say, these are just a few examples of top American gridiron players who have used their minds to improve performance - many other players, both professional and amateur, use it as a valuable tool to help them achieve their goals.

And the Head Coaches Who Teach Visualization - Among Many Other Methods...

• Bill Belichick - head coach of the New England Patriots is known for his emphasis on this form of preparation before a game.

• Pete Carroll - head coach of the Seattle Seahawks is also a proponent of inner training.

• Nick Saban - head coach of the University of Alabama football team is known for his intense focus on mental preparation.

• Tony Dungy - former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts was a proponent of training the mind, and encouraged his players to practice visualization and other techniques to stay focused and motivated during games.

• Herm Edwards - former NFL coach and head coach at Arizona State University emphasizes the importance of inner preparation.

• Bill Walsh - the late head coach of the San Francisco 49ers was a pioneer in the use of visualization and other mental training techniques in football.

So you are in good company when you begin to look within, for the edge over your competitors.

Uses / Advantages

Uses / Advantages of Mental Training

Improved Performance, Under Pressure
Brings out your best in high-pressure situations, such as critical moments in a game.

Improved Focus
Techniques such as visualization and relaxation improves your ability to focus and block out distractions on the field.

Increased Confidence
Create a more positive mindset and belief in your abilities.

Overcome Slumps
Break out of slumps more easily using a range of different techniques.

Reduced Anxiety
Provides coping mechanisms to manage anxiety and perform at your best under pressure.

Better Decision Making
Improved ability to make quick, accurate decisions on the field, even under pressure.

Enhanced Motivation
A stronger sense of committment to training and development.

Faster Recovery
Recover more quickly from injuries or setbacks.

Improved Communication
Develop better communication skills, essential for effective teamwork on the field.

Increased Resilience
Develops the mental toughness and resilience needed to overcome adversity on the field.

Improves sleep quality, which is important for physical and mental recovery.

Enhanced Self-Awareness
Expands your self-awareness, which can help you identify your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those in your opponents.

The mental demands of gridiron are stressful, and relaxation helps you to manage the stress and improve overall emotional health and well-being. .


So begin exploring how to strengthen your performance from the inside, out - it will give you an edge over your opponents they simply will not be able to see, or understand.

Even better - for more info, check out the audio below - and also my mind-training products.

  play audio file


Audio - 'The Power of Visualization & Belief'
- Craig Townsend explains how these transform performance.

Click the 'Play' symbol to start the audio.







Of course, there are always the slower, tried-and-trusted methods of improvement - such as:

• Improve your overall fitness and strength through regular weightlifting and conditioning exercises

• Develop stronger technique for throwing, catching, and running with the ball

• Practice your footwork, agility, and quickness through drills and exercises

• Work on your endurance and stamina through cardiovascular training

• Learn and master a variety of different plays and strategies for both offense and defense

• Study film of yourself and other players to analyze your own performance and learn from others

• Improve communication with your teammates, both on and off the field

• Improve your reaction time and decision-making skills through drills and exercises

• Develop a strong inner game and stay focused during games and practices

• Learn and understand the rules of the game and the strategies used by different teams

• Use visualization techniques to help with play execution and decision-making

• Practice playing against teams of different skill levels to improve your adaptability

• Learn to play in different weather conditions and environments

• Incorporate yoga, pilates, or other flexibility training to improve your range of motion

• Use video analysis to identify and correct weaknesses in your game

• Seek feedback and guidance from experienced coaches or players

• Practice playing in game-like conditions to prepare for competition

• Develop a consistent post-game analysis routine to identify areas for improvement

• Learn to play special teams positions such as kicker, punter, and returner

• Take care of your equipment and gear, and make sure it fits properly and is in good condition.

Just keep in mind that mind training can help to bring all these components together, through some simple inner techniques - to add to your existing physical training schedule.