Can The Eagles Beat The Patriots with Mental Toughness?

Staying Focused Against Top Competitors

Staying Mentally Tough Against Top Competitors

Facing a “Goliath” opponent is daunting for any athlete or team.

There is a mystique around a dominant team, a team with several multiple top-tier athletes or a highly-decorated athlete.

These opponents, at times, appear unbeatable.

When facing high-caliber opponents with a winning history, there are two approaches…

The mindset you choose will make all the difference in the world as to your levels of preparation, game intensity, confidence and performance during the competition.

One mindset focuses on your opponent’s strengths and record.

When you are focused on the talent, ability or accomplishments of your opponent, the end result is usually feelings of anxiety and intimidation.

Focusing on your opponent zaps you of confidence and results in tentative performances and a greater number of mistakes during competitions.

The mindset that contributes to optimal performances is the one where you focus on your strengths, your successes, your preparation and your game plan.

When you are focused on your talents and abilities, you enter the competition confident, and mentally and physically ready to perform to your capabilities.

The Philadelphia Eagles are playing the Goliath in the NFL, the New England Patriots, in Super Bowl LII.

The Patriots have arguably the best quarterback (Tom Brady) and greatest head coach (Bill Belichick) of all-time and have won five Super Bowls in 16 years.

In fact the Patriots have not missed the playoffs since 2008.

The Eagles refuse to get wrapped up in the history of the Patriots, after all, it’s history.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has the team focused on the keys to help the team be at their best… And the Eagles are buying into this positive mindset and proper focus.

PEDERSON: “It’s important for us that we make sure that we continue to detail what we do in practice, we execute our game plan, guys are focused that way, and you just can’t get caught up in what they do. It’s more about what we do in this game.”

Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery echoed Pederson’s philosophy and stated their opponent is just another opponent, nothing more.

Jeffery and the rest of the team knows they must be singularly focused on their strengths to successfully accomplish their mission.

JEFFERY: “It’s a faceless opponent, no matter whose jersey it is. They put on their pads just like us. I don’t care who it is, Tom Brady, or anybody.”

You see, it doesn’t matter how many championships your opponents have achieved… or their win-loss record… or their ranking… or the number of medals or awards they have earned… All those things are just past numbers.

If you want to perform your best and compete with everything you have, you need to start the competition on even ground rather than elevate the status of your opponents.

It’s critical to maintain your focus, but it is even more important to maintain the focus on your team’s talents.

How to Maintain your Focus Against Top Competition:

Do you buy into the common phrase in sports, “On any given day”?

This phrase is a reminder that no team or athlete is invincible. Everyone has bad days and good days.

Treat the other team as nameless and numberless. Don’t put the other team on a pedestal.

Above all else, focus on your team’s talents, ability, and strengths.

Related Sports Psychology Articles

*Subscribe to The Sports Psychology Podcast on iTunes
*Subscribe to The Sports Psychology Podcast on Spotify

Download a free sports psychology report to improve your mental game!

Learn more about our one-on-one mental game coaching.

The Focused Athlete

It’s probably no secret that you have many opportunities to become distracted in sports. Athletes are bombarded with both internal and external distractions everyday in practice and competition. Focused athletes are able to get the most from their skills because they are more efficient with practice and more concentrated in competition. Athletes who lack focus let distractions run wild through their mind and don’t know how to adjust or refocus.

The Focused Athlete was developed for any level coach, parent, or junior to professional athlete who wants to improve performance and gain a competitive edge. It does not matter if you are a fledgling junior athlete; or a seasoned professional, plagued with distractions; or you just wanting to learn how to improve concentration…

“The Focused Athlete” is a complete system to teach you how to focus like a champion and harness the power of a zone focus every time you step on the playing field, court, track, or course in practice and games!

Leave a Comment