How to Be Mentally Ready for Trash-Talkers

Mentally Prepare For Trash Talk

Supercharge Your Mental Game

Emotions can supercharge or ruin an athlete’s performance on the field.

Have you ever had a game where an opposing player or fans got into your head?

How well did you respond? Did you become so angry that you couldn’t focus on your game?

Did your performance spiral downward or you made more mistakes because you became totally frustrated?

You want to be the master of your emotions–to be your best–instead of allowing your emotions to control you.

But controlling emotions, when the stakes are high, are easier said than done…

New York Giants’ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is a young player with tremendous potential. In fact, Beckman has more receptions and more receiving yards in his first 25 NFL games than any player in NFL history.

Despite his talent and ability to make acrobatic catches, Beckman occasionally allows himself to become rattled by trash-talking opponents.

In a recent game against the Carolina Panthers, Panther cornerback Josh Norman pushed Beckman’s buttons with aggressive, physical play and constant trash talking.

During the game, the two players were flagged for unnecessary roughness and continued their verbal jawing well after plays ended.

Beckham allowed his emotions to get the best of him…

Though Beckham caught 6 of 9 passes for 76, it was well below his 132 yards per game in his previous six games.

Beckham’s lack of emotional control caused him to drop a 52-yard touchdown pass early in the game.

In addition, Beckham picked up three personal fouls and was suspended one game by the NFL affecting the Giants chances for making the 2015 playoffs.

Beckham stated he has been “dealing with it [trash talking] every week.”

Why does this happen so frequently to Beckham?

First, trash talk in the NFL is common practice but it continues against Beckham because it works. It takes Beckham out of his game and other teams have taken notice how to get Beckham emotionally-charged.

Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin commented that success is the best revenge and that it is imperative to maintain emotional control to play your best football.

IRVIN: “The more you react, the more people will try to rattle you. It’s just what they are going to do… Respond to it on the football field with catches and touchdowns. Do what you do and that’s how you beat all of it. The couple of balls he dropped, he had Josh Norman beat both times… Josh Norman gets into fights with everybody. Every receiver he plays against, he gets into fights.”

By learning to maintain your composure, you will be able to focus on your game and produce on the field.

Strategy to be Mentally Ready for Trash-Talking Opponents:

Mentally Prepare for Battle – Be ready for the trash-talkers and think about your strategy for coping. Keep in mind that trash-talkers are attempting to level the playing field because they see you as a more talented athlete.

Anticipate and prepare yourself before it happens. How will you handle it? Think about it now so you will know what to do. Tell yourself, “Relax… Focus… Play my game. I am a better athlete… Focus on what I do best.”

After the play is over, don’t engage your opponent… Don’t invite them into your head.

Get all my tips for improved composure with “The Composed Athlete” CD program. Learn how to let go of mistakes and prepare yourself for emotional control.

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 Composed Athlete

“The Composed Athlete” is presented on 80-minute Audio Programs with a 70-page step-by-step workbook that guides you through the program each day. It’s a complete system for conditioning your mind to have maximum composure in competition.

The Composed 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 your composure…

Leave a Comment