I am excited and honoured to announce that I have signed a year’s contract with QPR Football Club. As the head of football psychology I will primarily be working alongside Steve Gallen and Marc Bircham to develop the Centre of Excellence players from Under 9’s through to Under 18’s. I will also be working alongside football development coach Ronnie Jepson to build the mental toughness of the reserve team footballers.
A football psychology programme should focus on developing three categories of mental toughness: emotional, performance and social. These combine to create football tough players with world class winning mindsets.
- Self awareness: the ability to recognise ones strengths and weaknesses as a footballer and as a person.
- Self management: the ability to control ones emotions and impulses and adapt to changing circumstances (specifically, coping with adversity and having the coping skills to thrive in the meritocracy of a first team environment).
- Self learning: the ability to become a student of the game, proactively analyse football, set performance goals and execute those goals on a day to day basis.
- Confidence: the ability to perform with freedom (without fear) under pressure; the ability to notice when confidence is dropping and restore it with appropriate strategies.
- Focus: the ability to maintain focus under pressure; the ability to notice when focus is dropping and restore it with appropriate strategies.
- Intensity: the ability to perform at, and maintain the right intensity levels under pressure; the ability to notice when intensity is dropping or rising too much and restore it to the correct level with appropriate strategies.
- Friends and family: the ability to sense, understand and react to others’ emotions while managing conflict.
- Team mates and leaders: the ability to inspire, influence and develop others.
- Coaching staff: the ability to understand and respect authority; the ability to learn from the coaching staff.