How exciting! At the beginning of February I travelled up to Pro Zone headquarters in Leeds to deliver a presentation on football psychology to the coaching department at the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA).
The Professional Footballers’ Association is the world’s longest established professional sportsperson’s union, and it offers its members coaching qualifications to prepare for secondary careers within football. As a forward thinking association they wanted a greater understanding of the psychology of football and so they asked me to deliver an hour’s presentation to all the regional coaches. When I arrived I was delighted that England football legend Jimmy Armfield was present as was Arsenal football great Paul Davis.
As a rule I like to keep things simple, but given that my audience were some of the leading coach educators in world football I delivered a presentation about “the brain and football”. To me an understanding of the brain and how it works relative to performance is a must for 21st century football coaches. I based my presentation on 3 principles of brain science:
- The front brain is small.
- The brain is hardwired to be negative.
- Brain chemistry is always shifting.
To me these 3 principles come together to make football a “mental game”.
The presentation was really well received and I look forward to being involved with the Professional Footballers’ Association as they work toward creating more 21st century football coaches.
My Work At QPR
I am currently loving my role at QPR. Queens Park Rangers football club is based in West London with a rich history. They play in the English Championship but are performing so well that they will hopefully be returning to the English Premier League next season.
Currently I am working alongside Steve Gallon and his assistant Marc Bircham (QPR and Millwall legend!) to help build a mental toughness unit at the Centre of Excellence. I have also been asked to work with some young first team players who are on the periphery of the match squad. For example, I have worked this season with a young Latvian goalkeeper, Elvis Putjnins who is on loan at Boreham Wood, and with a young German defender, Max Ehmer, who is on loan at Yeovil.
Stay tuned in to my blog for updates about my sport psychology work at Queens Park Rangers football club.