Thursday, 19 January 2012

Mind games

Fabulous little interview at the always thought provoking Craven Cottage Newsround with football pyschologist Dan Abrahams.

A snippet:
It seems to me that football is a game of momentum. How can players change a game’s momentum?

I need a whole book to answer this one. From a football psychology perspective you must plan to deal with momentum before playing. Specifically preparing the strategies you are going to use to deal with momentum both for and against. Examples of cognitive strategies I’ve used with players include deliberately keeping focus in the present moment, positive and confident self-talk no matter what, and verbal cues related to sticking to role and responsibilities. Behavioural strategies include visual cues, deliberately playing with fun and freedom, maintaining positive body language and being more vocal.
Great question given that momentum seems a difficult thing to stop, other than feigning injury and creating a break in play - artificially curtailing momentum. It's a shame that it's such a technical answer - would love to see some real examples of this.

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