Academy Football, Professional Football, Injuries and Early Retirement

Sports Psychology Tips: Academy Football, Professional Football, Injuries and Early Retirement

Brendan Pearson was a talented goalkeeper who progressed through Newcastle United’s academy system, signing professional terms.  He went on to play for the club’s under 23’s and had spells on loan where he played for Gateshead F.C.  He also spent time between the posts for South Shields and Greenock Morton in Scotland. 

Sadly, during Brendan’s short career he spent a lot of time injured which then meant that he retired at the age of 23 years old to start a career in the fitness industry.

Brendan Pearson
Brendan Pearson, Former Newcastle United Goalkeeper

In this episode, David and Brendan discussed the challenges of :

  • Goalkeeping
  • Academy Football
  • Turning Professional
  • Loan moves
  • Coach and Manager personalities
  • Changing your game to suit different tactics asked of you
  • Dealing with serious injuries
  • Retiring at a young age

Brendan bravely opens up and talks about his difficult journey and shares some excellent advice for young players, parents and coaches who invest time with young footballers.

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • Why developing self-belief is important in academy football.
  • The mindset required to play top teams in youth football such as Ajax, AC Milan, Manchester United, Benfica…
  • Seeing challenges as an opportunity.
  • Keeping a balanced perspective towards how you define “pressure.”
  • Nerves are natural when you make your debut and when you play in big stadiums with large crowds as a youngster.
  • The importance of supporting and praising your team-mates.
  • Don’t let a bad training session before a match knock your confidence.
  • How to impress new coaches and managers.
  • The difficulties of adjusting to different playing styles when you’re loaned out after experiencing academy football.
  • Dealing with differences of opinion between you the player and managers.
  • How to cope after making errors as a goalkeeper.
  • The way you handle criticism will make or break you as a goalkeeper.
  • Brendan shares advice for players who suffer long-term injuries.

Thank you for tuning in!

There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, but you chose Demystifying Mental Toughnesss.  We’re grateful for that.   



Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and we read every single one of them!

David Charlton Sports Psychologist

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Online Goalkeeping Psychologist who supports goalkeepers with their mental game all around the world from USA to Ireland and England to Australia, using ONLINE Video Conferencing.      

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence, Host of Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcast and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over a decades’ experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, faster.  

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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