How to Overcome Mental Blocks in Football

How to Overcome Mental Blocks in Football

Demystifying Mental Toughness episode 93 dan abrahams

Dan Abrahams is a sport and performance psychologist. A former professional golfer, Dan has 25 years experience in high performance sport, and has spent the last 15 years as a qualified sport psychologist working with some of the best sports competitors in the world. He has held several senior positions in British sport including Lead Psychologist for England Golf and for England Rugby (working alongside Eddie Jones in the lead up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup). He has held contracts with a number of Premier League and Championship football teams, and is regarded as one of the go-to sport psychologists for elite soccer players globally. 

Today I chat with leading Sport Psychologist Dan Abrahams about the mental blocks that footballers present that can go on to influence why they struggle to replicate their form from the training pitch to match days.

Despite our conversation in the main, being football related it does crossover to other sports where we touch on performance anxiety, Dan’s approach to the use of mental skills and how as Sports Psychologists we can educate coaches the importance of psychological and social factors as well as a whole lot more.  

Enjoy listening!

Key Learning Points:

  • When it comes to game day, footballers are going to experience a higher volume of anxiety than when they train. Some players will experience anxiety, doubt, worry or fear as a consequence and possibly a drop in confidence. 
  • Some players will become easily distracted and when they play they’ll be inhibited. 
  • Other players will see a drop off in intensity levels.
  • Players need a mental skills framework to deal with these challenges.
  • Dan talks to players about having a match day script, about squashing ANTS, using controllers, raising bars and a high performance mindset.
  • The story or narrative a player tells themself is very important going into a game.  
  • A key message for coaches is that a task and mastery focus should take precedent over ego or outcome and performance factors that are out of a player’s control.

Connect with Dan Abrahams




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To Listen to Football or Soccer Podcast Episodes

Podcast Episode Ep27: Natalie Henderson – How to Develop Mental Toughness with Young Footballers

Podcast Episode Ep43: Jamie Forrester – Thriving in Professional Football

Podcast Ep49: How Does Sport Psychology in Elite Football Academies Help – James Maurice

Podcast Ep51: Peter Ramage, Brendan Pearson and Julian Dowe – Why Talking Matters 

Podcast Ep64: Edu Rubio – How to Support Young Footballers

Other Football or Soccer Resources

Psychology in Football or Soccer Blogs

Blog: Does Your Warm Up Influence How You Perform?

Blog: How To Overcome Self-Doubt When You’re A Goalkeeper

Blog: 7 Tips on Taking Penalty Kicks Under Pressure

Blog: 5 Ways to Create a Psychological Safe Sporting Environment

Click the button below to join The Sports Psychology Hub a Facebook group that David hosts to help ambitious athletes, serious sport coaches, sporting parents, sports psychologists and mental game coaches to support each other.



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

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly. 

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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