How to Overcome Mental Blocks in Football
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.
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.
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Global Sports Psychologist located near Durham and willing to travel Internationally. Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence. With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly.
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