Case Study: Supporting a Professional Footballer during Challenging Times
It’s important to recognize footballers are human beings too
A professional footballer who played at international level.
The client had lost his confidence and his desire to train hard. In matches, he was on the periphery when he was selected. He felt lost and helpless to overcome the problem, which had gone on for around 2 months. Prior to the dip in form and loss in motivation he had positive experiences at other clubs in his professional career to date. He was not enjoying training and wasn’t the best person to live with at home.
- To help him find his motivation for training.
- To get back to enjoying football and life, in challenging times.
- To find a balance between training, playing and thinking about football and his personal life.
- To improve his communication skills with the coaching staff, family and friends.
- To help him rebuild his shattered confidence so that he could go onto the pitch and express himself.
Over a three month period we met every 1 to 3 weeks for one hour using zoom video conferencing. The sessions included:
- A needs analysis was conducted by myself the Sports Psychologist with the player and his partner (He wanted the work to be private, away from the football club which is very common).
- We reviewed his daily routines on and off the pitch, his strengths and what it felt like when he was on form, energised and motivated.
- We used imagery interventions in sessions and where audio recordings were created to support him get the feel for being at his best and over-come different challenges.
- An i3 profile was used to aid his awareness of his personality strengths and environmental preferences. This helped us recognise how COVID restrictions were impacting on him when playing the sport and at home.
- We reviewed what was important to him and his values.
- We checked what expectations that could be holding him back and what was helpful to improve his emotional intelligence, using some exercises associated with cognitive behavioural therapy.
- Mini goals were agreed after each and every session so that he had something to work on, practically in training and in matches.
- The footballer enjoyed all of the sessions that we did and was great to work with.
- He worked hard on himself and to change his mindset.
- He altered the way he approached training.
- He understood warm ups were there to prepare his mind and body to hit the ground running in training and matches and stopped simply going through the motions.
- Off the pitch, he was a nicer person to live with and be around despite limitations on what he could do to escape the pressures of playing elite professional football.
- He worked with a business partner to set up a business venture taking his mind away from football.
- He rediscovered his love for training and competing to win in matches.
If you’d like to learn more about how I could help you or a team-mate why not get in touch.
Or if you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends, team-mates, parents or coaches. You can also join our online community – THE SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY HUB – for regular Sports Psychology tips, podcasts, motivation and support.
Global Sports Psychologist located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.
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
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
Sports Psychology Tips: Using ACT and Mindfulness to Improve Your Sporting Performances Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on whatsapp Share on email Do you struggle to remain present in the moment? Pressure is something that most athletes experience when they’re performing. The best performers are able to manage the pressure
ACT in Sport, Improving Performance through Mindfulness Dr James Hegarty has a wide range of experiences as a Clinical Psychologist and a long standing interest in Sports Psychology. Throughout his career he has worked with sports people, from passionate amateurs through to professional athletes. He was an early adopter of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training, and
Sports Psychology Tips: Mental Preparation for Combat Sports Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on whatsapp Share on email Many fighters get in their own way before and during fights As a fighter, you’ll be well aware that one mistake from you could mean that the fight is over quickly or
How to Transfer Your Cricket Skills to Matches Jarrod Leathem is based in the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. He enjoys supporting batsmen, in cricket, as a performance coach and is the founder of the popular High Performance For Batsmen Facebook Group. Whether you’re a batsman or bowler, a wicket keeper or a fielder the
Search Our Sports Psychology Website
Join Our Online Community Now!
"The Mental Edge"
Are you an athlete, coach or parent that would like to learn how to create sustainable high performance?
Receive my free fortnightly email, where I share proven Sport Psychology and High Performance tips and strategies.
If you want some support and motivation straight to your inbox, then fill in your details below.