Blogs & Opinion


David Jones:

Most Popular Posts:

Psychologists are now vital members of a football club's staff, says David Jones

David Jones - David Jones Posted 4th December 2012 view comments

Chelsea were excellent for 45 minutes on Saturday.

But half-time came and went, West Ham emerged re-energised and re-motivated and the Blues were torn apart.

Meanwhile, at the Madejski Stadium, seven goals made a mockery of two defences in the first half, but as scribes scrambled through record books the second produced none.

Helping hand: sports psychologist Beswick (left) works closely with McClaren

Helping hand: sports psychologist Beswick (left) works closely with McClaren

All because of tactics or a manager's grand plan, or is there something else at work? Have you ever considered the psychology of a comeback? Of a second half that can be the polar opposite of the first?

What about the player who in his club shirt can't miss from the penalty spot but the moment he pulls on the Three Lions twelve yards seems like 20? The distance is the same, it's still him against the goalkeeper but his mind-set has suddenly changed.

The official role of team psychologist, long the norm in athletics, cycling and even cricket, is no longer the exception in football.

David Jones
Quotes of the week

You've all heard the manager whose team have been played off the park tell the press it was his fault his team played so poorly, choosing to spare the feelings of his players.

Or the countless gaffers up and down this land and beyond who find a failing in every referee after every game because it was never their fault they lost.

Psychology has a huge bearing on our game, perhaps more than most of us could ever comprehend - but the tide is turning.

Sounding board

The official role of team psychologist, long the norm in athletics, cycling and even cricket, is no longer the exception in football; they work at training grounds, often one-on-one and sometimes merely at the behest of their employers - the managers.

They are around on match days to offer a well-chosen word of support, counsel those in need or even act as the manager's sounding board.

One of the first was Bill Beswick, a successful basketball coach in his own right who teamed up with Steve McClaren at Derby and took his theories to Manchester United, Middlesbrough, England and beyond.

This week on The Footballers' Football Show, Beswick will reveal some of the secrets that have taken him to the top of his profession, while joining him will be Lee Richardson, West Ham psychologist and former player and manager himself.

Richardson was tempted back into football by Sam Allardyce after a hugely successful spell in the same role with Lancashire Cricket Club.

Dan Abrahams makes up our panel; he is the author of Soccer Tough and a former professional golfer who now lectures others about the mental training he believes is so integral to success.

Join us if you can, it might change the way you think about our beautiful game.

Don't miss The Footballers' Football Show, 10pm, Thursday, Sky Sports 1 HD.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

FIFA to publish Garcia report

FIFA's executive committee has agreed unanimously to publish Michael Garcia's report into World Cup bidding - where legally possible.

Redknapp: Reds need big win

Liverpool can get back in the top-four race with a win over Arsenal, says Jamie Redknapp.

Sky Sports Today

Premier League and Championship previews ahead of the weekend's football, plus all the day's breaking sports news.

February games on Sky

Sky Sports will show 13 live Premier League games in February, including Everton v Liverpool.

Merson's predictions

Paul predicts wins for Chelsea, Man City, West Ham and QPR and a pair of draws on Super Sunday.

Features

Tyne-Wear Derby: Ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is now a Newcastle favourite following his summer move

Tyne-Wear Derby: Ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is now a Newcastle favourite following his summer move

Former Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback has quickly won over the Newcastle fans and could be a key figure in the Tyne-Wear derby, writes Adam Bate...

Five classics

Five classics

Liverpool v Arsenal is a fixture steeped in history and with the pressure on both bosses ahead of their Super Sunday clash, this weekend’s meeting could be another one to remember.

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but Liverpool lack those Luis Suarez-like qualities

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but Liverpool lack those Luis Suarez-like qualities

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but the Arsenal forward's qualities are a clear example of what Liverpool are missing with Luis Suarez gone, writes Adam Bate...