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Robert Yates
Robert Yates

Soccer Tough 2: Advanced Psychology Techniques ...

Technique, speed and tactical execution are crucial components of winning soccer, but it is mental toughness that marks out the very best players - the ability to play when pressure is highest, the opposition is strongest, and fear is greatest. Top players and coaches understand the importance of sport psychology in soccer but how do you actually train your mind to become the best player you can be?

Soccer Tough 2: Advanced Psychology Techniques ...

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Soccer Tough demystifies this crucial side of the game and offers practical techniques that will enable soccer players of all abilities to actively develop focus, energy, and confidence. Soccer Tough will help banish the fear, mistakes, and mental limits that holds players back.

Soccer psychology consultant Dan Abrahams shares the powerful techniques that have helped him develop reserve team players to become international players, and guided youth team players from slumps to first team contracts. Covering the mental triumphs of some of the world's leading players - Soccer Tough will help you become the best player you can be. Soccer Tough is for amateur and professional players of all levels, as well as coaches. This book explores how the best soccer players in the world think and gives the reader step-by-step ways to do the same.

Dan is a psychology consultant to QPR in the English Premier League and has worked with more than a dozen professional clubs and hundreds of players over the past 10 years. He has some of the most exciting case studies from the past decade including helping professional soccer player Carlton Cole go from forgotten reserve team player to England international.

Dan has spread his soccer psychology philosophies across the soccer globe by using social media and his mindset techniques are now used by players and coaches across Europe, the USA, the Middle East, the Far East and Australasia.

Over the next couple of months SoccerToday has invited me to talk a little about each chapter of my new book, Soccer Tough 2. These exclusive articles also give me the platform to expand on the contents of each chapter, providing you, the reader, with plenty of new philosophies, tools and techniques to play your very best soccer in 2016.

Since 2012, the English Premier League (EPL) has, via its Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP), mandated the inclusion of psychology within the development program for English soccer players. Despite this initiative, the integration of sport psychology remains a challenge [2], and the discipline is not always positively received by all [10]. Additionally, there is limited research describing the experience of applied sport psychology practitioners working in the sport. The present study sought to gain insight into the delivery of sport psychology within the framework of the EPPP through capturing the experiences of sport psychology practitioners currently working within EPL soccer academies in the United Kingdom.

The results demonstrated that, although the provision of sport psychology is improving and continuing to develop, there remain a number of factors that inhibit a full integration of the discipline into the academy development program. The most prominent factors identified in this study were the level of psychological literacy among coaches, and the attention and resources dedicated to the discipline. That is, in order for the integration of sport psychology into the wider development program to be successful, those who are responsible for aiding the promotion and delivery of psychological content require a greater level of understanding than is currently present. In line with the findings of Murdoch [20], our study found that the level of psychological understanding among coaches appeared to be lower than the coaches perceived it to be. This is potentially problematic due to the level of impact and influence that coaches have on players [39], and the fact that they are such a key source of support [19]. If, due to a lack of psychological literacy, coaches are promoting sub-optimal psychological advice, then players may be at risk of developing poor psychological habits. Thus, in order for sport psychology to be successfully and safely provided to academy soccer players, practitioners should be employed to deliver such content, but further should have a significant role in the education of coaches and other support staff about sport psychology and the importance of delivering sound psychological advice [40]. Additionally, from the findings, it is evident that there is still a stigma attached to the discipline of sport psychology. This stigmatized thinking and the fear of the unknown is still causing a level of resistance from some coaches and players when seeking psychological support [41]. Therefore, a recommendation of this study would be to provide education to players and coaches around sport psychology and the way in which it can benefit performance, in order to help combat such thinking.

Several researchers haveinvestigated the way in which mental toughness is developed (15, 17, 18, 22, 30). Indeed, if mental toughness is such adesirable characteristic, sport psychology practitioners need to pursue ideasregarding its development. By listing attributes of the ideal mentally toughcoach, coaches seeking to continue to improve by becoming more mentally toughcan work to develop these characteristics. Several of these characteristics canbe developed and demonstrated over time; thus, developing mental toughness is anexperiential improvement process.

By studying mental toughness forcoaching, the hope is to increase the quality of coaches leading to improvedperformances and satisfaction for both coaches and the athletes they serve.Defining mental toughness in coaching and identifying the attributes can assisttoward this desired outcome. By further investigating the attributes of theideal mentally tough coach, coaches choosing to continually improve can lookintrospectively for characteristics within themselves to improve. Additionally,sports psychology professionals should also seek to develop appropriatelydesigned training or educational programs in order to assist coaches indeveloping professional mental toughness.

The course provides advanced training and clinical application of therapeutic methods with children and adolescents. Students will learn evidence-based approaches that can be applied in school and clinical settings with specific focus on the needs of Deaf/Hard of Hearing and hearing individuals who have language and learning challenges. Students will learn to develop and implement a comprehensive therapeutic plan including case conceptualization, goal development, session/module planning, documentation of progress, and measurement of effectiveness through application of previously learned research and practice techniques.

Coleman Griffith worked as an American professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois where he first performed comprehensive research and applied sport psychology. He performed causal studies on vision and attention of basketball and soccer players, and was interested in their reaction times, muscular tension and relaxation, and mental awareness.[16] Griffith began his work in 1925 studying the psychology of sport at the University of Illinois funded by the Research in Athletics Laboratory.[17] Until the laboratory's closing in 1932, he conducted research and practiced sport psychology in the field. The laboratory was used for the study of sport psychology; where different factors that influence athletic performance and the physiological and psychological requirements of sport competitions were investigated. He then transmitted his findings to coaches, and helped advance the knowledge of psychology and physiology on sports performance. Griffith also published two major works during this time: The Psychology of Coaching (1926) and The Psychology of Athletics (1928). Coleman Griffith was also the first person to describe the job of sport psychologists and talk about the main tasks that they should be capable of carrying out. He mentioned this in his work "Psychology and its relation to athletic competition", which was published in 1925.[18] One of the tasks was to teach the younger and unskilled coaches the psychological principles that were used by the more successful and experienced coaches. The other task was to adapt psychological knowledge to sport, and the last task was to use the scientific method and the laboratory for the purpose of discovering new facts and principles that can aid other professionals in the domain.

One common area of study within sport psychology is the relationship between personality and performance. This research focuses on specific personality characteristics and how they are related to performance or other psychological variables. There are various personality characteristics that have been found to be consistent among elite athletes. These include but are not limited to mental toughness, self-efficacy, arousal, motivation, commitment, competitiveness, and control. Mental toughness is a psychological edge that helps one perform at a high level consistently. Mentally tough athletes exhibit four characteristics: a strong self-belief (confidence) in their ability to perform well, an internal motivation to be successful, the ability to focus one's thoughts and feelings without distraction, and composure under pressure.[46] Self-efficacy is a belief that one can successfully perform a specific task.[47] In sport, self-efficacy has been conceptualized as sport-confidence.[48] However, efficacy beliefs are specific to a certain task (e.g., I believe I can successfully make both free throws), whereas confidence is a more general feeling (e.g., I believe I will have a good game today). Arousal refers to one's physiological and cognitive activation. While many researchers have explored the relationship between arousal and performance, one unifying theory has not yet been developed. However, research does suggest perception of arousal (i.e., as either good or bad) is related to performance.[49] Motivation can be defined broadly as the will to perform a given task. People who play or perform for internal reasons, such as enjoyment and satisfaction, are said to be intrinsically motivated, while people who play for external reasons, such as money or attention from others, are extrinsically motivated.[50] Commitment refers to the dedication to continuing a sport from early development into a high level of sport expertise. Competitiveness is the ability to challenge opponents with an aim of success.[51] Control is the ability to separate and focus on different events occurring in one's life, both within and outside of athletics.[51] Additionally, there are specific psychological skills that are ingrained in personality that are possessed at higher levels in elite athletes than the typical person. These include arousal regulation, goal setting, imagery, pre-performance routines, and self-talk.[51] 041b061a72


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