146 What Is The Role Of A Sports Psychologist In Football?


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In today’s episode I chat with John Nassoori, a freelance writer and sports journalist for BBC Sport and The Guardian, in the UK. We go on to discuss his research into football or soccer psychology, at both the elite end and in grassroots football. We chat about perceptions of sports psychology, mental health and mental toughness in football. We also touch on the difference between a sports psychologist and other people who are working in football who often get labelled as sports psychologists. How sports psychology is used currently in football and what the future holds for the domain we also talk about.

What You Will Learn In This Episode:

  • That football or soccer psychology is still in its infancy.
  • The role of the Sports Psychologist is misunderstood and requires ongoing education to football clubs decision makers, coaching staff and support teams.
  • It takes an outlay of £45k+ to gain the necessary qualifications to qualify as a HCPC Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist.
  • The term Sport and Exercise Psychologist is a protected term.
  • Mind Coaches, Mental Performance Coaches, Clinical or Counselling Psychologists have a role to play in football or soccer however their route to providing support in this environment is different to a Sport and Exercise Psychologist.
  • It is important to check out the credentials of anyone practicing psychology whether they are seeking to enhance performance or improve mental health.
  • Mental toughness in football is similar to resilience, it’s about helping people withstand pressure.

Connect with John Nassoori:

The Football Psychology Show

Connect with David Charlton

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Join David @ The Sports Psychology Hub

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Helpful Podcast Episodes

Ep093: Dan Abrahams – How to Overcome Mental Blocks in Football

Ep102: 30 Mental Game Secrets to Improve Your Soccer

Ep105: Hannah Bromley - Overcoming Psychological Challenges in Professional Women’s Football

Ep111: Michael Caulfield - How to be an Effective Sports Psychologist in Elite Professional Football

Ep125: Jack Hicks-Flynn - How is Psychology used in Professional Football Clubs

Other Useful Resources

Blog - A Common Mental Game Error Many Footballers Make

Blog 5 Coaching Tips to Develop Mentally Tough Footballers

Blog: 5 Ways to Create a Psychological Safe Sporting Environment

Blog: Supporting a Professional Footballer during Challenging Times

Case Study - Supporting a Young Footballer to Overcome his Fears

Library - Soccer Psychology | Mental Skills for Football

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