Interview with our Alumni: Insights and Inspiration
Check out our interview with one of our alumni student who expanded their knowledge of physical preparation through our education program.
Q: Hello Neven, could you tell us about the importance of psychical preparation in football (soccer)?
Neven: Sure, psychical preparation is an essential component of football performance. It involves training the mind to enhance concentration, focus, confidence, and mental toughness. Physical training is not enough to ensure success in football. A player’s ability to think and react quickly, stay calm under pressure, and make the right decisions is equally important.
Q: Can you explain some specific ways that psychical preparation can improve a player’s performance?
Neven: Certainly. Here are some examples:
Visualization: This involves creating mental images of successful outcomes and practicing them repeatedly. For instance, a player may visualize themselves scoring a goal, making an important pass, or winning a game.
Goal setting: Setting specific, measurable, and achievable goals can help players stay motivated and focused. Goals can be related to individual or team performance.
Relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation can help players manage their anxiety, reduce stress, and stay calm during games.
Positive self-talk: This involves using positive affirmations and self-talk to boost confidence and maintain focus. For instance, a player may repeat phrases such as “I can do this” or “I am a great player” to themselves.
Q: That’s very interesting. How do teams and coaches incorporate psychical preparation into their training and game strategies?
Neven: Coaches can work with sports psychologists to develop specific psychical training plans for their teams. They can also integrate psychical training into their regular training routines. For instance, coaches may use visualization exercises during warm-up or pre-game rituals to help players get in the right mindset. In addition, coaches can provide players with feedback and support to help them develop their mental skills.