The Sports Psychology Blog
Today's Sports Psychology blog comes as the FA look to appoint Italian Fabio Capello, as national manager.
Football: Fabio Capello - Lifting The Burden
So the Football Association, unable to find an Englishman to transform the national team, choose an Italian. Early soundings from Fabio Capello are that he will take on the role of a psychologist and help England overcome their mental problems. Capello feels the burden of expectancy of playing for England has been too great for some of the players.
Well there is no doubt that there have been significant mental barriers that have prevented England from performing to their potential. We only have to compare the recent performances of Steven Gerrard to confirm this. Sluggish for England against Croatia. Inspired for Liverpool three days later against Newcastle United.
So why would a player feel burdened when they don the white shirt of England? When a team is under constant pressure to get results, to deliver performances, then the burden of that pressure must be shared by the collective. The team.
One or two players cannot carry that burden alone. It's the responsibility of the collective. If the collective is not unified, then players feeling the fear of failure, will hide from responsibility. The fear of failure becomes greater than the desire to succeed. Thus individuals leave the responsibility of leadership to others. No wonder Stven Gerrard has looked burdened.
Capello's job will be to create a collective that supports each other. Cares for each other. Wants to win for each other. A family. That absorbs the pressure. Thrives on it. Because of the collective power that has been established. Power found in unity not division.
Unity around the one thing that binds an English team together. England. When a team is united around a common cause, then the natural qualities inherent in that cause get liberated. Honour. A Powerful Will. Defiance. Pride. Respect. The best of England. Qualities that an Italian has been tasked to liberate!