When we hear performers talk about the flow state, they mean the point where they are able to go beyond perceived limits and achieve extraordinary outcomes. Think Beckham from the halfway line, Diego Maradona dribbling through England’s defence, Owen putting Argentina to the sword.
We know that this flow state occurs when the performer and the game are as one. They perform without the internal background noise, which breeds self-doubt or anxiety. Being fully present in the moment, it’s peak performance made manifest. We are witnessing sporting synchronicity.
If internal and external harmony coalesce we are approaching sporting excellence. It is unity within a club which encourages this. Uncertain futures lead to uncertain performances. Leeds is the perfect example. Harmony off the field leads to success on it.
Success in 21st century sport must take into account attitudes both on and off the pitch. However, it’s rare that we witness organisations trying to attain this level of excellence. Especially when they are struggling with the financial restraints of life in the Nationwide.
Six years ago the Premiership beckoned Reading. Traumatically, Bolton snatched the golden prize from their uncertain grasp and, like others before, the aftershock sent the club into free fall.
But with Madejski’s Auto Trader millions financing a state of the art stadium, the time for a renewed assault on football’s peaks was right.
Alan Pardew was a self confessed average player who overcame his limitations with above average mental strength and will.
Absorbing the wisdoms of the American sports dons Vince Lombardi. John Wooden and, learning directly from a master motivator and innovator, Steve Coppell, Pardew was ready for the challenge of not just rebuilding on the field, but off it too.
The Benefits Of Sports Psychology…
Pardew has become a model 21st century manager. Utilising the benefits of sports psychology to maximise his players’ potential, he has created something way beyond a yell and tell culture. It’s about empowerment: to build players’ footballing intellect by enabling them to find solutions to the problems they encounter.
Success is in the detail. The Royals warm up routines tell us plenty. In the key promotion game with Rotherham, the Millers work on their general fitness in the warm up. For Reading it’s specific, geared towards building sharpness and versatility. It is preparation for success.
Pardew has created a success culture of positives; coaching staff; office staff; players; management team. Staff positive players positive results positive progress.
Pardew briefs the PA man to up the pre-game tempo. Why? To lift the crowd to lift the team to lift the crowd.
The chief scout delivers the pre-game team talk on the opposition. Why? Because he is the man for the job.
Players are given a clear template to play from that is simple. Why? Because Pardew, the ex-player, knows what pros need to keep it simple.
The Sports Psychology Summary
His recent touchline ban is over yet Pardew takes a step back to let his coaching staff taste the limelight. He doesn’t need to interfere. He knows all is in place. Why? Because it’s a team thing. They are all in the loop. All in the positivity cycle.
Fulham, needing the harmony he has built in Berkshire, are said to be hunting his services. Will Reading now back Pardew all the way with the support he needs to make the final breakthrough to football’s promised land or will history repeat itself? Either way, Alan Pardew is a Premiership manager in waiting.