Football Psychology: Ian Holloway – Re-Imagine!

Where now for Ian Holloway? It was only four seasons ago that he was leading Blackpool in their ‘we will score more than you’, populist Premier League campaign. Now sacked at relegation threatened Millwall. the Bristolian appears to have lost his mojo. Holloway is a man of strong emotions. Thus when things go well he can create a feeling of euphoria around his place of work. But in difficult times, his melancholy and darker moods can impact negatively on his teams. This is a man who needs to keep a keen eye on his emotional well-being. When he was sacked […]

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Cricket Psychology: England – A Losing Mentality!

It’s England coach Peter Moores after the defeat to Bangladesh. ‘We thought 275 was chaseable. We will have to have a look at the data’. It’s a regrettable comment from the England coach. For it gives the impression of a man unable to make a critical judgement on events without data support. For he shouldn’t need data to tell him why England lost this match. He should know why in an instant. But when a losing mentality holds sway, insight can be in short supply. As winning can be a habit, so can losing. And this England cricket team appeared […]

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Cricket Psychology: Peter Moores – Sleepwalking To Failure?

Another day, another World Cup defeat for England. This time it’s the Sri Lankan batsmen helping themselves to the generous offerings from England’s bowlers. This England team are approaching rock bottom. The captain Eoin Morgan doesn’t have a problem fronting up and telling it like it is. But one person notable by his absence from the front-line is coach Peter Moores. It is Moores who bears the ultimate responsibility for England’s critical under-performance. Peter Moores is clearly an effective coach. After all he was won county titles with two different counties. He is known for his planning and organisation skills. […]

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Football Psychology: Jose Mourinho – Injustice!

It’s Sky Sports weekly football show Goals On Sunday. Former Blackburn and Southampton striker James Beattie is due to be the morning guest. But at the last minute he is bumped off. On the sofa is Jose Mourinho. It’s not the Mourinho way to open himself up for a cosy chat, whilst blandly discussing the relevant issues from the weekends action. And sure enough he has an agenda. Virtually the first half of the programme is given to Mourinho, so that he can vent about Martin Atkinson’s refereeing mistakes from the previous days draw with Burnley. Chris Kamara and co-host […]

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Tennis Psychology: Andy Murray – Motivation!

It’s the Rotterdam Open and Andy Murray is playing Gilles Simon in the quarter finals. To maintain a mental focus, Murray reads from handwritten notes between games. Those notes were photographed by a Dutch sports journalist and published online. They make surprising reading. The notes are the sort of instructions you might remind a sixteen year old player to remember. For example the seond notation is ‘Try Your Best’. This is strange. Andy Murray always tries his best. It’s one of his most consistent qualities. Why does he need to remind himself of this? Notation three is ‘Be intense with […]

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Cricket Psychology: England – No Plans!

England coach Peter Moores has promised to review England’s death bowling, after they conceded a massive 105 runs in the final ten overs of Australia’s innings in Melbourne last week. England bowled to plans in allowing the Aussies to build an unreachable total. And plans are very much a part of contemporary cricket strategizing. But the down-side of plans, is that it means that experienced cricketers simply follow pre-set orders. We have a plan. We follow it. There appears to be little room in the modern game for players to simply work things out for themselves. Smart experienced players don’t […]

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Golf Psychology: Tiger Woods – The Comeback?

He was bulletproof. A giant of the game. King of the golfing world. Immune from weakness. Striking fear into the hearts of his opponents with his mental strength. Tiger Woods was a true trailblazer. He set the tone for others to follow. He changed how players physically and mentally prepared for tournaments. But that was then. Tiger’s game is currently no longer good enough to compete on the professional tour. Is it over for good for Tiger Woods or is the great American comeback around the corner? When you have been as good as Tiger was, the greatest challenge is […]

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Football Psychology: Stuart Pearce – Whatever Happened To Psycho?

He was a club legend. A man who defined his career as a player with character, tenacity and a fighting spirit, that endeared him to fans of all clubs. But as a manager he is falling well short. Stuart Pearce’s sacking as Forest manager came as no surprise. A home defeat to struggling Millwall put an end to his brief reign at The City Ground. The image of Pearce on the pitch in euphoric celebration after the late winner at Derby, was a reminder of what might have been. The driven passionate punk rocker…putting all his emotions out there. Managing […]

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Tennis Psychology: Andy Murray – The Meltdown!

Andy Murray’s pre Ivan Lendl career was blighted by moments of the Scotsman loudly berating himself. On court. Under pressure. For all to see. Especially in the big matches. The canny Lendl seemed to help Murray overcome this trait. No more beating himself up on court. No more letting his opponent know how he was feeling. Simply, putting the mistake behind him and staying right in the moment in a state of lucid concentration. A stronger mentality outweighing a highly charged emotion. So yesterdays meltdown to Novak Djokovic, came right out of the blue. Right out of Andy Murrays back […]

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Football Psychology: Jose Mourinho – The Campaign!

It’s the post match interviews at St Mary’s and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is not happy. Referee Anthony Taylor has not only denied Cesc Fabregas a penalty, but then booked the Spaniard for diving. Mourinho claims that the media, rival managers, coaches and referees are waging a campaign against his team. A campaign based on the notion that his team are prone to diving. It’s textbook Mourinho. Playing one of his favourite cards. It’s the Us v Them strategy! Whether there is or isn’t a campaign against Chelsea is irrelevant. But for Mourinho it’s the perfect vehicle to create a […]

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