Snooker Psychology: Judd Trump – Six!

So Judd Trump wins the Gibraltar Open to take his seasons collection of ranking titles to six. A tour record. When a player is crowned World Champion for the first time, there are always questions asked as to whether wearing the champions crown will be a burden or a liberation. Some find the expectation too much, and never come close to greatness again. But for those who leave their mark on the game, the first world title, is a catalyst. A stepping stone. The starting off point to take their game to another level. The level of dominance. Trump’s six […]

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Football Psychology: Liverpool – The New Impossible!

And so Liverpool’s Champions League defence is ended at the hands of a tough Athletico Madrid side. Despite giving everything, this felt like a step too far for Jurgen Klopp’s team. Which is hardly a surprise. Having set a potent trail in the Premier League all season, they look certain to secure their first title in thirty years. But in doing so they have had to break club patterns. Patterns related to near title misses; title under-performances; psychologies of being in the title shadow of Manchester United. All things that create a feeling of, ‘when is a Premier League win […]

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Football Psychology: Ronaldo – The Invisible Fans!

It’s arrival time for the Juventus team, ahead of their behind closed doors top of the table clash with Inter Milan. As Christiano Ronaldo steps off the team bus, he high fives the invisible fans who would normally be waiting to greet the Juventus team as they enter the Allianz Stadium. Then at the final whistle Ronaldo turns to applaud the invisible fans. This garners lots of easy laughs on social media. Except – what if this is all part of Ronaldo’s preparation and visualisation routine? In other words he has mentally prepared for this game, as if there are […]

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Football Psychology: Simon Grayson – Sacked!

So Simon Grayson is sacked as Blackpool manager. Heralded as the second coming, upon his return to the club at the start of the season, Grayson’s tenure lasted just more than half a season. Sometimes in a managerial career, the grind simply takes it’s toll. You become worn out. You don’t admit it. You think you have another big job in you. Another sleeping giant that you can turn around. But it’s a fantasy. Your moment has gone. The new ideas have run dry. Your motivational powers have weakened. Your ability to solve problems has diminished. And your energy levels […]

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Rugby Psychology: England – After The World Cup!

And so England begin their Six Nations campaign with a defeat in France. If England lose more games this season, it won’t be a complete surprise. Big Cup Final losses take a toll. You can never be sure how long it takes for a side to reset and refocus. Just because England came close to lifting the Webb Ellis trophy, doesn’t automatically mean they are ready to go to the next level. After a big final defeat, it’s not just the physical tank that is empty. The emotional well needs replenishing too. Mood. Feeling. Morale. Eddie Jones said that England […]

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Tennis Psychology: Novak Djokovic – The Will Of Winning!

And so Novak Djokovic adds an eighth Australian Open title, to his collection of Grand Slam titles. At times yesterday, during his five-setter with Dominic Thiem he looked on the rack. Exhausted. Heading for defeat. But you underestimate Djokovic at your peril. He has a deep well of inner resources to draw on, that sustain him through on court difficulties. Resources forged during his childhood. That prepare him for adversity. It’s not just an outright refusal to lose. It’s more than that. It’s the ability to change the game dynamics through an inner will. A reversal of polarities, akin to […]

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Football Psychology: Eddie Howe – Principles!

So from being touted consistently for the best jobs in the Premier League, Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe is now favourite for the sack. His post-match interview after the home defeat to Watford, was grim.  Eddie said he was going to go away after the game, and reflect on whether he was still helping the team or not. The question itself, demonstrates a good amount of self-awareness. For out of self-awareness can come a diagnosis for change. A recognition of what isn’t working and a strategy to do something about it. When a manager has had success with a formula. a way […]

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Darts Psychology: Michael Van Gerwen – Winning!

It’s day four of the World Darts Championships and the seeds are tumbling. Rob Cross. Michael Smith. Ian White. And of course ex-champion Ray Van Barneveld. One seed who remains is defending champion Michael Van Gerwen. But it could have been so different. One set down and under the kosh to Jelle Klaasen, Van Gerwen had to find something to get him out of a hole. Something which the other seeds couldn’t find. Something which is the preserve of champions. You could see it in his concentration. Mid-way through the second set with the pressure mounting, the champion turned on […]

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Snooker Psychology: Ding Junhui – Winning!

And so Ding Junhui is back lifting silverware again. A barren career phase has seen the critics doubt Ding’s hunger and desire to compete at the highest level. Now after lifting his third UK title in York yesterday, they are asking if he can finally become World Champion! The challenge for Ding at the Crucible, has always seemed that he is not just playing for himself. It’s as if he is carrying the hopes of the Chinese nation on his shoulders. A burden that means he is unable to play freely when it comes down to the business end of […]

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Cricket Psychology: Ben Stokes – Motivation!

Motivation! It’s key to success in sport and life. When you lose motivation, it will drag your performances down. When you have it, it can inspire you to great things. And motivation itself can change over time. But the more successful you become, the harder it can be to find motivation. That’s why it’s useful to have a David Warner around! England’s Ben Stokes has been speaking about how Warner’s sledging in the last Ashes series inspired him. It was Stokes’s heroics that saw England over the line in the third test at Headingley. And Warner was constantly in his […]

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