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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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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Rugby Psychology: England – Peaking!

And so it was, that England’s momentous World Cup semi-final win over New Zealand, was the point they peaked. The supreme focus they created to beat the All Blacks, meant that they didn’t have another gear to find come finals day. Or, they didn’t know how to find that gear! Another view is that, the semi-final took them far enough out of their comfort zone, that a re-set was required. This means that on those days that you have a peak performance, if this is at a higher level than your normal playing level, then it can time for this […]

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Rugby Psychology: Eddie Jones – The Look!

It was evident about ten minutes in. It’s The Look. A certain moment that can occur in major sporting events, when all the preparation you have done, condenses into a feeling. And shortly into England’s World Cup semi-final against The All Blacks, you could see it on head coach, Eddie Jones’s face. He was trying hard not to smile. England had begun the game in imposing fashion. And Jones knew that all the physical, strategic, mental and emotional preparation that had been done, was now manifesting itself in performance. It’s like you know that you are going to win, before […]

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Football Psychology: Tottenham Hotspur – The Reset!

We are barely a quarter into the season, and Spurs’s manager Mauricio Pochettino is under pressure. A faltering start to the campaign has got people asking questions about whether he has taken the Spurs as far as he can. Yet, only a few months ago, the Argentinian was leading them out in their first Champions League Final. After every major final loss, there is a natural period of comedown. A huge amount of mental and emotional energy is exerted in breaking a stop situation, and going further than you have gone before. If you win that final, then the collective […]

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Rugby Psychology: Sebastien Vahaamahina – The Red Mist!

And so Wales make it through to the World cup semi-final. Theres was a tough battle -hardened performance. Helped in no small measure by the sending off of French lock Sebastien Vahaamahina. The Frenchman’s brutal elbow on Aaron Wainwright probably cost his team the game. An unexpected act of madness in a quarter-final demanding discipline and clarity of mind and emotions. But the red mist doesn’t work like that. It has it’s own operating conditions. It’s impulsive and highly reactive. Like an act of self-sabotage. It rarely comes from out of nothing. The red mist is a build-up of emotions. […]

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Darts Psychology: Dave Chisnall – Finals!

And so Michael Van Gerwen defends his World Grand Prix title in Dublin. In the process denying Dave Chisnall his first major darts prize. That’s five final losses now for Chisnall. Of course, getting to fie finals is a terrific achievement. But your darts career will be known for the silverware you have won, not the finals you have graced. Of course playing MVG in a final can feel daunting. You sense that you need to bring your A Game. Anything less and Mighty Mike will be all over you. But the danger with that mind-set is that you end up […]

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