Snooker Psychology: Graham Dott – Nine All!

It’s another day of dramatic action at the Crucible Theatre. After James Cahill’s compelling win over Ronnie O’Sullivan, Graham Dott is mounting a serious recovery operation against former champion Stuart Bingham. From 8-1 down in the morning session, Dott has brought the scores level to 9-9. He has serious momentum. And Bingham is struggling. But in the final frame, the Scotsman starts to get edgy for the first time in the session. From chasing down his opponent, he can now smell the winning line. His flow and fluency desert him, and Bingham finds enough composure to get home 10-9. When […]

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Football Psychology: Maurizio Sarri – Motivation!

It’s a critical time in Maurizio Sarri’s brief Chelsea career. Humbling losses to Bournemouth, Manchester City and United have created the feeling that the sack is imminent. One of the key things to come from his recent post-match debriefs, was the admittance that he wasn’t motivating his players. This is enough to get alarm bells ringing. Motivation is the oil that turns the wheels of the success machine. Without it, things quickly grind to a halt. Players start to look disinterested and lacking in energy and vibrancy. Defeats come easily. Motivation can work on an individual and collective level. At […]

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Football Psychology: Cardiff City – Emiliano!

It’s the aftermath of Cardiff City’s vital win against Bournemouth. And Cherries boss Eddie Howe looks completely flat. His team haven’t been able to handle Cardiff’s intensity; desire and will. They have not only lost the game physically. They have lost it emotionally too. But none of this is surprising. Yesterday would probably have been Emiliano Sala’s debut for Cardiff. The floral tributes outside the stadium, demonstrated how much his disappearance has touched the hearts of the Cardiff public. A cause is one of the powerful motivators in sport. Having something or someone to play for outside of yourself. A […]

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Football Psychology: Marco Silva – Set Pieces!

It’s an afternoon of high drama at the New Den, as Millwall put Everton out of the FA Cup. Three set-piece goals expose the Merseysider’s achilles heel, and pile the pressure on Marco Silva. It’s still January and Everton have conceded fourteen set -piece goals this season. Making the heart of the penalty-box a critical target for opposition strategists. One of the things that generally sets apart the best managers from the rest, is the ability to solve problems quickly. Good problem solving involves honesty, smart analysis; an attention to detail; the ability to sometimes swallow your pride and admit […]

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Tennis Psychology: Naomi Osaka – Robotic!

And so Naomi Osaka adds another Grand Slam title to her collection. A hard-fought best of three sets win over Petra Kvitova, showed that last autumn’s win at Flushing Meadows was no fluke. or one-off. What seems so impressive about Naomi is her sense of clarity. In the post match press conference, she explains a little about her inner process. “You know how some people get worked up about things? That’s a very human thing to do. Sometimes I feel like I don’t want to waste my energy doing stuff like that. “In the third set of my match today, I […]

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Tennis Psychology: Alexander Zverev – Meltdown!

It’s the fourth round of the Australian Open in Melbourne, and Alexander Zverev is under the cosh. One set down to Milos Raonic. the number four seed is faring no better in the second set. When suddenly all his frustrations get the better of him. Four-one down and with his second serve failing him, the German goes into meltdown, and destroys his racquet in an impressive display of systematic destruction! Sometime a racquet smashing interlude can release a lot of pent up frustration and help a player regroup and refocus. Or it can tip them to a point of no […]

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Football Psychology: Marcelo Bielsa – An Uncommon Transparency!

It’s a week after the infamous Leeds United / Derby County spygate sage. And Marcelo Bielsa has called a press conference. Speculation mounts that Bielsa is about to resign on a point of principle. But it’s nothing of the sort. For ninety minutes the Argentine lays bare the reasons why he likes to find ways to observe his opponents in training and how he integrates the information into his pre-match planning. He’s meticulous. Obsessive. Fanatical about detail. Leaving no stone unturned in making sure everything is in place. His openness and transparency directly challenges the orthodoxy of conventional football management […]

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Tennis Psychology: Andy Murray – Breaking The Stop Situation!

And so the final curtain is set to be drawn on Andy Murray’s tennis career. He may have one or two final games left in the tank. But he will be carrying on in glorious spirit, rather than in able body. Murray joins the likes of Freddie Flintoff and Jonny Wilkinson, in paying a big physical price for carrying the nations hopes on his shoulders. For years all the summer talk was of will we ever have a Wimbledon champion again? It’s been the 1930’s since Fred Perry ruled supreme. Roger Taylor. Jeremy Bates. Tim Henman and others couldn’t overcome […]

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Football Psychology: Manchester City – Ruthless!

It’s the first leg of the Caraboa Cup semi final, and Manchester City are putting Burton Albion to the sword. Four nil up at half time, the match and a place at Wembley is already secured. Time to rest a few players. Play at a slower tempo. Control the game with plenty to spare. But Pep Guardiola is having none of that. If anything the intensity is greater in the second half. In a masterclass in Ruthlessness, City score a further five goals. But why? What’s the purpose to this demonstration of total superiority? It appears as if Guardiola has […]

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Tennis Psychology: Naomi Osaka – Sulking!

It’s the aftermath of Naomi Osaka’s Brisbane Open loss to Leisa Tsurenko. A poor performance from the US Open Champion, has led to some frank admissions in the press conference. “I feel like I had the worst attitude today,” she said. “I feel like I didn’t really know how to cope with not playing well. I don’t know … I was sulking a little bit? There were moments when I tried not to do that, but then the ball wouldn’t go in and I would go back to being childish. These aren’t the sort of public utterances you would normally […]

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