Football Psychology: England – Tiredness!

One of the recurring questions that has been coming up since England’s uninspired draw with Denmark, is ‘are England too tired?’

It’s a surprising question to hear being asked after game two of the tournament, and of course it’s a possibility that they have over-trained in camp as part of a thorough, ‘leave no stone unturned’ preparation.

Whereby pattern repetition has left the players under-stimulated and lacking in enthusiasm for the tasks being asked of them.

But that is only speculation.

For in reality when the collective is right, tiredness is not an issue.

When the collective is right, there is ‘twelfth player energy’ that lifts everyone beyond normal energy levels.

The team dynamic is such it feels like you have an extra player.

The team functions like a well-oiled machine, where everyone knows their roles, and you sense and know what is going to happen before it happens.

Pictures are clear. Movement is light and easy. Communication is precise and simple.

The team is harmonic and everyone knows it.

Tired? You could run for ever when it’s like this.

All of which is far removed from England’s performance in Frankfurt.

Whereby the team look tired, because the patterns of play, team shape, roles and responsibilities are not creating in-play game energy.

And thus the primary question for management is how do we release and free the players so that energy is created from dynamism movement, and expression?

That mIght mean management taking a wider observational lens to appraise performance and ask questions of themselves and how they are going about their work.

That presumes that management have a robust process to self-examine what they are trying to do and how to pivot if their initial plans are not working.

This is fundamental, for fixed thinking can cause you to sleepwalk to failure.

England have time to resolve these issues.

But it’s dependent on management being humble enough to alter course. And the players being strong enough to let management know what they are experiencing.

Failure to do either will result of more of the same.

Posted in Football Psychology.