Football managers – Learn how mindfulness can benefit your performance and health

Football Managers - Mindfulness and health & Performance
Football Managers - Mindfulness and health & Performance

Football managers – Learn how mindfulness can benefit your performance and health

Football agents:  an intriguing article which all football Managers should be aware, written by Michael Nichols, Mindfulness Performance Elite Coach (Director at Mindfulness Performance)

On the surface it can seem to the casual observer that the role of a football manager involves stressfully striding up and down the touchlines shouting, pointing and gesturing in an angry manner in an attempt to get his players to do as instructed. This image is very powerful and can be seen every weekend as the premier league games are played out on TV and one current manager of Sunderland is more familiar with the impact of stress and that person is Sam Allardyce.

I became of fan of Sam Allardyce many years ago after he had been diagnosed with a heart problem, changed his approach to management and Bolton Wanderers became a top seven premier league team whereas in the past they had been struggling in the lower half of the table avoiding relegation.  Just to clarify I didn't become a fan because of his diagnosis but I became a fan after he changed his approach to managing.  It was no surprise to me that when he left; Bolton plummeted like a stone in the league standings.

Success starts on the training ground and recognition of a starting point.  It starts with bringing your unconscious into the forefront of your thinking and calibrating your delivery style.  In other words become mindful of what you currently do as a manager then find better ways to do it.

Being mindful may sound fluffy and new age but it is just a term to explain a process...allow me to demonstrate.

The world is full of distractions - mobile phones, chatter, children, girlfriends, pressure, criticisms, low self-esteem, own expectations and judgments.  Now what happens if we could wave a magic wand and all these disappeared leaving just you and the task you want to accomplish?  At first there would be a calm, quiet period where you just exist.  It is here where mindfulness has the chance to grow and you have a choice.  You can allow the mobile phones, the chatter, the children, girlfriends, pressure, criticisms, low self esteem, own expectations and judgments back into your thoughts.... or you can choose to just become aware of you. You become aware of your verbal, audio and kinesthetic communication and accept this is you.  By allowing yourself to accept without judging, increasing your performance becomes a task you can easily do with the right support from a performance coach.

We've all looked at players and asked (or shouted) "why the hell did they just do that?". The answer stares us in the face but often we overlook it and become frustrated or angry and lose focus on the moment.  Instead when you understand he just did that because he was distracted, you'll experience a change in perspective and an increase in focus on what's happening.

When we learn to put distractions to one side and focus on the moment by being mindful, our minds become clearer, our goals become focused and stress and frustration are lowered.   Being mindful allows you, the football manager to understand your players on a deeper level and get the best out of them because the bottom line is if your players aren't performing to a high standard, it's not only your job on the line but your health! And I'm sure Sam Allardyce can add something to that claim.

This article was written for football agents by Michael Nichols, Mindfulness Performance Elite Coach (Director at Mindfulness Performance)


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