The formula for winning in professional football – revealed!

Football Agents - The formula for winning in professional football – revealed!
Football Agents - The formula for winning in professional football – revealed!

The formula for winning in professional football – revealed!

Football agents reveal the secret of success?  Article written on behalf of football agents and sports lawyers

Goal! What a strike! Headed away to safety! All cries of successful plays heard around stadiums and on televisions around the world screamed by commentators and mirrored by the fans.  It's these verbal outbursts that make sports so attractive and is the culmination of a series of events happening in the right order at the right time. They are the cries all teams want more of to give them an edge over their rivals, to set them aside from all competition in the hunt to be crowned champions.

The formula to success is real. It's a real concept but very few teams possess the knowledge or understanding as to how to harness the power in such a way the team just wins.  Too many teams are focusing on the wrong thing at the wrong time; they are distracted by the idea of pressure and reward.

The common factors needed to be in with a chance of success include smart players, a great strategy, determination, skill, technical and physical expertise and good management.  With these you have a chance of winning. Notice I haven't included money in this list.  This is because having the most expensive players is a factor that's unproven. Just look at spending difference between Leicester and Chelsea!

Three Powerful Ingredients

Allow me to share with you three powerful essential ingredients you will need to be successful.

1) Understanding human behaviour.  We all make choices about 90% of the time unconsciously, meaning we don't think about them, we just do it.  These choices are created and formed on the back of an emotion that we access before we act. David Beckham in this clip from the world cup in 1998 made a movement with his leg that suggested he was lashing out in frustration. The movement itself isn't aggressive but from that moment the Argentine team saw opportunity.  Look how quickly Diego Simeone falls over and gestures at the referee for then other players to join in surrounding the referee.  On this occasion Beckham's choice to kick his leg up consciously or unconsciously had repercussions for the team, the fans and the nation. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I'm sure David Beckham learned a little more about himself from the experience.

2) Understand how to motivate.  Some would think and assume paying a footballer thousands if not millions of pounds would be enough motivation or reward for them to perform well.  The people who make these assumptions will always be disappointed. Feeling motivated is an emotion that leads you to want to do something.  When you're thirsty you're motivated to drink water, when you're hungry you're motivated to eat food and when you're paid a huge salary you're motivated to play football??? One of these statements just doesn't sit right and let me tell you why.  Paying someone a huge salary isn't motivation; it's a reward.  You do well at something; we will reward you!  In my opinion, it is these huge salaries that are paid if a player is underperforming or not that distort a player’s focus and therefore performance.  Why would you play hard and want to improve when someone is prepared to pay you thousands of pounds a week whether you play well or not?

The owners and managers need to take time and help players rediscover the sense of pride and achievement and self worth to help them stay motivated. There seems to be a sense of misplaced motivation that will only lower the performance of a player and at the worst and lowest points they will be thinking 'what's the point'.  Look at Bolton Wanderers.  Almost on the verge of going into administration (at the time of writing) but one of the oldest most established clubs in the British game. The club has got into financial trouble and players aren't getting paid.  The off pitch issues are affecting the players performance and it shows in the league standings. The value of the players has reduced, the motivation is reduced and only an investment group with a focus and understanding and a passion to drag them up back to the premiership can save them now.
3) This final ingredient is one that in my opinion based on news reports and commentator comments, is keeping Manchester United from being awesome and that is to be flexible.

A manager will have a strategy, a way he wants his players to perform and move and act on the field.  The problem with this is if you have players that are creative, you are limiting their ability. They won't be motivated to play well because they will feel trapped. Partly out of respect for the manager they won't go against his wishes but will allow the emotion of frustration to be shown in a boring approach to playing and we all know a lackadaisical/boring approach to playing won't win games...Just ask Paul scholes.

There are coaching programs that focus on helping owners, managers, agents and players be the best they can be by acknowledging and understanding what makes them tick and making shifts to make sure the formula is working as well as it can. Get in touch with any questions or comments. I welcome them all.

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


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