Psychology in Football: Working with Elite and Professional Players

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Routledge, 2010 - Sports & Recreation - 204 pages
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  • How can the skills of the sport psychologist be put to best use within a football club?
  • How can a sport psychologist help elite footballers perform at their maximum level?

In this groundbreaking guide to the role of the sport psychologist within elite and professional football, leading sport psychologist Mark Nesti argues that working closely with coaches and players to create a receptive environment is vital if psychologists are to add maximum value to team and individual performances.

Drawing on a decade‚e(tm)s professional experience working at the top level of English football, Nesti offers a detailed guide to delivering sport psychology in an elite team sport environment, from practical drills on the training field to shaping organizational behaviour at club level. The book explores the full range of issues and themes that define the role of the professional sport psychologist working in football today, including:

  • mental skills training
  • group cohesion and team dynamics
  • counselling, trust and confidentiality
  • transitions in football
  • managerial and coaching philosophies
  • structure, communication and organizational psychology.

The book is illustrated throughout with real-world case studies, drawing on research into sixteen professional clubs across five European countries, and concludes by suggesting how other elite team sports can learn from the experiences of professional football. This is the only book to outline a holistic approach to psychology in football and the to offer such a rich combination of theory and practice. It is therefore essential reading for all students of sport psychology and all psychologists and coaches working in elite team sport.

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About the author (2010)

Mark Nesti is Reader in Sport Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University. He has worked as a consultant sport psychologist with four English Premier League football clubs, and is currently working with players and staff at three Premiership clubs.

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