In the above video I (Mark Bowden) talk about the importance of the mental side of the game. In particular you learn that one of the greatest managers ever knew the huge importance of this within the game.
Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the most if not THE most successful Premier League Managers in history. You don’t win 13 Premier League trophies, without knowing how to get the best out of your players.
As a manager his influence in getting the best out of his players was unparalleled. He was able to get the best out of players that were similar in that they were brilliant, but completely different in personality. From Eric Cantona and Roy Keane to David Beckham and Paul Scholes, Ferguson knew how to say the right things to have the greatest impact on their football.
He recognised that words have power. Every word that you say to a player has meaning and creates a response.
In his brilliant book ‘Leading’, he talks about this very point.
While I was always fixated on physical and mental freshness I was careful never to say to a player “you look tired!” even if I thought he did! I knew that if I uttered that phrase he would immediately feel tired. Instead I’d say to him “you’re so strong, nobody is going to keep up with you!”.Alex Ferguson, in the book ‘Leading’
Ferguson recognised that suggesting something to a player, would have a reaction. Your brain is incredibly powerful. If I say words to you such as powerful, energetic, leadership, or strength, these all give you a feeling within. What about self-belief, confidence and empowerment?
All of these give you a positive feeling that can assist you at any moment.
However, what if I said words such as tired, lazy, hard work, weak or unconfident. The chances are that these will make you feel a certain way and I’m not even directing them at you.
The words that you say to others, as Alex Ferguson rightly points out are important.
However, the words that you use to speak to yourself are even more important. As a footballer just this one aspect can be a deciding factor on whether you are going to have a brilliant performance or a terrible one.
The mental side of the game is really beginning to start being recognised by so many more players and managers.
Indeed my own app that has now been released is currently being used by more than 200 professional footballer players to take their game forward.
The app is there to help you improve your mental game and then to subsequently take every part of your game forward.
It uses techniques, such as empowering audio and words to get the best out of you, just as Alex Ferguson would do with his own players.
There are lots of videos and exercises and I’m sure that you’ll find it very beneficial if you are currently playing, coaching or managing.