Professional football in all its guises raises images of financial flamboyance and cultural prominence among throngs of adoring fans. Youth football players could be forgiven for assuming that physical talent alone entitles them to sup from this cup of riches because they only see physical talent when professional football players compete – psychological attributes often remain concealed. Perhaps the nebulous nature of psychological attributes convinces players and coaches that one’s psychological disposition remains a fixed asset with insignificant malleability. It follows that when some players scale the partition to join senior professional football, the task proves too lofty because their mental machinery to cope with the demands of professional football have rusted, unused. Though physical practice commands greatest import on player’s timetables, academy directors and coaches now consider sport psychology a staple for success among their teams. Although sport psychology’s prominence is growing in professional football, sport psychologists ought to proceed carefully to develop this relationship, balancing the needs of players with those of the coaches and the academy director and moulding a psychological environment that best prepares youth football players for life in professional football. This presentation aims to explore the role of the sport psychologist in football academies with particular emphasis on understanding the cognitive and social development of youth football players.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|