Mindset Will Decide Our Season

This week has seen the announcement that our coach Vitja is leaving our club. I have been very fortunate to have worked with Vitja during his entire stay at Sydney FC and it has been a great experience.

This week has seen the announcement that our coach Vitja is leaving our club. I have been very fortunate to have worked with Vitja during his entire stay at Sydney FC and it has been a great experience. We have had success with winning the “double” in 09-10 and disappointments, but throughout Vitja has demonstrated great leadership and humility. As with all at our club I wish Vitja continued success in the future and we are dedicated to winning another title in his final year.

Our game against Newcastle Jets was a very poor result and has put us in a difficult situation with 7 games to go. All season we have shown great character and determination to come from behind and I thought that it could be our greatest comeback. However, it turned into one of our worst losses. So in situations like this you have options. As in life when things don-t go your way you can either turn and run, or stand up and meet the challenge.

The character of our players and the philosophy of our club will see us take on this challenge and do our best to move our way up the ladder. However, words come easy but it-s the actions that truly speak and we as a club must let these actions speak loudly over the next 2 months.

The area of human performance also incorporates the psychology of players and in my experience this is an important part of maximising a players potential. Psychology incorporates pre game and in game strategies but most importantly the approach needs to be individualised.

Humans are unique and thus there is no “one size fits all” method to get players ready to perform. One player may respond very well to a high-powered talk from a coach where another responds better to less words and a quiet talk. Furthermore, some players love loud music pre game where another may find this distracting.

What we attempt to do is work out with the player what is best for them and implement the strategy.

In game concentration is a major issue and again we need to have an individualised approach to maximising the players performance. It is problematic to try to concentrate for 90 minutes in one complete block but it is better to “chunk” the game into shorter 15-minute blocks.

The major factor is to realise that players are individuals and will have individual needs.

It is also vital to not over think and over analyse every situation and stay in the present.

I hope to see you at our game against Perth this weekend.

Dr Craig Duncan (twitter) @drcraigduncan (email) craigd@sydneyfc.com (web) www.drcraigduncan.com

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