Sports Psychology is playing an ever-increasing role in influencing soccer performance. At Ajax football club in Holland, their selection policy of 18 year old players depends 80% of the time on the intelligence and personality of the footballer! A Sports Psychologist can identify weaknesses in the psychological make-up of a player and can provide the necessary counseling so that the player can continually play at his optimal level of performance. Besick himself mentions that players and coaches must look beyond physical and technical evaluation to assess underlying mental, emotional and even lifestyle issues.
Davey who has worked with many Professional Australian Footballers lists what he feels makes a good player psychologically…
1/ Slightly extroverted personally, slightly anxious
2/ His motivation is high to win, confidence, coachability, conscientiousness and determination
3/ Incentive to achieve excellence & success, likes stressful situations, is aggressive and affiliative
4/ Mood profile is less tense, depressed, angry, fatigued & confused and shows more mental vigour
5/ He can process information, not overloaded and has high self-esteem
6/ He sets goals, practices relaxation, imagery and self hypnosis before a game.
The above paragraphs come from an article on SoccerPerformance.org. Here’s the full article.