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Posted 12/30/2021 in Category 1 by DAVID CHARLTON

December 2021: Mental Edge Round Up

December 2021: Mental Edge Round Up

Firstly, a short note to wish you and your family all the very best for 2022! I sincerely hope that it is a great year for you.

Secondly, you’ll see today’s Mental Edge is a little bit different due to the holiday period and me taking my foot off the pedal a little. It’s our round up edition where you can find all of the content that we have produced for December. And on that score, this is a plug for a great podcast episode which I published on Christmas Eve where coaches, parents and sport psychologists are likely to get a lot from it.

At least if you’re interested in how to develop mentally tough footballers or athletes in general! Where football or soccer coach, the author of the Modern Soccer Coach, and a coach educator Gary Curneen joins me and shares his wisdom.

Gary and I went on to chat about his experiences as a football coach and how important the psychological side of the game is, as well as how effective it is used. We chat about the role of video analysis and sport science in producing confident footballers.  How you communicate and what and when you say it as a coach were also things we discussed.

Developing Mentally Strong Footballers

For the rest of our content for the month you’ll find the details below. 



Sports Psychology Blog Content

  • Using ACT and Mindfulness to Improve Your Sporting Performances
  • 5 Coaching Tips to Develop Mentally Tough Footballers 
  • How To Play Well When You Aren’t Feeling Great
  • What Did You Learn From Last Year?

Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcasts

  • How to Overcome Mental Blocks in Football
  • How to Develop Mentally Strong Rugby Player
  • David on Being Tough Vs Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin – Final Part
  • Developing Mentally Strong Footballers

Sports Psychology Blogs

Using ACT and Mindfulness to Improve Your Sporting Performances

Pressure is something that most athletes experience when they’re performing. The best performers are able to manage the pressure well and often go on to produce “clutch” performances resulting in some amazing moments and shots that we will all have witnessed. It is part and parcel of sport however it certainly does interesting things to an athlete where tension, nerves and anxiety often come to the fore. 

This article touches on the topic of performance anxiety and how ACT and Mindfulness can help you. Why not give it a read!

5 Coaching Tips to Develop Mentally Tough Footballers

In many clubs and teams, from the management team, the coaching staff down to the players, you often find many people getting caught up in behaviours associated with Mental Sensitivity. When this happens, individually players struggle in matches and the team are very unlikely to work cohesively. The result will be performances will likely suffer and you as a coach will be scratching your head as to how you can get the most from the group.

This blog is set up to help you with 5 coaching tips to help develop more mentally tough players, and in turn, improve performance levels. It makes sense to read it and make the necessary changes, especially when it’s known that mental toughness can account for up to 25% variation in performance!

How To Play Well When You Aren’t Feeling Great

Do your performances suffer when you’re not “on it” or when you feel uncomfortable? Are you quick to get in your own head when you’re not feeling confident and struggle to grind it out or win ugly? Perhaps the opposing team is full of confidence and talent which goes on to influence you.  

As a team we work with many rugby players and athletes who you could class as “perfectionists”, who struggle to remain composed when their game is not up to their expectations.Their focus is channelled in the wrong way, where they can get obsessed by the scoreline and winning, and think that the only way for them to perform is for them to look and feel good. They often go on to find that if they don’t perform close to perfection, that they lose momentum, they over-analyse situations and become very easily frustrated.

This article has some suggestions to help you play more freely if you fall into this category, including tips from a former England International Rugby player.

What Did You Learn From Last Year?

Sometimes no matter how much time and effort you put in. How hard you train or practice. Or how much you prepare for matches or events; it just doesn’t come together on the day.  You struggle to get into the game or you lack rhythm and timing. It can be hugely frustrating, and if goes on for a prolonged period it can be very annoying and worrying, going on to negatively impact your confidence and motivation. You can start asking yourself the question “what is the point?” You can feel helpless and the whole world can feel like it’s crashing down around you.

Has 2021 been that kind of year for you? If so you’ll benefit from reading this blog post designed to make sure you learn some lessons and do not repeat past mistakes

Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcasts

EP 093 How to Overcome Mental Blocks in Football

Today I chat with leading Sport Psychologist Dan Abrahams about the mental blocks that footballers present that can go on to influence why they struggle to replicate their form from the training pitch to match days.

Despite our conversation in the main, being football related it does crossover to other sports where we touch on performance anxiety, Dan’s approach to the use of mental skills and how as Sports Psychologists we can educate coaches the importance of psychological and social factors as well as a whole lot more. Enjoy listening!

EP 094 How to Develop Mentally Strong Rugby Player

In this episode of Demystifying Mental Toughness, I’m joined by Professor Adam Nicholls where our conversation is mostly based around the sport of Rugby, though there are crossovers into other sports. We discuss how do you define Mental Toughness in rugby terms, coping with stressors and pressure in professional rugby and at a youth level. How coaches can best help players to develop their mental toughness at different stages as well as a lot more. Enjoy tuning in!

EP 095 David on Being Tough Vs Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin – Final Part

In this solo podcast episode, I address this hugely common challenge that athletes young and old, amateur and professional have, where I review recent podcast episodes and articles that I’ve created on the topic and go on to share 10 common reasons why this is the case. You’ll also find a range of practical tips and suggestions to challenge your thinking and help you overcome these challenges. Enjoy!

EP 096 Developing Mentally Strong Footballers

Today I’m joined by Gary Curneen a football or soccer coach, an author, and a coach educator who shares with me some great nougats of advice for coaches involved in a range of sports. Gary and I go on to chat about his experiences as a football coach and how important the psychological side of the game is, as well as how effective it is used, the role of video analysis and sport science in producing confident footballers and a lot more. Enjoy tuning in!

You may also be interested in downloading a new resource that we’ve created THE FOCUSED ATHLETE CHECKLIST which highlights a range of excellent processes that athletes can follow in order to integrate mental skills training into their daily routines and habits.  By doing so, it will allow you to see where there are gaps and how and where you can improve to ensure that you get closer to reaching your goals.



If you are an athlete who is a little bit lost or overwhelmed. Or you may know someone who has lost sight of their goals who needs to quieten their mind and get clear on chat they need to do to progress. This short 60 minute online accelerator course may be for you. All for £49.


Our partners Kymira Sport are an up and coming brand who sell infrared sportswear clinically proven to enhance performance and recovery.


You can also join our online community – THE SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY HUB – for regular Sports Psychology tips, podcasts, motivation and support.

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If you have any questions about our products and services please feel free to get in touch.

Best Wishes for 2022!

David Charlton

Tel: 07734 697769

Email: info@sport-excellence.co.uk

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