So since the Euro’s finished the English FA have appointed a new manager for the national side. The new English manager as you probably already know that it is Sam Allardyce. Now this is an appointment that on the surface may not seem to make sense to some, after all the last trophy he won as a manager was the 1997-98 Third Division title. But over the years Sam as become known as one of two managers you would want in charge of your team should they be fighting relegation and saved Sunderland from dropping out of the Premier League only last season. So what can Sam Allardyce bring to the England set up that previous managers have failed to? It’s generally accepted in football that Sam Allardyce is a good man manager and organiser. These qualities are always going to be key when fighting relegation and should be a trait of any England manager. He is said by some to be a “long ball over the top” manager but if that was his only tactic he surely wouldn’t be as successful at saving teams from relegation as he has been in the past. Then of course there is the way he has already helped changed the game. He is known as one of, if not the first manager in English football to use statistics in game analysis and adopt the use of a team psychologist.
The question to ask know is what will be the next new thing in football? I have written before about the use of hypnosis and how it can be used in sport to improve performance. I have even written about how it can be used to increase the chances of scoring from the penalty spot. With the standard of player available to the England team confidence should never be a problem but these young men are human and so even they can suffer from a lack of confidence sometimes, especially with what is sometimes written about them in the press. This is where a team psychologist comes into their own but a hypnotherapists can also be just as good, maybe better in these situations. Then of course there is the old penalty shout out to decide a game. Not uncommon in international football. The penalty shout can turn a confident player, who never misses a penalty on the training ground, into the guy who puts it in row Z or knocks a photographer over, taking his team out of the competition. All these players know that if you place the ball in one of the corners of the goal the keeper has no chance of saving it and most, if not all, are capable of doing so time after time on the training ground. Psychologists can work with players to help them keep calm but it doesn’t always work that well. Humans have a tendency to do the thing they’re thinking about and although they know they can get the ball just inside the post to score they are often thinking “don’t hit the post” or “don’t put it wide”. This actually increases the chance of those things happening and it’s all down to nerves and pressure. If they used a hypnotherapist suggestions could be given not to think about the crowd and the pressure or what can go wrong but the one suggestion I would give would be to take the penalty as if it were on the training ground. In this way the penalty taker will not feel any more pressure than in training and not think about the things that may put him off his shot. He, or even she (ladies play football too), will just be thinking put the ball there and there it will go. Now Sam Allardyce is not going to do something new for the sake of doing something new but he is not scared to try new ideas so maybe, come the next world cup, given the England penalty shout out record. He may just think how can I give us the edge and bring in a hypnotherapist. Thus becoming the first manager in English football to do so. That is unless someone else beats him to it of course.