The New Premier League Season – The Psychology of Performance Isn’t Just About The Players

Feb 03 2019 | Tags: Emotional Intelligence

The New Premier League Season – The Psychology of Performance Isn’t Just About The Players

The transfer window is closed, round 2 of fixtures has finished – the new premiership season has well and truly started. As always following a major Summer tournament, we will be looking closely at the post World Cup performance of players as they fit back into their day jobs.

Of course, preparation for the new season started many weeks ago, as coaches and support staff worked tirelessly throughout the blistering heatwave, to get their players back into physical and mental shape.

However, it often strikes me that we sometimes overlook those that need the most help in sustaining a consistent level of performance within the pressure cooker that is the English Premiership.

First, lets consider some of the key issues that the elite performers need to manage and skills they need to develop in order to achieve success:

  • Having the resilience to bounce back from adversity, the fickle nature of fans, and work effectively with big name players
  • Being optimistic, having the ability to look over the horizon and see the opportunity where others struggle to during tough times
  • The ability to recognize and understand how their emotions impact their actions, but also understanding how their emotions and behaviour influences those around them
  • Being able to show empathy with colleagues in order to build trust and understand them at a deeper level
  • Building relationships and communicating effectively with the press

Now whilst all of these can be attributed to many of the top players, they are also hugely important for a very important job function.

And if we look at the statistics, who is it that is actually most likely to lose their job within a typical premiership season?

So perhaps it should be the managers that we need to work with, to assess and build their levels of emotional intelligence (EQ)? Because a manager with the ability to recognize, understand and manage their emotions, as well as recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others, would be better equipped to manage the issues described above. And a manager who has trained and developed EQ skills such as self-awareness, self-reliance, optimism, and empathy would be better placed to perform optimally, but also build collaborative relationships with those around them.

After all, if we were to use an example of someone who has demonstrated all of those attributes described above and clearly show high levels of EQ, isn’t he the most celebrated football manager in the land?

If you found the content in this article interesting and would like to hear how we define, measure and develop emotional intelligence with athletes and coaches, then please feel free to drop me a message at and we can arrange to chat.

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