A Different Perspective – Positive Psychology
Want to get ahead and really help your soccer career reach the next level? Read Dan Abrahams column on SoccerToday.
A global sports psychologist and author specializing in soccer, Dan Abrahams is based in England and works with professional soccer players in the English Premier League (EPL). Abrahams has helped hundreds of soccer players – many who play in the English Premier League (EPL). From working with players at Crystal Palace to QPR, Fulham, and West Ham among others, Abrahams makes a huge difference. Abrahams has authored several books and has a Soccer Academy as well.
Here is SoccerToday’s columnist Abrahams on how consistency is the key to success.
Dan Abrahams on Positive Psychology
Since the mid-1990’s, an important movement has been growing within mainstream psychology.
Around thirty years ago, one of the world’s most prominent psychologists, a man named Martin Seligman, decided he had had enough of the way psychology tends to work and how it tends to be viewed.
Seligman was frustrated that psychology was always linked to problems – people only see psychologists ‘when they have a problem’. And he felt that too much research was dedicated to pathology and dysfunctional thinking. So he decided to do something about it!
He devised and developed an area of psychology called Positive Psychology.
The backbone of Positive Psychology lies in the construct of character… the characteristics of what’s best about people.
Specifically, Seligman and his colleague Neal Mayerson took the time to explore what is best about human beings.
Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, and to cultivate what is best within themselves.
Character to be a key ingredient.
And, so I ask you, as a soccer coach – what are your character strengths?
Do you know them? Have you taken time to think about them?
The research has identified 24 character strengths that exist across all cultures. They range from gratitude to creativity; from kindness to teamwork; from open-mindedness to optimism; from fairness to perseverance.
Take the time to have a think about who you are when you’re at your best as a coach.
What characteristics do you think your players say you’d have … the ones that really help them?
Once you know what these characteristics then take the time to let them shine during a training session.
So my advice to you?
If curiosity is a character strength then use it.
Observe your players and ask them questions. Intentionally use this character strength within your training sessions.
If humor is a strength then expose your players to your humor. Sure, there’s a time and a place for that, but don’t think for one minute you can’t engage players with your humor. Don’t think for one minute you can’t foster relationships through humor.
Be the best version of yourself every time you step on the pitch
The point is this: get to know yourself.
Not just the areas you need to improve as a coach, but the character strengths you have as a person.
By doing so you can be close to the best version of yourself every time you set foot on the pitch.