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The Biggest Challenge For Leicester City Now? Their Mental Skills 

Last season’s surprise Premier League winners, Leicester City, may have only just seen the media attention die down, but all eyes are back and firmly fixed on them to see if they can repeat their enviable performance this season. Last year, the pressure to succeed was much less, as a bottom-half-of-the-table side who had been under the radar for over a decade, there was no expectation of greatness. As the season progressed, however, their performance shone through and the pressure grew.

The scrutiny Leicester are about to face will be great, with fans, opponents and pundits analyzing every move and waiting to see if they achieve a repeat performance. Whilst this will obviously create a feeling of pressure, the team will also be facing internal expectations; although Leicester don’t want to be likened to Manchester United and are happy with an aim to stay mid-table, it’s difficult to shake that feeling of “We’ve done it before, why can’t we do it again?”

Creating resilience

As the expectation on the team increases, so does the pressure, making it imperative to improve their resilience and prevent pressure negatively affecting performance. This requires both physical and mental preparation; not only are their football skills required when the pressure’s on, but it also requires a calm attitude to allow rational decision making.

‘What if…’ preparations are key to creating a high performing and resilient team. Spending time off-pitch planning on-field strategy and tactics based on different scenarios is essential to remaining calm and playing well. The team need to have a clear mental plan for the predictable tough times e.g. playing badly against teams they should beat, poor runs of form and results. The challenge is to develop the resilience to retain focus on the core task, adapt as needed and then learn from failure rather than feeling sorry for themselves, adding further pressure and perpetuating the poor form. Many mistakenly implement radical changes after an unexpected success, but remaining grounded and not rushing immediately to do things differently could in fact be a better option. Small, incremental changes are less likely to add further pressure to the team and can easily be reverted back should they prove unsuccessful.

Responsibility on the pitch

Preparation off the field can often be forgotten when the pressure of a game is felt, particularly if an unexpected situation arises. There will be some players who are naturally cool-headed though and who don’t feel the strain of pressure so easily, these players should be responsible for identifying risks in the game and communicating the plan that the team needs to execute, this may not automatically be the manager or the captain of a team.

Looking ahead

Leicester City have a tough season ahead, with the increased worldwide attention from fans, media and themselves, which in inevitable after such a successful season. For Leicester to succeed, even in their aim of a mid-table finish, they’ll need a very strong mindset to complement their physical skills and allow them to achieve their goals.

Martin Fairn, CEO, Gazing Performance Systems

www.gazing.com
@gazingtraining

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BACKGROUND

This website www.gazing.com (“Our Site”) uses Cookies and similar technologies in order to distinguish you from other users. By using Cookies, We are able to provide you with a better experience and to improve Our Site by better understanding how you use it. Please read this Cookie Policy carefully and ensure that you understand it. Your acceptance of Our Cookie Policy is deemed to occur if you continue using Our Site. If you do not agree to Our Cookie Policy, please stop using Our Site immediately.

1.Definitions and Interpretation

1.1In this Cookie Policy, unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions have the following meanings:

“Cookie”

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Our Site is owned and operated by Gazing Performance Systems Limited, a limited
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Registered address: Harwood House, 43 Harwood Road, London, SW6 4QP
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4.4 The analytics service(s) used by Our Site use(s) the following analytics Cookies:

 

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Purpose

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5.1 A cookie is a small file which, with your permission, will be placed on your computer's hard drive. Cookies allow websites to respond to you as an individual. Thanks to cookies, web sites can tailor their operation to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

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Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not.

A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website..

5.2 In addition to the controls that we provide, you can choose to enable or disable Cookies in your internet browser. Most internet browsers also enable you to choose whether you wish to disable all Cookies or only third party Cookies. By default, most internet browsers accept Cookies but this can be changed. For further details, please consult the help menu in your internet browser or the documentation that came with your device.

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5.3.2 Microsoft Internet Explorer: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/278835

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5.3.4 Safari (macOS):
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5.3.7 Android: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95647?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en (Please refer to your device’s documentation for manufacturers’ own browsers)

Changes to this Cookie Policy

6.1 We may alter this Cookie Policy at any time. If We do so, details of the changes will be highlighted at the top of this page. Any such changes will become binding on you on your first use of Our Site after the changes have been made. You are therefore advised to check this page from time to time.

6.2 In the event of any conflict between the current version of this Cookie Policy and any previous version(s), the provisions current and in effect shall prevail unless it is expressly stated otherwise.

7. Further Information

7.1 If you would like to know more about how We use Cookies, please contact Us at gazing@gazing.com, by telephone on 020 8568 0298 or by post at 80 Crown Road, St Margarets, Twickenham, Middlesex TW1 3ER.

7.2 For more information about privacy, data protection and our terms and conditions, please visit the following:

7.2.1 Privacy Policy

7.2.2 Terms and Conditions