England Soccer

Emotional maturity matters… in pretty much every single field. It was neat to read this article about the England Football Team:

Being emotionally mature improves soccer skills. Empathy, positive thinking, and reframing emotions are just as important as physical prowess.

Of course, it doesn’t guarantee anything… but, it will definitely increase your odds of performing well. It is very encouraging that they’d invest in things (and people) for this:

Grange was appointed by the FA as its head of people and team development in November last year, given the job of building resilience while confronting the pressures and psychodramas faced by previous England squads.

The results?

The midfielder Eric Dier said: “I think a lot of the work that we’ve done with her has been prior to the tournament starting, over the last six or seven months.” This has reportedly included getting the players to sit down together in small groups to share their life experiences and anxieties, and to reveal intimate truths about their character and what drives them. The point, Southgate has said, is to build trust, “making them closer, with a better understanding of each other”.

Building trust with one another – always a good thing. There’s nothing more important than to have a team built upon trust and having each player know that they can trust the other player (or teammate) to get their work done.

You also don’t have to second-guess motive, which is kind of nice. The ending result is an uncanny alignment that you can’t buy. Of course, the entire team needs to “buy in” on the fact that (sports) psychology is actually useful and effective.

That can be more of a challenge than most other things as I know that many folks still do not really believe that mental health is something worth fighting and investing in.