Yesterday we were joined by author of 'Soccology' and former player, Kevin George, to talk about emotional literacy and the work he is doing on the mental side of the game with youth players in England. We've had Kevin on the podcast before but this was definitely new territory in terms of looking into a topic that I was not aware of and getting Kevin's insight into how it applies in football and how we can implement it with our teams.
It was great to hear Kevin draw parallels from other sports and figures like Mike Tyson where we can look a little more at difficult pathways and how that can shape personality and behaviors. Probably the most fascinating aspect of the conversation was when Kevin was discussing the individual versus collective mindset for a player in the current academy system. Coaches want to develop great teams, but as Kevin says, "when you come from the academy, you don't make it as a team, you make it as an individual", so aspects like selfishness and ego are almost a necessary part of becoming a top player, despite many coaches viewing them as negative traits in the development stage. It's a fascinating topic and one that I think I will have to follow up with Kevin on. Please have a listen to the interview below and let me know what you think.
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