Allardyce Big Believer in Sports Psychology

Sam Allardyce has admitted that for players Alan Smith and Michael Owen, he has used Dr Mark Nesti, who is a clinical psychologist.

Sam seems to have left no stone unturned in getting the very best out of his players and it’s obvious that Sam believes in the mental side of the game as much as the physical side.

That’s one reason why Bolton were always so tough to beat – they had great mental strength.  Let’s see what Sam has been telling the Sunday Mirror, it’s all very interesting.


Sam Allardyce – believes in mental side of football as much as physical side

Allardyce told the Sunday Mirror today:

“We have two players who have had what I consider a life-changing experience by the doom and gloom that serious injury brings. The depression comes over wondering day by day, are you ever really going to get better?”

” Will you ever really be the same?”“At the end of that it makes you stronger. You don’t want to ever go through it again.” “Our players have the best background team in the country.”

“Not many teams in this country use psychologists as regularly as I do.” “We have Dr Mark Nesti who is a clinical psychologist.” “He is not a sports psychologist, he is miles better.”

Dr Nesti, who is Director of the York-based Center for the Study of Sport and Spirituality, has raised some curiosity while at Newcastle’s training ground at Benton. Sam Allardyce is convinced that mind training is just as important as physical work. We think that’s true and mental strength has never been an England players’ strength. Just look at the number of penalty shoot-outs England have lost – quite a few. On the other hand look at the number of penalty shoot outs Germany have won. That’s all down to mental strength which Sam is a great believer in.

Sam went on:

“He is a magic guy at what he does. This country has a far too negative view on psychology, it really does. We fall way behind a lot of countries in that respect – not me of course, because I’ve been doing it for years.”

“It is a very big part of football because what goes on between the ears is what makes you as good as you can be.”“He is a key member of my staff who makes us as good as we are.”

Michael Owen’s performances in England’s last two wins provide some excellent evidence of the benefits of Nesti’s work. Whether it is controversial or not if it works – use it. Certainly Michael seems to be a believer in it – as he told the Sunday Mirror:

“It’s something I have had to live with throughout my career and will continue to live with.”

“You suspect that when I went down injured in the 2006 World Cup only a fool would have said I would not come back as good.”“And if there were any fools out there, obviously I have proved them wrong.”

Actually, Michael said the opposite of what he meant there – he means that only a fool would have said he would come back as good as ever. Hey, maybe that’s one for our funny quotes section 😀

Owen admits that he did absolutely everything to ensure he had the very best rehabilitation possible, and we think he was lucky to link up with Big Sam when he did – because of Sam’s new age training and fitness methods.

Michael went on:

“I have been to the best surgeon in the world, I have had the best rehab possible and I have come back and would like to think I am every bit as good,”

“Confidence is a great thing. When you are scoring you expect to score every time you get a chance.”“You wish you could bottle it up and keep it all the time.”

Wonder how long it will take other managers to realize that Sam Allardyce is way ahead of them in these new ways of training and rehabilitating players. We don’t mind if they don’t follow Big Sam because it’s an advantage Newcastle have right now.

Comments welcome.

10 comments so far

  • Ed

    Sep 16, 2007 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #1

    i love the bit about newcaslte having the best backroom staff in the country. madness!

  • Graeme

    Sep 16, 2007 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #2

    Whatever it takes to get the best out of each and every player. No doubt it works for some, probably not all though; everyone is different, after all.

  • Soren

    Sep 16, 2007 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #3

    Big Sam certainly does his homework, when it comes to taking care of his players both mentally and physically. Its good that our staff has been upgraded and are capeable of keeping players fit.

  • Hadji

    Sep 16, 2007 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #4

    Nothing personal on BSA but if we are talking about morale lifting like we do in this topic,he should start lifting Oba’s morale cause at the moment he feels a little bit confused over the preference of Mark Viduka as a starter.

  • AndyW

    Sep 16, 2007 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #5

    Why would Obd be confused about Viduka? Maybe Oba thinks that he too is 6 feet tall with 10 years top flight experience and an expert at playing with his back to goal? If so he needs more than a psychologist.

    Point being (in case of confusion) Oba and Viduka do different jobs and bring different things to the team.

  • t-g-w

    Sep 16, 2007 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #6

    Did you ask Oba that yourself Hadji?

  • Hadji

    Sep 16, 2007 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #7

    AndyW…What Oba needs is to be a starter,that’s the only reason he left Inter for us.I wonder why?!
    t.g.w……No nobhead i haven’t asked him,but even a blind man could tell that if he doesn’t get the place of Viduka you might aswell see him leave in Jan.

  • t-g-w

    Sep 16, 2007 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #8

    Really mature Hadji. I just want to know how you know what a player is feeling? Surely Oba is fighting Owen for a place rather than Viduka?

  • Hadji

    Sep 16, 2007 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #9

    Sorry t-g-w i thought you’ve being sarcastic which i really hate.Sorry again

  • evil dick

    Sep 17, 2007 at 12:29 AM

    Comment #10

    i asked oba and he says he’s not worried.


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