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Ben John Goalkeeper

Without Phil's help I would never have become a professional footballer.

I've just been looking at your website, and i must say how good it is. Its really interesting and very informative and from just having a quick scan thro its got me buzzing just thinking about winning and all the different psychological and mental factors in which you helped me overcome and enable me to improve many aspects of my game and help me realise that setting goals and targets both on and off the feild have got me to where iv oftened only dream'nt about. thanks mate you really are an inspiration.hope to see you soon.
Ben John Goalkeeper

Western-Super-Mare (Conference South)

Ipswich Town: Why are Town a Jekyll and Hyde team?

by Stuart Watson
East Anglian Daily Times 6th December 2007

WHY are Ipswich Town such a Jekyll and Hyde team - brilliant at home, awful away? STUART WATSON spoke to two sports psychologists to try to find the answer to this perplexing question MAKING their away dressing rooms a home from home could help Ipswich Town break their non-winning away streak, according to top sports psychologist Phil Johnson. Johnson, who is one of only 12 Football Association recognised sports psychologists, said: “The players are probably in a bit of a comfort zone at home and they need to reproduce those pre-match feelings when they go away. “When they are away they lose all of the variables that are predictable and familiar at home. “As a former player myself (Bolton Wanderers), I know that quite often when you arrive at an away ground chances are the away dressing rooms are smaller, dirtier and the heating is turned right up or down. “These little things can be very disruptive to a team's preparations, but if the coaching staff are aware of this they can keep their players focused. “The main thing is that the manager holds an open line of communication with his players. Quite often managers get so immersed in the football they don't listen to their players and what is affecting them off the field. “The longer this cycle goes on the harder it will be to break. The manager should not be apportioning blame, at this stage it is probably more productive to be putting his arm around players and making them feel good about themselves. “This then carries onto the pitch, and so it is very important to have a good captain and leaders on the field that can pick their team mates up. “Most of sports psychology sounds very obvious when you look at it, but quite often people get so caught up in tactics and the game itself that they are not talking about the simple things.” IPSWICH Town players will need to get over 'leader board syndrome' if they are to finally pick up three points on their travels. In four of Ipswich's 11 away games this season Ipswich have led before going on to draw. In two of those games - at Norwich and Burnley - Town have thrown away a two-goal advantage. Dr Barry Cripps, Chairman of Sport and Exercise Psychology at the British Psychology Society, said: “It's called the leader board syndrome. When they go in front away from home they start to think 'what the hell are we doing, we're winning'. “At the back of their minds they are expecting to lose, and when you expect to lose, you normally do.” Dr Cripps believes a number of things can be done to reverse this trend. He said: “The management need to get the players looking at themselves in the same way that they do at home, when they go away. “By match day it is too late to start thinking any more about preparations. When they are on the coach or in the hotel they need to play games and try to just relax. “One thing that might help is the management showing them a video of their home performances on the morning of their away games. “If possible they should put some rousing music, stuff that the boys like, over the top of this video as I have seen this work wonders with confidence. “They shouldn't even be approaching how to keep negative thoughts out, it should just be all about filling their heads with positive thoughts all of the time. “The fans can play a huge role in this too. By singling out individual players and singing little positive chants about them over and over again this can have a big effect. “This sort of home and away thing does affect team sports more because individual sportsmen and women are far more used to performing in non-home arenas. “I would recommend that the club, if they don't already, should work with a chartered sports psychologist to turn things around. “Some clubs have this perception that it is a waste of money, but having a sports psychologist at that level is just as important as having good coaches, groundsmen and physios.”