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Phil Johnson



Forest Green Rovers FC

"Teams at our level of football need every advantage they can get and psychology adds that dimension"


Oxford United, Cambridge United, Forest Green & Llanelli FC

"Psychology raises our awareness of every-day things we ignored that reduced are performance, especially our communications"


Phil Johnson played for Bolton Wanderers FC Youth Team alongside Peter Reid and Sam Allardyce and is an FA Accredited Sport Psychologist. A UEFA level 2 football coach holds the Level 5 Diploma Psychology in Football.

Phil has worked at Liverpool FC, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers. Swindon Town , Nottingham Forest, Barnet FC, Forest Green Rovers FC, Plymouth Argyle, and England C Team. On an individual basis Phil has worked with players from all professional leagues including the Premiership. With a background in mental health he has worked at Sport Chance Clinic with players experiencing addiction and lifestyle problems.

The 1st World Science & Soccer Conference held in Liverpool on 15/16 May 2008 saw Phil presenting three sessions. Player Indiscipline with Paul Fairclough, Motivational Types and Career Transitions with Emma Smith (UWE) and Comfort Zones in Soccer with Dr Stewart Cotterill with work developed at Forest Green Rovers with cricket legend Jack Russell.

Having taught nutrition and exercise physiology, Phil often finds himself linking deficiencies in poor mental performance as fatigue in physical performance. Phil has now developed the Four Corners Model as a systemic approach. Corner 1: Technical & Tactical; Corner 2, Physical, Corner 3, Social and Corner 4 Psychological. This enables a complete picture to be built and fully interlinks and integrates all aspects of a player's activitites.

After 12 years in the ski industry developing custom orthotic insoles for ski boots, he has now linked up with Anatom UK to custom fit orthotic insoles for football boots which assist in the protection of metatarsal, foot, ankle, shin and other lower leg injuries.

Phil's work in football is extensive and 'hands-on' mentoring and supporting managers, coaches and players during training as well as off-field and match days, combined with his playing and coaching experience.

  • WORKING WITH TEAMS involves a variety of interventions but often within the framework of Momentum. Communication, confidence, commitment, concentration, control and cohesion. Team goal setting, leadership, environment, home and away stratergy.
  • WORKING WITH INDIVIDUALS much surrounds self-belief and self-esteem, skill development, goal setting, confidence, psychological recovery from injury, career transitions, lifestyle issues, counselling and nutrition linked problems. Phil is also a qualified social worker with 15 years experience working in systemic family therapy and psychotherapy and is thus able to work with a broad range of mental health issues.
  • WORKING WITH COACHES & MANAGERS is a central aspect of the approach Phil uses. As the most influential people regarding teams he supports them in ways not often available in modern football, especially within clear confidentiality guidelines (see Code of Practice). Reflection and mentoring and live 'training' work enables new perceptions, modified language and creativity, such as team talks.
  • REFEREES are often given a low profile for support, but Phil's research into referee abuse and referee decision-making offers positive opportunities for increased confodence and decisive action.
  • ARTICLES Phil has written a number of articles and published research, more recently on the psychological aspects of teams winning and losing at both home and away. See articles.
  • ON-LINE SUPPORT. Distance is no barrier to support. Although face-to-face contact is often possible, a number of athletes and players utilise email and phone communication to maximum benefit. It has the added advantage of giving time for reflection and clariying what it is you want to imrpive or resolve.