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The Importance of Playing Time and the Justice of the Decisions Taken by the Coach

In team sports, playing time that players enjoy in competition is a limited resource which is highly valued by athletes. In handball, for example, the coach should distribute 420 minutes of playing time (60 minutes per game x 7 players) among at least 16 players, which means an average of just 26 minutes per player. In football, the 990 minutes (90 minutes x 11 players) should be distributed among over 25 athletes. In this case, footballers should settle with a maximum average of 40 minutes per game. As a consequence of this fact, intrateam rivalry and fight for playing time are prominent characteristics in elite team sports.

Are there psychological goals in football?

One of the most widespread myths in football is the existence of the psychological goal. A psychological goal is scored in the last minutes of the first half, just before the game is stopped and the teams go to the changing rooms. The belief is that receiving a goal at that very moment can damage the players’ confidence in their chances of winning the game. Is it true that psychological goals exist? Do the teams that receive a goal in the decisive moments of the first half end up losing the game?

The mind of the player in periods of uncertainty

There are many fears, but as Lovecraft wrote, the greatest human fear has always been the unknown, one of the great geniuses of horror stories. We have lived it since our earliest childhood. Not knowing what is in that dark room or who we will face on the pitch is always more disturbing than the realisation that there is a monster under the bed or that we are playing against the favourite in all betting games. Because the rival may be impregnable, but it is there, we know of its existence, and we can begin to think about what to do or how to act. Firm-ground that we cannot step on if we do not have any information.

Stages in the gestation of the creative player

As sports science research advances, the close relationship between the mind and physical performance is increasingly apparent. For example, a recent study published in the magazine Retos from the FEADEF (Spanish Federation of Teachers in Physical Education) on the relationship between motor and mental skills concluded that high cardiorespiratory endurance is associated with a more extraordinary memory, mathematical calculation, speed of linguistic reasoning and creativity in adolescents, regardless of age and gender.

How to manage the results of the matches to improve the players’ preparation

Self-control is an essential trait for a coach. Having emotional control allows you to manage situations better when you must make decisions. That is why a coach should not be too affected by a defeat or a victory. The consequences of a poor psychological adjustment can lead to incorrectly assessing what has happened, wrongly ascribing responsibility for success or failure, and adopting unfortunate implications for the next match.

Evelina Cabrera, a Barça Universitas student revolutionizing the women football scene

Meet Evelina Cabrera, a former professional football player, a current football coach and trainer, an activist transforming women’s football in Latin America, and in her spare time, a Barça Universitas student. We caught up with Evelina to talk about her studies, her on-going and future projects, and her views on the current and future situation of women’s football.

What does the way in which we celebrate a goal tell us?

Celebrating a goal is an excellent time to check the mental health of a team.1 Immediately after scoring a goal, the player and the team that has scored become the centre of attention of the audience and the media. The actions that football players do in those seconds of joy allow assessing a team’s internal functioning and checking cohesion among the players.

How does the physical and technical-tactical performance of football players evolve throughout their sports career?

Top-level athletes are getting older and older. Technology, materials, nutrition, preparation, injury prevention, financial investment, scientific knowledge, and the excellent level of coaches are some of the factors that have lengthened players’ careers.

Nostalgia is more powerful than we think

We cannot deny the power of nostalgia in our lives. It is a unique defense mechanism, the result of our evolution, and the incredible time machine that we have in our head, our brain.

Psychology and Coaches’ Self-Awareness in Athlete Learning

Coaches are also considered athletes. In the elite world, they are part of the show and cope with pressure as players do. In other categories, their role may not actually be that complicated if they train young athletes, although it is somewhat more special. This is because most of their players’ learning will depend on the coach’s performance, which will influence them throughout their career for better or worse.