In July 2019 we established cooperation with Slovak Football Association. The man content of the cooperation is a pilot project with U18 National Team, which is intended to serve as an example of the functioning of the system of mental preparation in youth national teams in the future. All information about overall cooperation with Slovak Football Association can be found in this article.
The position of mental coach, which is held by our consultant Zuzana Pšenáková, has become a novelty in the SR -U18 coaching staff. Mental preparation for the football “eighteen” thus involves working with the coaching staff team, the team and players individually.
We started with the mental profiles of the players and the team and even with coaching staff by using our software (https://www.sportmindhdts.com/ca-method). After consulting the results with the coaching staff we initially focused on improving cooperation between the players in the team and between the players and coaching staff. In the program of representatives at meetings we have included common workshops on various topics such as the importance of communication, common goal, common principles of functioning in national team or expectation of a representative meeting. In addition, there are individual consultations with players, which we are working on, for example, on their personal responsibility, overcoming failure, returning to a match after a mistake, benefit to the team or increase self – confidence.
However, the mental state of the players is influenced (and at the time is influencing) by the physical abilities of the player or the health state, and therefore the cooperation has expanded. During the season, players will undergo not only a mental profile, but also analysis of fitness and coordination skills and a blood sample. The first testing was in December. However, as the player testing itself does not develop, players have been created and presented not only mental but also physical development plans. However, the development of players is most influenced by the club and club coaches, we have established communication with the club coaches of the individual players in order to improve the joint action on the players in the clubs and the national team. At the common workshops, the results of testing and possibilities of development of individual representatives were discussed with coaches.
The idea of the project is not only to set up a functioning system of mental preparation in national team or to improve cooperation with clubs, but also especially to develop the mental skills of our representatives, which are crucial not only in managing important matches but also in their new career as a professional player.
You can read more about the cooperation directly on the Slovak Football website :https://www.futbalsfz.sk/sr-18-mentalna-trenerka-psenakova-zakladom-fungovania-je-otvorena-komunikacia