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Psychology

Andy Marshall psychology Interview part Two

Jeremy Lazarus

 

Part Two of the Psychological interview with Aston Villa Keeper Andy Marshall.

0.8    How important has mental strength been to you in your career?
(A)  It is for me the biggest strength of football, without a doubt,. Because you get your mental strength the way you train.  Now, if you don’t want to train hard as a goalkeeper, you’re not going to get the mental strength, you’re not going to be physically strong enough, you’re not going to be physically fit enough, and you won’t be able to deal with situations when they turn bad.  And there’s not one single professional footballer out there that hasn’t had bad situations.  So for me it is the strongest part of the professional footballers’ game, particularly as a goalkeeper.

How important would you say that confidence is to a top goalkeeper out of a score 1-5?
(A) 5 without a doubt.


For you to be able to perform at your best, what are the key areas in which you need to feel confident.
(A)
•    your ability, . 3
•    your fitness    4
•    your coach/manager   3-4
•    your defenders/team-mates  4
•    quality of opposition   1 (it’s about how you as a team perform)
•    quality of officials   1
•    other (please specify)  My mental state – 5. The biggest thing is how you mentally prepare for a game.    Rank top 3.

Strongly agree 5
Agree  4
Neutral  3
Disagree  2
Strongly Disagree  1

For you, what are the key factors that determine confidence?  (both enhancing confidence and undermining it)
(A)
•    Intrinsic (within yourself)  5 – it has to be
•    manager/coaches confidence in you  5 – if you’ve got a coach who’s not reliant upon you, who’s not confident in you, that’s can have a good effect as having a good coach
•    defenders/team-mates confidence in you  3-4
•    how well you have been playing recently  4
•    how you have performed in training  5 - For me that’s one of the strongest points.  As I said, the psychological side of it and how you train are two of the strongest points
•    your level of fitness  4
•    personal life issues  3 - For some people it can be up there. They always get highlighted in the press.  I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to always separate football and myself (?),
•    experience   4.  It’s quite strong because I pout myself in situations in games now and I can quite easily get through a lot of games very easily where I found them a lot more difficult (in the past?).
•    Other (please specify)  Again, it’s the psychological side.    Rank top 3

Strongly agree 5
Agree  4
Neutral  3
Disagree  2
Strongly Disagree  1

For you, what are the key factors that determine confidence?  (both enhancing confidence and undermining it) e.g.
•    Intrinsic (within yourself)  5 – it has to be
•    manager/coaches confidence in you  5 – if you’ve got a coach who’s not reliant upon you, who’s not confident in you, that’s can have a good effect as having a good coach
•    defenders/team-mates confidence in you  3-4
•    how well you have been playing recently  4
•    how you have performed in training  5 - For me that’s one of the strongest points.  As I said, the psychological side of it and how you train are two of the strongest points
•    your level of fitness  4
•    personal life issues  3 - For some people it can be up there. They always get highlighted in the press.  I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to always separate football and myself (?),
•    experience   4.  It’s quite strong because I pout myself in situations in games now and I can quite easily get through a lot of games very easily where I found them a lot more difficult (in the past?).
•    Other (please specify)  Again, it’s the psychological side.

How do you deal with factors adversely affecting your confidence?

(A) I’ll go back a few years.  I can deal with it differently now because I’m a lot more experienced and a lot older.  When I was younger, when I used to do psychological testing of myself the night before am game (I’m talking about when I was a young kid), I would always be thinking about the positives.  I was keeping myself awake for an hour before I went to sleep, sometimes going through game situations thinking about it, and sub-consciously something would slip into my mind, a negative situation, I would immediately stop thinking about that situation and turn it into a positive. So instead of the ball slipping through my hands, yes it might slip through my hands but I would deal with the situation.  So if that sort of situation ever arose where it came into my mind I would immediately stop it, I wouldn’t let it carry on. I would immediately stop it, either rewind it myself (?) or to deal with that current situation.  That’s what I did when I was younger, probably to the age of mid-20s.

Follow on- question.  Now that you’re more experienced, is there anything that could adversely affect your confidence?
(A) I am generally able in football to deal with anything that comes along.  I don’t do so much psychological stuff.  There are occasions when I do with my mind.  I’m able to condense what was an hour into 5 minutes.  And that’s simply life experience.

What’s the thing or situation that you are most proud of, in terms of being confident? Eg coming back from a difficult situation? What did you learn from that?
(A) My thing, and people always ask me this question.  I had a rough time at Ipswich, I went there, there was a lot of pressure  on me and the situation I was in.  I did very well to start with, and things turned very sour.  And it wasn’t really my fault, it wasn’t anything to do with me, it was the whole club situation, but because I came in from local rivals, and I came in on big money, they wanted somebody to blame, and I was the easy target.  So the crowd, instead of turning on the whole team, they turned on ME, and things went very bad. Joe Royle came in as manager eventually, I’ve actually got a lot of respect for Joe, Joe didn’t fancy me, and I had no problem with that.  So I literally went from being first team goalkeeper to third choice – I wasn’t even on the bench.  And psychologically it’s very tough. You’re a big thing, doing all this, and then suddenly, bang, you’re out in the cold, and I spent the first 6 months of the season doing that.  And then suddenly I got a call from Dennis Wise at Millwall, Dennis wanted to take me on loan because Tony Warner was injured.  I went to there, I started the season as third choice goalkeeper and I ended the season playing at the Millenium stadium in the FA Cup final v Man Utd, funny how it all turns around.  So the point I’m getting at is that I went literally from my darkest days to switching it around to the highlight of my career.
What I learned from that ...personally I was very fortunate, I had a very good goalkeeping coach who helped me through, and he kept me doing the right things, he wouldn’t let me sulk, and that was part of my make-up and that was part of him the way he treated me.  And the fact that I kept doing the right things, even when I wasn’t playing, even when I had no chance of playing, I was ready when the call came, for me to go straight into the first team at another professional club and perform at the optimal level.  And for me to be able to do that, for 5 months, was very very difficult, but it taught me so much and it made me so much stronger.

1-or 2 key points about how you did that.
(A) It was real real tough.  I was fortunate.  I’ve always had a good support network of family and my wife around me.  I’ve got kids now, but at the time I didn’t. So I always had that support there, but I was always very much football, football, football, my whole life’s football.  So that became real real tough.  Sometimes I’d put myself in situations where I didn’t want to speak to people, I’d be away from people, I just needed my own time and space, and it was a real real tough time.  But as I said, because I kept going in, doing the right things, week in, week out, day in, day out, I was fortunate that I had the right goalkeeping coach around me, I was able to keep myself at the level that when the call came, because this is what this coach kept saying the me, ‘the call will come, the call will come, the call will come’, when it comes you’ve got to be ready, and I tool that on board, ....It was literally ‘I know where I want to get to, I know where I’m at, I’m at this bad place at the moment, I need to get out of this bad place, and this call will come, I’ve got to be ready when it comes.