Psychology in the 1980s
The below article was published in the In Black and White newsletter in March 1984. It alerts to supporters that Collingwood was innovative in the way they dealt with their player’s mental state and how their is a direct translation to on-field performance.
Forty Collingwood players have recently been participating in a mental training program with Dr. Michael Bernard. The program is designed to develop the mental skills in areas related to stress, anxiety, fear and positive thinking.
The level of football skill between the tweleve teams in the VFL competioin is marginal. More often than not the difference in winning or losing is in the team’s attitude. Psychologists are now playing a more important part in business and sport to improve performance.
In the first session of this course we dealt with relaxation. A player that is tense finds it extremely difficult to perform at his top. Muscles become tight and when the ball hits a player’s hand it bounces off like they’re made of cement. If players are able to overcome this tension, which is quite evident early on in a game, it will help our overall performance.
The general response to the program so far has been good. Most players realise they can learn something which will help their game. The program will continue right up to the start of the football season.