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"I'm my own worst enemy at times" | Steven Reid on sports psychology

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

19:27 2 Apr 2020

Steven Reid joined Off The Ball on Wednesday to chat about his new career in coaching and looking forward to qualifying as a therapist.

Reid is enjoying his coaching role with Scotland and while he says he is ready for more coaching responsibility he is also undergoing training to become a counsellor.

"I'm doing a counselling and Psychology course with the PFA, it's been going on a couple of months now," says the former Ireland midfielder.

The area of psychology fascinates Reid who admits the mental side of the game was sometimes a weakness for him.

"It's an area I've always felt has been massive for me personally and in my playing career and that going forward will hopefully be a useful tool to help others with as well.

"Whether that's in football or not in football.

Did Steven Reid avail of these services as a player, or did they exist to that level?

"Yeah I did, particularity going through the injuries. As a player, I always needed that extra bit of assistance from the mental side of playing and the psychology side. It was never easy for me.

"That (mental side) never came easy to me. I'm my own worst enemy at times, it never came easy to me to just go out and play.

"That performance was something I always needed a little bit of help with at certain stages of my career.

Rollercoaster

Reid says his mental struggles with the game often happened in peaks and troughs. "There were times when the confidence was high and the football came easy," says reid.

"There were a lot of times, especially at the backend of my career. I was 50% fit at best I needed the help of Steve Peters and others like Damien Hughes who helped me in my playing career.

Without going full Parklife, Reid says confidence is essential to performance.

"The difference in a player that's confident and not confident is wanting the ball and not wanting the ball. It's huge."

Reid identified times in his own career when he had triggers that would require assistance with his confidence. Sometimes they were outside forces like peters, but sometimes aspects of Reid's own performances helped him.

Reid says he struggled with confidence: "particularly when I left Millwall for Blackburn, it was a huge move for me at the time.

"Moving to a dressing room that was full of household names. For a year or so I struggled to believe in myself.

"I scored a goal for Blackburn against Wigan (see above) probably the best goal of my career. It was a lightbulb moment where I felt I was where like I belonged at that level."

Disappointment

While the goal was one of the highs, Reid is honest about the disappointment in his international career.

"I never did myself justice in an Ireland shirt either."

Possibly with maturity Reid says he struggled less mentally as his physical struggles increased.

"I actually got a bit stronger at the end of my career when my mind was so fixed on being fit and getting myself out there that whether I had a bad game or not I was just happy to be out there."

Reid will certainly have the empathy to help counsel any young player struggling with injuries in the future when he qualifies.

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


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