England have set off to the World Cup with a new man in the team – Dr Steve Peters, the psychiatrist who has worked so successfully with British Cycling over recent years. It is great to see that they are committed to developing their mind game every bit as much as the physical game on the pitch. With “pressure of expectation” often cited as a reason for failure in many of England’s previous World Cup campaigns, maybe this is the edge that the team need to succeed.
England has already learned a lot from Dave Brailsford’s concept of marginal gains. Ray Lewington, England Coach says, “You hear the stories about people who have worked with the British Cycling team. They were like Norwich City in the Premier League, but they became champions of the world and the Olympics.”
Lewington hopes that England can now learn from Dr Peters. “I’ve never seen an operation like it. We’ve gone up to a new level for this World Cup. It has to be perfect.” Part of delivering this perfection is making sure that the players take to the field with a winning mind set.
Roy Hodgson, has said that he thinks England can win. If Dr Peters has made an impact in the 8 short weeks that he has been involved, then maybe they can!
At Wild Thinking we work with a lot of teams who want to take their performance to a new level. We will often work with them on their processes and help them to deliver continuous improvement. One thing that we know from experience though, is that you can have the best systems in the world, but without a winning mind-set you can remain firmly stuck in a rut. Belief and commitment are the keys that unlock success.
Will England win the world Cup? Well if they think they can, then they are off to a good start!