"If you're not happy, you cannot give your best,” - Paul Pogba
Paul’s really onto something here…
In a BBC Sport article on Sunday, Paul Pogba stated he needed to feel happy in order to perform at his very best.
Curiously he added that he would be fined if he spoke his true feelings.
"I still enjoying playing football but like I said, when you are comfortable or confident and are good in the head, it's going to be easier.”
So the question is how do you create happiness, a good head within an individual or a great team spirit?
Rio Ferdinand suggested after France’s victory that it was down to Jose [Mourinho] to unlock the Pogba we saw at the World Cup. United manager Mourinho had indeed praised Pogba for being “absolutely brilliant in Les Bleus' final three matches in Russia.
"It's about him understanding why he was so good, especially in the second part of the competition," said Morinho.
Jose is right - ITS ABOUT HIM (and Jose) UNDERSTANDING WHY HE WAS GOOD.
Pogba said "everybody was on the same page" in the France dressing room, from manager Didier Deschamps to the staff and players.
"When you have everybody with you, everybody next to you, you know they want to fight for you, obviously it's going to be easier," he said.
The club and country performance puzzle has, until now, been a mystery.
For England the issue was completely opposite to Pogba’s situation. English players were at their best for club and the same performance often missing on the national stage. So the answer cannot be shared nationality.
So where does the answer lie?
If it were down to the manager does Mourinho solely own the responsibility for each and every player?
Psychologically speaking the answer to accessing top performance lies within. That is, within the individual. The manager can then concentrate on the game plan, formation, strategy etc. Thats not to say he has no contribution to make to each player. Many under Ferguson's reign at United would say he actually got it out of them.
A better question perhaps; Does Ronaldo play his best for anyone other than himself?
The secret or fact of the matter is for players to understand their own mindset, self awareness you could say. Sure we all have our preferences of position, playing style, kick off time etc.
The freedom and desire to play from inspiration is available to all. Paul Pogba is accessing this in the French team, its logical that he could also do this at United.
The solution is for the team including the manager to share a common understanding or philosophy.
United aim to solve this problem by adding another layer of management, appointing a Sporting Director. This is not the solution to obtain a unified vision, this a mindset issue that cannot be solved by adding further complexity trying to find a United way.
In order to achieve this, they all have to share the same understanding of the mind and its importance for performance. Once teams have this solid foundation the can accomplish the best performance available on any given day.
There are many common myths around how the mind actually functions, Glenn Hoddle for example innocently said whilst commentating on England World Cup Group prospects ahead of a game that the players had to "leave the fear in the dressing room.” Begs the question - How? Far better to understand what fear actually is rather than advice or strategies of how to manage it.
Our mission is dispelling these myths, working with players to truly unlock their absolute potential regardless of any circumstances, be that location, manager, mood, club or country.
If you’d like to be able to do that, welcome you’re in the right place.
You can read the BBC article here: www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/45160562