Former English professional footballer and Sunderland goalkeeper David Preece recently reflected on the value of having somebody around the club who he could be dead honest with.
Here’s an excerpt from the article…
“When I first joined the club, Peter was one of the first faces to greet me after I’d signed, to welcome me to Oakwell. He explained to me his role at the club as chaplain and said if I ever needed someone to talk to, that’s what he was there for. Now, most managers will tell you their door is always open if you need to get something off your chest. In some cases, that’s actually true. But there are some things on life that you don’t want to tell your manager. And there are things your manager certainly doesn’t want to hear. What you need is someone who is impartial, non-judgemental and you can trust. Peter Amos was that man.
“…when someone asks “How are you?”, it was nice not to just fob the question off with an “I’m ok”. It was a welcome relief to say “Actually, I’m not alright. Can we have a chat?”
“When you’re talking to a sports psychologist employed by the club, it’s easy to come up with the answers you think your manager wants to hear, rather than what you’re actually feeling because you know it will all be recorded and relayed back to him.”
“Sometimes you just need someone to listen. For you to unload. For them to empathise. Someone who you can confide in confidentially without thinking it will affect your standing within the squad.”
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