Mentality as important as talent in elite sport

Mentality may be as important as talent when it comes to personal success in sport. Dr Roger Kingerlee, a Chartered Psychologist, explained optimal psychological performance needs to be teamed with physical effectiveness if people are to succeed at the highest level.

Dr Kingerlee's comments follow an article in The Guardian which charted the apparent descent of Manchester City footballer Michael Johnson, who, despite being touted as a future England captain by the club's fans, has not started a league game for the side in almost four years.

Although Johnson has been affected by injuries in this time, the newspaper suggests the coaching team at Manchester City believed the young man did not have the mentality to make it as a top footballer - and his plight was brought back into the spotlight recently when the Manchester Evening News reported he had been arrested for drink-driving.

Despite Johnson's downward spiral, Dr Kingerlee explained the need to guide troubled youngsters is now being recognised in sport: "Thankfully, forward-thinking top football and rugby clubs are beginning to realise this and are offering youngsters the specialist support they need to make the most of their talent at what can be a challenging developmental stage of life."