How to win: Lessons from the Premier League

05 January 2017

How to Win: Lessons from the Premier League provides candid insights into the psychology of elite professional football from both a player's (The Secret Footballer - TSF) and practitioner's (The Secret Psychologist – TSP) point of view. A consistent theme within the book is the ruthless nature of the professional game for all involved. This creates a highly pressurised working environment influencing people’s thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours. It is clear that to win, players and managers need to deal with a plethora of unpredictable psychosocial challenges, whilst one wrong decision can have serious negative consequences for their careers.

The book is not simply an amalgamation of anecdotes and stories from a career in football, rather TSF shows and understanding of concepts and studies in social and behavioural psychology. This understanding is used to underpin and support the points he makes adding credence to these arguments. TSP interjects at the end of each chapter to provide a practitioners perspective on the topic, at times providing further context or strategies and at others challenging TSF’s views.

The author’s relaxed and humorous writing style makes the book an engaging and easy read, whilst personal experiences are discussed with an honesty that anonymity allows. Tips and strategies are provided throughout, which the authors have used to help manage some of the challenges outlined. These would be useful for practitioners working in professional sport or individuals wanting to enhance their own playing or coaching.

- Reviewed by Ross Shand, Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist, Leeds Beckett University.

'How to Win: Secrets from the Premier League' is published by Guardian Faber Publishing.

Read our reviews of The Secret Footballer's past books, including an extract.