A model of psychological intervention with youth soccer coaches: an experience at the Real Zaragoza.

Chiara D'Angelo, Luis Cantarero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


When a psychologist starts a consulting work in a youth sector, one of his main focuses is to make coaches aware of psychological intervention usefulness. Supporting coaches daily activity should mean to include psychological aims in their year training plan. To do that it is necessary to activate training and consulting programs for coaches. In soccer we have identified 3 main groups of skills which young players have to develop; psychological skills that a coach should train at the same way of technical and tactical ones. 1-Skills to work in team: roles and rules definition, team goal setting, effective communication system, construction of membership, 2-Cognitive skills: intuition, attention and concentration development, decision making; 3-Emotional skills: anxiety management, self-confidence and motivation development, self-esteem and emotional stability. The consultancy experience in the youth sector of Real Zaragoza started 5 years ago (season 2006/2007) using this philosophy of intervention. We worked with 8 teams (totally 160 players), in particular with the 8 coaches and their staff (coach assistant, physiotherapists, etc.), using a ethnographic methodology, in direct contact with all the actors on the soccer field. Focusing our attention on the coach-athletes relationship, we aimed to plan different ways to include psychological skills (team cohesion, anxiety management, concentration development, etc.) in daily training program. We started analysing what coaches do during training sessions and weakly games. Discussing with coaches we pointed out some strategies to favour the psychosocial development of young players. Some outcomes of this experience will be presented, in order to point out some guidelines regarding psychological consulting work with youth coaches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th FEPSAC European Congress of Sport Psychology. Sport and Exercise Psychology: Human Performance, Well-being and Health.
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event13th FEPSAC European Congress of Sport Psychology - Madeira (Portugal)
Duration: 12 Jul 201117 Jul 2011


Conference13th FEPSAC European Congress of Sport Psychology
CityMadeira (Portugal)


  • sport coaches
  • youth sport


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