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Psychologist Chris Shen: Tips to Bolster and Improve your Mental Health

The current COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the mental health of the soccer community. Players, coaches, decision-makers, administrators, and supporters have all been impacted by the coronavirus, which can cause anxiety, distress, fatigue, a diminished ability to perform, and burnout. Scientific research has revealed several evidence-based techniques which can help Soccerscene readers bolster our mental health, during this challenging time.

Here are some tips for readers to help improve and master our mental health:

1.Savouring

Please identify ways to create savouring experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Savouring refers to strategies we can use to create, maintain, and share positive experiences.

Tips:

  • Please use mannerisms and gestures, such as smiling, and greeting each other.
  • Please celebrate and acknowledge positive events and moments with others.
  • Please write and read affirmations, and positive words and quotes.
  • Please create and listen to playlists of music and sounds which are uplifting and inspiring.
  • Each night with a beloved person, please identify three positive events that transpired during the day, as well as the causes of these events.

 

2.Gratitude

Please adopt a positive attitude of gratitude and appreciation towards yourself and others.

When we are grateful and express gratitude to others, we create positive thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and decrease negativity. A helpful practice is to show gratitude towards our family members, teammates, coaches, staff, and loved ones. When we show gratitude and compassion towards ourselves, we can often withstand challenges and frustrations.

Tips:

  • Please write a positive message to someone important in your life, expressing gratitude. Send this message, or deliver this message directly to the important person.
  • Please identify a regret in your life. Please write a reassuring message to yourself, expressing compassion and understanding towards yourself about this regret.
  • Please identify an opportunity to offer kindness and assistance to someone in need. What can you do to help someone else – especially during this Covid-19 pandemic?

 

3.Mindfulness

Mindfulness refers to a psychological state in which individuals experience an awareness of objects in their immediate environment, as well as their current thoughts and feelings.

Individuals who demonstrate mindfulness direct their attention to their present surroundings and their psychological state, but engage in experiential rather than analytical processing. That is, mindfulness refers to sustained or frequent awareness and attention to current and ongoing experiences. People who practice mindfulness develop greater self-esteem, concentration, emotional intelligence, and resilience.

Tips:

  • Every hour or so, please sit quietly for a few minutes with your eyes closed and focus your attention on your breath.
  • Then, direct your attention towards your surroundings – What you hear, what you smell, what you can taste, and how your body feels.
  • Then focus on your emotions, and thoughts.
  • Mindfulness practice can be used by Soccerscene readers in your pre-game preparations to develop focus, reduce anxiety, and build resilience.

Christopher Shen is a Psychologist, based in Melbourne, Australia. He can be contacted at: www.christophershen.com.au

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Football Queensland launches women’s knockout cup

Football Queensland (FQ) has announced a new women’s knockout tournament which is set to kick off in in early 2021.

Football Queensland (FQ) has announced a new women’s knockout tournament which is set to kick off in in early 2021.

The Kappa Women’s Super Cup will be state-wide competition and has been implemented in part due to feedback from FQ’s Future of Football 20+ consultation effort.

FQ labelled the new tournament as a historic and exciting new opportunity for women and girls in Queensland.

“FQ made it clear in the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan that women and girls are the future and we are continually working on implementing infrastructure, pathways and participation formats to embrace that potential,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“The Kappa Women’s Super Cup provides a great conference-based platform for players while bringing to life a key Competition Reform opportunity outlined in the Future of Football 2020+ Opportunities Paper, which documented the football community’s appetite for connected competitions and an increase in knockout football formats.”

Clubs will be divided by region for the tournament with North, Central and South East Queensland conferences before a finals series in Brisbane.

“There’s no better time to introduce this tournament than with the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 driving FQ’s infrastructure and participation objectives and with 2021 marking the 100-year anniversary of the earliest recorded public women’s football match in Queensland,” Cavallucci said.

“This model has strong stakeholder support and delivers a best-v-best and like-v-like outcome that gives Queensland’s female footballers a chance to showcase their talents.”

Italian sportswear brand Kappa will be the naming rights sponsor for the tournament – in early October the brand signed an extension to be Football Queensland’s official apparel partner for a further three years. Kappa is also the official apparel partner for Western United FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.

“Kappa is excited to be so closely involved with a tournament that breaks new ground for women in football,” Kappa Australia Director Ze’ev Bogaty said.

“We proudly support women and girls in sport, creating custom kits and products that genuinely cater for female athletes and audiences, and the Kappa Women’s Super Cup demonstrates this commitment from the grassroots through to the professional level.

“This is another great sign of the strength of our long-lasting relationship with the growing Queensland football community.”

Queensland clubs can nominate their interest to compete in the tournament via the Football Queensland website.

World-class speakers set for Australian Coaching Conference this weekend

The Australian Coaching Conference will take place this Saturday November 28, with a range of big-name football figures set to speak at the event.

Topping the list is legendary football coach Arsene Wenger who will present at the online conference alongside other notable speakers such as Mile Jedinak, Graham Arnold and Julie Foudy.

The event will be run by Football NSW, in conjunction with the FFA, Football Coaches Australia and a number of other Member Federations including Football Victoria, Football West, Northern NSW Football and Football South Australia.

Well-known football personalities Stephanie Brantz and Adam Peacock will co-host the conference this weekend.

“It is extremely pleasing to see that this conference has received such a positive response and that we will be going out to more than 1800 participants across the state, throughout the country and indeed around the world,” Football NSW Head of Football, Peter Hugg stated.

“More significantly, it is great that we have been able to explore various technology platforms that have come to the fore during the COVID19 pandemic, and introduce both online learning and a means by which we can upload content, both now for this weekend, but also for future reference over the next 12 months or so – I can only envisage that this will increase as we develop this concept more and more.

“I think the success of this weekend’s Conference demonstrates a certain ‘build it and they will come’ approach. That is, we have been fortunate to have some of the best football people in Australia and throughout the world present across a range of relevant key areas, and as we have packaged and priced the day accordingly, pleasingly the coaching fraternity have responded.” 

Hugg explained that with the calibre of names on show, the conference is set to be a must-see event.

“To think that we have names like Arsene Wenger, two former world champions in former US players, Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain, national team coaches Graham Arnold and Tom Sermanni, former Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak, Matildas Heather Garriock and Lisa DeVanna, Xavier Closas from the FC Barcelona Futsal program, representatives from FIFA’s Technical Department, and many more…it’s just a quality line up and augers well for a great day.”

 

Football Queensland announce four new clubs for NPL Women’s competition

Football Queensland have confirmed four clubs have been successful in their application to play in the NPL Queensland Women’s competition from 2021.

Those clubs are Virginia United, Olympic FC, Peninsula Power and Brisbane City.

The teams were selected by an NPL Women’s Assessment Panel, who followed a range of stringent criteria.

The four clubs will form part of an initial 16-team competition in 2021, which will split into two, after each team has played each other on one occasion.

From 2022 onwards promotion and relegation will be introduced into the system.

Football Queensland Board member and former Matilda Amy Chapman oversaw the moderation process and explained the high standards of the successful applicants from the highly competitive field.

“I firstly want to congratulate the four clubs that have been awarded licences and sincerely thank the 14 in total that submitted either an application or expression of interest,” she said.

“The strong appetite among clubs to want to be part of women’s football is something to celebrate.

“The interest levels and the overall high quality of applications reaffirmed the football community’s confidence in the NPL Women’s reforms FQ has announced in recent weeks.

“Virginia United, Olympic FC, Brisbane City and Peninsula Power provided exceptional submissions that exceeded the selection criteria, factoring in essential considerations such as female facilities and programs, and most critically demonstrated each club’s capacity, willingness and strategy to take the women’s game to the next level.

“The key criteria demonstrate that FQ is strategically focused on driving opportunities for women and girls, and unlocking the legacy of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.”

Football Queensland will liaise with all clubs over the coming months to continue to prepare for the expanded 2021 competition, which will also lead into a two-tier Senior Women’s system in 2022.

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