Coping With The Stresses Of Football

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As the summer is supposedly upon us and a well-earned break from the stresses and strains of following The Reds comes around temporarily, we’ve spoken to qualified cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist Laury Valente to get some insight on how best to cope with the rigours of fandom ahead of next season. 

Valente shares his in-depth knowledge on topics such as dealing with emotions with us as we all prepare for a few weeks off before pre-season and life without Jürgen Klopp as Liverpool manager begins. 

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Eager to discuss the highs and lows of the life of a football supporter and how to think differently around the lows, Valente said: “We love football because of the emotions, being a supporter of Liverpool can be euphoric, the last-minute goals, we don’t do things the easy way, it can be an emotional rollercoaster. 

“Before the games, maybe we can do a bit of thinking ‘what if…what if we lose, what if we don’t turn up as mentality monsters?’. 

“The first thing to remember is that negative emotion is just a consequence, a consequence of the situation, we wanted something so bad but it didn’t happen. In the face of adversity, it’s hard to think like this but even when we lose we can see it as an opportunity to work on how we react.

“Some people don’t want to talk about it, which is fine, some people should do something they totally enjoy, music, cooking, playing with their children. There are so many amazing things in life, you should concentrate on them when football hurts, the change of focus is massive. What works for one person might not work for another, but test things, experiment.”

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Furthermore, to prepare ourselves for potential disappointment, Valente spoke about coping mechanisms, controlling the controllable and the language we use around football. 

Steering clear of ‘we should have won’ or ‘we should have got a penalty’ will make it easier to compartmentalise things that haven’t gone the way we would’ve liked or hoped. 

Speaking about Klopp’s impact on us mentally, he said: “Klopp allowed us to change the way we think about the game, changing from doubters to believers. 

“I won’t quote him directly but he said ‘If you do not limit yourselves with bad thoughts you can fly’ and he was so right, if you push yourself you have no limits.

“He changed the mentality of everybody, right from the start, he brought us all together as a group. How often do we use those same skills to support ourselves?

“Be your own supporters, be your own 12th man.”


Finally, Valente provided his final tips on appreciating our own support: “Gratitude, be grateful. We love football because we are passionate, we’ve got football, it’s a ride. The beauty of a human being is the emotions, embrace them, and take the whole ride because it’s worth it. 

“There are so many things to learn from difficult moments. It’s great to feel unbelievable on the highs – the Barcelona night – but it’s so much more useful to cope when results don’t go your way…how can you always personally win?”


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