Expert reveals 'personal' insight after Southampton call in the Armed Forces
Southampton deserve props for using the same techniques championed by the SAS in their academy.
That is the view of medical expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in data analysis.
As relayed by Training Ground Guru last Monday (6 May), Southampton employ SAS veteran Floyd Woodrow to help cultivate an elite mindset among their academy players.
Woodrow’s work at Staplewood ranges from performance consultancy to motivational speaking.
Dinnery revealed that he has first-hand experience of the techniques which he says will be invaluable for the Saints’ youngsters.
“Having worked personally with young people who hoped to enter the Armed Forces, it is highly recommended in terms of life skills,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
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“We know that only a very small percentage of players at youth level will make it at any senior level. So this is about teaching these young people the skills to cope with life not only in football but away from it as well.
“From a football side of things, you know when you’re working with someone from the SAS that there is no margin for error. If you make a mistake as part of the SAS, that can result in your death. These guys know what they’re talking about.
“As a footballer, if you want to get the best out of yourself, you need to work within the controllables. You need to control your response to different environments and pressure situations.
“Then you can instil that belief and tailor that around the needs of the team. Southampton won the league at youth level this year. They needed to win their final game, so it certainly helps with that strong mindset.
“There are no shortcuts. You need to break down barriers and address problems when you are moulding these young players. Then there are a lot of transferable skills there.
“There is a perception in the armed forces that it’s a very macho, male-dominated environment. But there’s stuff in their techniques about mental health and wellbeing. Then you can put in strategies to mitigate any risks down the line.“