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Created by Gary Lavery on June 18th, 2016
LEICESTER CITY Football Club winning the Barclays Premier League was the ultimate masterclass in team spirit, one that was generated through positive self-talk by a manager, a human who really does "Walk his Talk". His post-match interviews were consistent throughout a season, that he is a clear advocate of positive self-talk, and believes in his own ability, and that of his team.
After all, starting the 2015-16 season, the club were 5000-1 rank outsiders to achieve one of the ultimate sporting crowns ... and they DID JUST THAT. This achievement rocked football from it's foundations and is now an example of "MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE, POSSIBLE."
The psychology of a professional sportsperson is paramount to success. The story that always reminds me of this triumph is the great Roger Bannister and the four-minute mile.
Before Bannister ran under four minutes, nearly every supposed expert in the world stated that it was humanly impossible. Doctors were even saying that the human body would explode if subjected to that amount of sustained effort. However, Bannister believed differently and went round the course in superhuman time and the rest is history. But, the incredible part to this story actually happened after Roger and his gang had all rode off into the sunset.
In the year that followed, 37 different runners also broke the four-minute mark, and amazingly the year after that, over 300 broke it. So, what changed in those couple of years? The fact was that people began to believe it was possible because someone had already achieved it. The belief accompanied with the regular training and disciplines of a professional athlete meant that the bar was raised right across the field.
So, how did Ranieri, without spending millions of pounds, really make change easy at Leicester City?
Before Claudio Ranieri took over as new manager, Leicester City managed to pull off the “great escape”, winning seven of their last nine matches to haul themselves off the bottom of the table and up to 14th place. Described as a “miracle” by Ranieri on the day he was presented to the media. He added "players don't just become technically poor overnight, perhaps they had failure at the forefront of their minds."
The "Tinkerman" was now becoming the "Thinkerman" ...
Known as the "Tinkerman" because his thrives on making 'in the moment' changes, what Ranieri did very well throughout this championsip winning season was install a belief in his team that it was possible to achieve the unthinkable. With every success along the way, he reinforced this message publicly and privately, and with every setback he pulled the single result back into perspective and then reinforced the overall successful belief once again. Success breeds success because the more it is achieved the more it is expected. Ranieri and staff turned good players into EXCELLENT players from a mindset perspective by installing a belief of thinking they were unbeatable.
Winners of all kinds have ONE thing in common, they always treat success more importance than failure. They see failure as a lesson that can be learn't from, and then forgotten about which aligns itself towards the NLP presupposition of "there is no failure only feedback." I, or should I say most people, hace enjoyed watching the manner in which Leicester City achieved success this season, and the interviews with the staff consistently highlight the importance that they put on the preparation of the minds of their players and togetherness of team spirit.
When Leicester City start their Premier League title defence in August, the 2016-17 season will viewed by Ranieri as another window of opportunity for the club. I am confident that the people in charge will ensure that the team are prepared once again to defy belief, and make sure that the this campaign wasn't just a 'fluke' season. "God" and "Legend" are among the words used to describe Ranieri by people and, in the context of what has unfolded during this incredible season, who are we to argue?
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