The Psychology Behind Football – Why It’s a Mental and Physical Game

The amateur who watches football for the first time (assuming they understand the basic rules) will probably tell you that it requires serious physical effort to make some gain and move closer to the goal – and that’s correct; these athletes train their bodies to the extreme. It requires speed, strength, and a lot of perseverance to play.

However, it’s a mental game as well. As Knute Rockne apparently once said: “Football is played with arms, legs and shoulders, but mostly from the neck up.” He wasn’t talking about head-butting the opponents; to play football well, the players need psychological fortitude as well. Here’s the psychology behind football – and why it’s a mental game as well.

What’s football psychology?

Football psychology is the study of a player’s behavior during a football game – it’s not focused on whether the person scores or which tactics a player employs; rather, it focuses on why a person behaves in such a way, how a person feels or thinks, why this is so, and what can be done to improve the mental fortitude of a player.

The complexity

The mental aspect of a person is very complicated, and whether it’s gambling at a mobile casino, dealing with difficult co-workers, getting someone to buy your product, or being a success in the game of football, there is also enormous complexity. With a rush of feelings or thoughts – or the lack thereof in the form of confusion – players can either act in a productive or unproductive way, which affects performance.

Mental requirements

Players need to be able to learn – during training and on the field during the game. They require mental alertness and must be able to adjust to quick changes. Anxiety, doubt, inability to ‘read’ the game, perfectionism, or lack of self-discipline can adversely affect the way a game turns out.

How coaching helps

Coaching often helps in two important areas:

  • Outside life. Every player has a private life, and it’s important for coaches to understand each player as a person, not just a player, to help performance.
  • Focus. There are certain things players should focus on (the action that needs to be taken), while unfortunately, too many coaches and players focus on the wrong things (mistakes made).

There’s a lot more to the psychology of football, of course, and all these topics are relevant: fear of failure, realistic expectations, self-confidence, stress management – all these factors blend together to create a vastly dynamic environment that sets the player up for failure or success. If these issues affect one single person, it’s easy to imagine how it can affect a whole team, and how it can be the deciding factor in the outcome of a game. Football is physical, no doubt about it, but it’s very psychological as well.

Dolphins vs Ravens Wednesday Injury Report

MIAMI DOLPHINS at BALTIMORE RAVENS on Thursday night
MIAMI DOLPHINS (Miami did not conduct a practice on Monday and Tuesday. The Monday and Tuesday practice reports are an estimation.)
Status Report
  OUT QB Jay Cutler (ribs), G Anthony Steen (foot)
  QUESTIONABLE DE Andre Branch (groin), WR DeVante Parker (ankle), DT Jordan Phillips (ankle), T Laremy Tunsil (knee)
Practice Report
  DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Monday DE Andre Branch (groin), QB Jay Cutler (ribs), WR DeVante Parker (ankle), G Anthony Steen (foot), T Laremy Tunsil (knee)
Tuesday QB Jay Cutler (ribs), G Anthony Steen (foot)
Wednesday QB Jay Cutler (ribs), G Anthony Steen (foot)
  LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Monday RB Jay Ajayi (knee, elbow), T Ja’Wuan James (hand), CB Byron Maxwell (foot), DT Jordan Phillips (ankle), C Mike Pouncey (knee, hip), TE Julius Thomas (knee)
Tuesday DE Andre Branch (groin), WR DeVante Parker (ankle), DT Jordan Phillips (ankle), T Laremy Tunsil (knee)
Wednesday DE Andre Branch (groin), WR DeVante Parker (ankle), DT Jordan Phillips (ankle)
  FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Monday DE Terrence Fede (shoulder), CB Xavien Howard (shoulder)
Tuesday RB Jay Ajayi (knee, elbow), DE Terrence Fede (shoulder), CB Xavien Howard (shoulder), T Ja’Wuan James (hand), C Mike Pouncey (knee, hip), TE Julius Thomas (knee)
Wednesday RB Jay Ajayi (knee, elbow), DE Terrence Fede (shoulder), CB Xavien Howard (shoulder), T Ja’Wuan James (hand), C Mike Pouncey (knee, hip), TE Julius Thomas (knee), T Laremy Tunsil (knee)
BALTIMORE RAVENS
Status Report
  OUT RB Terrance West (calf), TE Maxx Williams (ankle)
  DOUBTFUL WR Michael Campanaro (shoulder), WR Chris Matthews (thigh), LB Tim Williams (thigh)
  QUESTIONABLE S Tony Jefferson (ankle), S Anthony Levine (back), WR Jeremy Maclin (shoulder), LB Patrick Onwuasor (knee), WR Breshad Perriman (concussion), C Matt Skura (knee), CB Jimmy Smith (achilles), LB Terrell Suggs (knee), WR Mike Wallace (concussion), TE Benjamin Watson (knee), S Eric Weddle (ankle)
Practice Report
  DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Monday WR Michael Campanaro (shoulder), S Anthony Levine (back), CB Jimmy Smith (achilles), LB Terrell Suggs (knee), RB Terrance West (calf), TE Maxx Williams (ankle), LB Tim Williams (thigh)
Tuesday WR Michael Campanaro (shoulder), LB Terrell Suggs (knee), TE Benjamin Watson (knee), RB Terrance West (calf), TE Maxx Williams (ankle)
Wednesday WR Michael Campanaro (shoulder), WR Chris Matthews (thigh), TE Benjamin Watson (knee), RB Terrance West (calf), TE Maxx Williams (ankle)
  LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Monday S Tony Jefferson (ankle), WR Jeremy Maclin (shoulder), LB Patrick Onwuasor (knee), WR Breshad Perriman (concussion), C Matt Skura (knee), WR Mike Wallace (concussion), TE Benjamin Watson (knee), S Eric Weddle (ankle)
Tuesday S Tony Jefferson (ankle), S Anthony Levine (back), WR Jeremy Maclin (shoulder), LB Patrick Onwuasor (knee), WR Breshad Perriman (concussion), C Matt Skura (knee), CB Jimmy Smith (achilles), WR Mike Wallace (concussion), S Eric Weddle (ankle), LB Tim Williams (thigh)
Wednesday WR Jeremy Maclin (shoulder), C Matt Skura (knee), CB Jimmy Smith (achilles), WR Mike Wallace (concussion), LB Tim Williams (thigh)
  FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday S Tony Jefferson (ankle), S Anthony Levine (back), LB Patrick Onwuasor (knee), WR Breshad Perriman (concussion), LB Terrell Suggs (knee), S Eric Weddle (ankle)

Steelers vs Ravens Wednesday Injury Report

Here’s the first injury report of the week for the Steelers at Ravens on Sunday:

PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Practice Report
  DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday RB Le’Veon Bell (not injury related), WR Martavis Bryant (illness), S Sean Davis (ankle), G Ramon Foster (thumb), S Michael Mitchell (hamstring), QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
  LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday LB Bud Dupree (shoulder), TE Jesse James (shoulder)
  FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday T Marcus Gilbert (hamstring), DE Stephon Tuitt (biceps), LB T.J. Watt (groin)
BALTIMORE RAVENS
Practice Report
  DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday CB Jaylen Hill (thigh), TE Benjamin Watson (calf), DT Brandon Williams (foot), TE Maxx Williams (ankle)

Ravens National Anthem Singer Steps Down Following a Weekend of Protests Around the League

The Ravens have a job opening day, as the teams’ official national anthem put out an instagram post earlier on Tuesday announcing he is walking away from the position.

Joey Odoms has been the teams’ official national anthem singer since 2014.

A post shared by Joey Odoms (@joeyodoms) on

Odoms is a member of the Maryland National Guard, where he was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, according to Ryan Mink of the Ravens’s website.

It was there that Odoms met coach John Harbaugh and was eventually about to be the teams’ second national anthem singer.

Ravens One Step Closer to the AFC North Title?

It’s a small, but tasty sample … it’s only Week-1, but to win a division opener is sugary, indeed. You might be aware of this, but teams who lose their division openers tend to keep on producing losses within their division. This is so important that historically, division opener losers only have an 11% chance of winning the division. Now that is a seriously reduced probability … Sorry Browns, sorry Bengals but your odds to with the AFC North are going to plummet- check 5Dimes Sportsbook for updated NFL division betting odds in the days to come.

So, it’s a good thing that not only did the Baltimore Ravens open up with a win against division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals, but they did so with boot-to-ant style, crushing the boys from Ohio 20 to nothing.

Big Baltimore ‘D’

Jeremy Hill opened up gashing through the middle for good yardage. This made it look like we were in for an epic division battle, but the Ravens defense snapped into gear getting immediate pressure on Dalton, even putting him to the turf for a sack.

New addition, Danny Woodhead helped Flacco and company march down the field, even making an amazing, spinning, one-handed grab to put the Ravens within easy Justin Tucker field goal range, striking first blood.

Dalton and the gang marched down the field into Ravens’ territory, only to have a 1 and 10 pass deflected by ILB Patrick Onwuasor and picked off by Baltimore new-comer, Brandon Carr, who ran the interception back to mid field. The Bengals managed to get away from that turnover without it resulting in a score … but it was a sign of things to come.

Dalton and the Bengals heroically march down from endzone to endzone in the second quarter and the feeling was that they were at least going to tie the game up at three … if not take a 4-point lead. Not if C.J Mosely has anything to say about it! Dalton passed over the top, targeting Brandon LaFell, but Mosely stretched out and snatched the ball out of the air (in the endzone) made his way back out past the 25, saving the Ravens a score against.

A few plays later we see the pure speed of Jeremy Macklin. Running a nice little post route, he cuts across the center of the field and Flacco finds him … and we’re off to the races. No one can catch him and the Ravens have a 10-point lead.

Did We Say Big Baltimore ‘D’ Yet?

It’s still the 2nd QTR. A minute and thirty-eight seconds left in the half, Dalton tries to go downfield but is hit by Suggs, the ball deflecting off #55’s helmet with Webb in the right place at the right time to snatch up an interception and plow his way down to the 2-yard line. A couple of seconds later and West is plowing his way into the endzone, making it two Baltimore Ravens touchdowns in less than 30 seconds.

Just a minute before the Bengals thought they’d be going into the locker room at halftime with just a 3-point deficit at home … and suddenly they are 17 – Zip!

Interceptions and Fumbles and Field Goals

A long story short, the Defense holds tough and the Bengals don’t get any lucky breaks through the 3rd and 4th Qtrs. The Ravens do a bit of sacking Dalton, making the Bengals punt a few times, picking off Dalton again. Making the Bengals punt … then causing Dalton to fumble. Get another Tucker field goal Some more punts and the Cincinnati Bengals are completely demoralized in their season opener at home.

Victory is sweet. And it tastes even better when it comes in the form of crushing a division rival’s dreams of starting the season strong! Next week another division rival gets to taste the pain. The Browns are getting let out of the dog pound … just to get pecked to pieces by the newly sharpened beaks of the Baltimore Ravens in M&T Bank Stadium.

Ravens vs Bengals NFL Week One Inactives

Ravens:

Crockett Gillmore (TE)
Darren Waller (TE)
Kenneth Dixon (RB)
Tavon Young (CB)
Maurice Canady (CB)
Albert McClellan (LB)
Tim White (WR)
Brandon Boykin (CB)
Jaylen Hill (CB)

Bengals:

Jake Kumerow (WR)
C.J. Uzomah (TE)
Adam Jones (CB)
Shawn Williams (S)
Vontaze Burfict (LB)
Cedric Peerman (RB)
John Ross (WR)
Jeff Driskel (QB)
Tra Carson (RB)
Mason Schreck (TE)
Josh Malone (WR)

Ravens Make Move at QB; Ink Thad Lewis, Waive Dustin Vaughan

With Joe Flacco on the shelf for the moment, the Ravens are still making tweaks to their quarterback position, making a roster move today with signal callers.

The team announced they’ve inked journeyman backup Thad Lewis, in the process waiving QB Dustin Vaughan.

Lewis has knocked around the league, and has played well enough when he’s had a chance to justify being someone’s third-stringer.

The former Duke quarterback has done time with the Rams, Browns twice, Lions, Bills, Texans, Eagles, and 49ers.

He hasn’t actually played in a game since 2013 for Buffalo, and he’s coming back from a torn ACL which ended his time in San Francisco, where he backed up some guy named Colin Kaepernick who can’t get a job.

Lewis has been on seven teams the last seven seasons, so don’t expect much from him while with the Ravens other than holding the placemat for the return of Flacco.

Ravens Reach Deal with Former Raiders OL Austin Howard

The Ravens made their biggest offseason addition to the offensive line Friday when they reached an agreement with former Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Austin Howard, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports via Jason Hensley of ESPN.com.

Howard, 30, is expected to compete with James Hurst at the starting right tackle spot. Baltimore hadn’t signed an experienced lineman since losing Rick Wagner, a three-year starter who signed with the Detroit Lions in free agency.

The addition of Howard would provide much-needed experience to a thinning offensive line. Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda had been the only lineman who started more than 13 games in the NFL. Baltimore lost two linemen — John Urschel (retirement) and Nico Siragusa (knee) — for the season since training camp began eight days ago.