James Coppinger delivered a ProMindset session to the Rovers U18s squad to discuss the importance of developing a professional mindset, and the importance of mental performance both on and off the pitch.
Coppinger started the company ProMindset to help support footballers of all ages cope with the ups and downs of the professional game and with more than two decades and 800 appearances spanning the Premier League to non-league, there’s almost no one with more experience and knowledge of the challenges these young players will face in their careers.
The importance of the exit strategy (the process for Academy players who don’t earn professional deals at their clubs) and the support network for the players who do has never been more apparent and Coppinger believes Creating a mental foundation for players when they are young will help them deal with disappointment and success.
Coppinger said: "Trying to educate young players is massive. They’re going through a really uncertain and challenging time on and off the pitch with the pressure of exams whilst also trying to earn a professional contract. Throw in a pandemic for good measure and it's tough!
“At ProMindset we are looking to create a better understanding of what mental performance looks like, and how you can implement certain strategies and techniques to help you deal with disappointment and success. They also get the opportunity to work with players who have been there, seen it and done it, who have lived through the things they’re experiencing right now.
“We are looking to do these sessions regularly, but they all know that if they need support – I’m on the end of the phone to help”.
The ProMindset session was then followed by a Q&A with winger Jon Taylor who spoke about his own experiences of being let go from Wigan Athletic’s Academy at a young age and the determination and hard-work which defined his journey back to professional football.
He also spoke about his personal highs and lows off the field which had impacted his career and answered the players questions about what it takes to have a career in football.