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Joaquín Valdés: "The leadership of Luis Enrique can be seen very clearly reflected in the national team"

MADRID, 29 Nov.

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Joaquín Valdés: "The leadership of Luis Enrique can be seen very clearly reflected in the national team"


Joaquín Valdés, psychologist of the 'staff' of Luis Enrique Martínez in the Spanish team, is clear that in the national team you can see "the leadership" of the Asturian coach, "the main architect" of the current atmosphere within the team. , and stressed that his figure should not be associated with an athlete having "a clinical problem" but that his role should be to "optimize performance."

"The personality of a group is usually that of its leader and in this team you can see the leadership, the way of working and never giving up a race for Luis Enrique's loss, and that's what you see in the team. environment on a day-to-day basis", warned Joaquín Valdés, invited this Tuesday in the 'streaming' of the national team.

The psychologist acknowledged that he contributes "an important grain of sand" when it comes to creating a good atmosphere, "but no more than any other member of the 'staff' or the medical service." "This creates an environment that feeds on itself and where the main architect is Luis Enrique," he stressed.

Valdés, of whom the Asturian recalled that he is the "only person" of the 'staff' who has been with him since he began his career on the bench, pointed out that unlike clinical or social psychologists, one from the sports branch "basically works with healthy individuals" and has the "objective of optimizing performance".

"The figure of the sports psychologist was associated with the athlete having a clinical problem and it has nothing to do with it. You can be perfectly fine, but work on a psychological level to maintain that appropriate level by associating different situations with different moments and behaviors," he added.

Valdés also talked about how an injury can affect psychologically. "There is a phase of emotional impact and we have to allow the athlete to go through that little duel, it is enough to be next to it. A goal has been broken and motivation collapses, we have to rethink a new one, which is not going to be as attractive , and start working. It is important not only to talk about the long term but about small milestones that make you motivate yourself and the objectives must be realistic, "he explained.

The psychologist also made it clear that he strictly complies with "professional secrecy." "If it weren't for this, he wouldn't be here. The first thing I told Luis is that in order to work well there would be things that he couldn't transfer to him because he would lose the player's confidence," he acknowledged.

In addition, he recounted that in the "important moment of waiting before a game, attention must be diverted so that the player spends that period of time in the most pleasant way possible" and recalled that in relation to egos, "there are even in any neighborhood youth team". "The higher the level, the more difficult it is to manage and that is why not just anyone can coach a high-level team," he pointed out.

Valdés also did not forget to warn of the "importance of controlling social networks." "It's satisfying to read good things, but you're not going to stop reading them when they're not so good and nobody likes to be badmouthed. We've given the power to someone anonymous to influence us," he said.

The sports psychologist confessed that he also works with "different strategies" in the face of penalty shootouts in playoffs and made it clear that they are not "a lottery." "It can be influenced psychologically and it can improve performance," he stressed.

In addition, he acknowledged that he has met "high-level" players, but that they would prefer to have "another job" and that "high-level athletes are mavericks and are almost always unhappy", while he clarified that hypnosis does not work "as such" and that it is not "like the one in the movies, which is magic". "I do have imagination or cognitive reconstruction tools," said Valdés, who sees tennis or golf as two of the sports that "require the most mental demands" and who has worked with referees, "but not on an individual level ".

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