Betfred Sport

New column: Go for Goals

Introducing 'Go for Goals' - a new column by Dan Collinson

Dan Collinson is a specialist in helping individuals in football, sport, business and all walks of life maximise their potential. Total Football has seen him at work and he knows his stuff.

Dan is a master NLP practioner - for the uninitiated, that's someone who works with an individual to help improve their state of mind - thus allowing them to focus better and perform at their maximum potential.

He learned many of his techniques through his first hand experience as a keen football player. Dan, who lives in Berkshire, has played football for 28 years. He played at district level, for non-league Marlow's youth team, and was on schoolboy terms at QPR.

He has played in the Reading League in recent years and, using the NLP techniques he has learned and applied, he has captained every team he has played for, giving him the opportunity to coach and motivate the rest of the squad.

Dan has played in teams that have swept all before them, in teams that have been challenging for honours, and for teams that in some cases have been in seemingly perpetual relegation battles. As a leader in every team he has played in, Dan has been able to help his team-mates focus and improve their game.

"I appreciate the impact of the mental side of the game and how it is now becoming more important in developing teams and players," said Dan. "All the skill in the world doesn't count for much if a person's head isn't right."

Dan kicks off his column with a look at how focus is the starting point for all successful teams... 


Goals win games - and goals can also improve your game

It is often said by football managers and players that they are only focused on the next game. Whilst this is an important trait, it is also important to focus on the long term and what you want to achieve throughout your career.

By taking a long term view of your playing career, you can work backwards from this endpoint to work out the steps that you will need to take, in order to reach the heights you want to attain. Figuring out the actions that you’re going to need to take to reach these heights, then making sure that you follow through on the actions, is going to do wonders in developing your skills and career.

This is what I was referring to when I said that goals can also improve your game. It can be that you need to practice every day working on your weaker foot, improve your heading, increase your fitness or get selected for the team that football scouts go along regularly to watch. Working on all of these types of things, will help you move towards reaching your goal.

Setting goals for yourself can also be expanded to setting goals for the team you play for. What is your goal for the season? What are the objectives that you want to achieve as a club?

This is really useful, so that everyone has input in the direction that you want to take and also understands that with you all pulling in the right direction, having real desire and improving daily, then you will make it. It also boosts team spirit to have everyone committed to reaching a collective goal.

By way of example, please do the following. Write two separate notes for your testimonial programme at the end of your playing career for these two scenarios:
1) If you continue on the path you are currently on with your playing career.
2) The successful and rewarding career that you’ll be truly proud of.

Which of the two was more exciting and appealing? Now, write down the steps you’ll need to take to fulfil your exciting career. Use these steps, as well as focusing on your goal, so that you can do something each day to work towards reaching it.

Whether you’re setting goals for yourself or your team, make sure that you write them down and read them regularly, so that your attention is frequently brought to your goals and will also make it enjoyable working towards achieving them!

Dan is happy to hear from readers who are interested in the techniques he applies to help players raise their game. He can be contacted via email at:

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