chapter
Introduction
Football psychology on route to becoming an integral part of football
WithErkut Konter, Jürgen Beckmann, Todd M. Loughead
Pages 6

Football or soccer is played by 250 million people in more than 200 countries making it the world’s most popular sport (Strudwick, 2016). We know from FIFA that in 2007 the total number of football players registered with a club or team in the world was reported to be 38 million players, of which 34 million were male. Football appears to be so highly attractive worldwide because it is a fairly simple game and is economical to play. Sport psychology consultation became the norm in the 20th century, however, football lagged behind. This has changed over the last few decades. A 2018 Google Scholar search with the key words of ‘soccer’ and ‘psychology’ produced over 151,000 results. However, closer inspection of this search reveals that there is an increasing demand for optimizing psychological skills within the game of football. In the fast-paced, high-stakes modern game, mental skills are critical to making good decisions under pressure and coping with increasing demands on and off the pitch (Pain, 2016). Football psychology is a field of research that has been one of the fastest-growing areas in sport psychology over the past decade. This book attempts to bridge the gap between research and practice.