I have been asked many times over the years about my involvement with Oxford Utd football club during the 2005/06 season. It was not a secret; neither did I advertise it either. So here is what happened.
My work with them came about via an introduction from Dave Beesley of B-Line to the club secretary Mick Brown.
Mick introduced me to Brian Talbot the manager and ex-England midfield player.
The next step was an address to the first team squad and 10 of the players stepped forward wishing to be involved.
The players were very professional and straightforward to work with, and during the period 2 wins and 2 draws were achieved.
The techniques employed had to be modified to work around Monday’s training day with individual sessions for each player. These had to be shortened so that the last players to be seen were not hanging around too long. I decided against group sessions
However as the club was at the foot of the table to begin with this was not enough for the chairman Kassam,and Brian was sacked to be replaced by Darren Patterson, who was replaced days later with a fanfare of balloons and dancing girls by Oxford Utd legend Jim Smith and new Chairman Nick Merry.
Neither understood the importance of mental preparation, my involvement ceased, and unfortunately the team was relegated to the Conference and lost its league status.
Both later stepped down.
The club have since returned to the league guided by new manager Chris Wilder.
Working with the club though was a great experience.
I leave you with comments from long serving goalkeeper Billy Turley
“I have worked with Sam on a 121 basis when he was mental preparation coach at the club, earlier this year.
I have found his techniques to be effective and therefore have downloaded all the tracks from the Sport Achievement section.
I cannot say just how beneficial the tracks have been to me this season”.