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What if I don’t get a new contract?

69% of those who were asked were worried about their career or their livelihood

Using the time between your training sessions to play out the worst case scenario in your head over and over again

In a study done by the Professional Football Association in England the results showed that 69% of those who were asked were worried about their career or their livelihood

No matter what country or league that you play in I have no doubt that the coronavirus situation has hit you on some level

Being stuck in the house, not being able to see family and not playing football being some of the most common things players have struggled with recently

The biggest struggle of all though has been for those out of contract

Not just being out of contract but the lack of clarity around whether or not you are getting a new deal and if not, what then?

So many questions that no one seems to be able to answer at this stage

The reason for writing this blog is to help you understand a simple way to frame your thinking that will help you if you are one of the many players who are out of contract this summer

 

IT’S TOUGH

 

Unfortunately, the situation is what it is. There is nothing we can do to change the situation except follow the government’s guidelines

Now that you have so much spare time on your hands it can become so easy to sit around at home and feed the problem

Using the time between your training sessions to play out the worst-case scenario in your head over and over again

Asking questions that very few (if anyone) knows the answer to

“Will clubs still be paying the same sort of money as they are just now or will budgets be cut?”

“Will squad sizes be cut if budgets are cut?”

“How are clubs going to do trials if social distancing is still in place?”

It can be tough to get away from that unhelpful voice in your head

Can’t it?

 

WHAT DOES NO CONTRACT LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

 

For many, not getting a new contract will mean having no money coming in and not being able to pay the mortgage

You start to think you are a failure and begin to wonder what other people will think of you if you can’t get a club

The lifestyle that you have currently you believe won’t ever be the same

You even sit and wonder will your partner still want to be with you if you can’t get yourself sorted financially

Your thoughts can grow arms and legs and take you places mentally that you have never been before

Doubt, fears and insecurities. Every day is an emotional rollercoaster

It can feel like you are in a tunnel that has no light at the end of it

Having these sort of things go through your head and playing out the worst-case scenario at times is normal

But what you can’t do is sit and feed the problem all day

Well you can do it but I guarantee it won’t help you

So if feeding the problem isn’t going to help you

What should you do?

 

SOLUTION BASED THINKING

 

You need to feed the solution

More important than a problem is a solution

Get as much clarity on the situation and where you are at at this moment in time

Having clarity over your finances is probably one of the biggest things that you can do

Understand your savings and what is going out your bank account each month

It might not be pretty to do but it is essential

Then think about how you will

1. Get a new deal/club
2. Deal with not getting a contract

Number 2 is probably something which you don’t want to think about but you have to

You have thought about it often enough up to this point we just need a better way of thinking around it

Answering the questions is part of the solution to your current problem

So instead of sitting at home staring at the four walls and feeding the problem by telling yourself, you can’t survive this

You can instead get yourself out for some exercise and feed yourself with the solution regardless of what the next step is for you

 

ROUND UP

 

The PFA study clearly shows that you are not the only player currently to be going through what you are going through

Not just for yourself as a footballer but for nearly every occupation recently things have got tougher

I experienced this and still am with my own business

There are so many things that you can sit and tell yourself about the problem but that will get you nowhere

It will get you to where you are currently

Instead of focusing on the problem take time out to create a solution for whatever happens in the next step in your career

 

If you are a professional footballer who finds themselves struggling mentally with regards to your contract situation

Drop me a DM or email me john@footballmindset.co.uk and I will put time aside in my diary to jump on a call and help you

More important than a problem is a solution

By John Johnstone 22nd May 2020

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