These pages contain more than 20 years of practical psychology experience in Spanish elite football. During those years, psychologist María Ruiz de Ona has become an expert in developing the potential of the player by developing the potential of the coach through their education and talents. Doing so by travelling a road less travelled during her own educational journey in her role with professional club Athletic Bilbao that expanded over two decades. It is not just another development book, but it invites the reader to break with certain teaching paradigms that are often found in coach and player development and the common means in which these paradigms are imparted by the coach to the player. Here is an opportunity to follow a real living journey of psychology being moulded through time that span over 20 years of experience in football at the highest level. This can become a compass for a coach or a club in their learning that allows them to broaden their spectrum by becoming educators to their players.
During this exploration, a thorough analysis of psychology and the trends of psychology within football development will show how the roles of the coach and the psychologist have changed: This work now expands to be able to generate conscious footballers who are participants in their own learning.
“The great evolution that has been achieved through the psychology training of professionals in Lezama (Athletic Bilbao’s Academy), has been to give courage and competence to the many coaches, players, educators and scholars that have and continue to pass through here in their development and doing so by making them excited about their self-learning journey and how this type of psychology can evolve their advancement in their wonderful and important role within a club, this has been one of the many essential themes and principles implemented by María Ruiz de Ona”
From the epilogue of José María Amorrortu
(José María has been a Player, Coach, Sporting Director and
Director of Football Methodology at Athletic Bilbao)
RUIZ DE OÑA, MARÍA
President of the Association of Psychology Applied to Football, María is a graduate of psychology who specialises in sports psychology and certified in executive coaching and organisational constellations.
With more than 25 years of experience in sports psychology, María dedicated 21 years working as the Head of Psychology and was responsible for the Learning Education of coaches and players for Athletic Bilbao Football Club.
Advocating the importance of personal development, lifelong learning, innovation, shared leadership, and the exploration of talent in sports, María travels around the world providing lectures and training courses.
Her approach is unique. Self-knowledge, listening, sensitivity, intuition, questioning, and a deep understanding of training coaches and players are her travel companions.
Currently working in Aspire Academy, María remains very close to the Selfinstitute, whose conversations this book draws on.