Aston Villa Football Club

Written in 2021 by Emma Weir
Aston Villa Academy Assistant Psychologist

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At Aston Villa, we have been providing performance psychology support to academy players from U9-16. We have three practitioners implementing the 5Cs across these age groups. There is a specific focus on how the 5Cs can impact players, coaches and parents.

What we do

Players

We aim for all players to get a psychological return from their time at the academy. We would provide support through 1:1s, group workshops and activities, coach education, multi-disciplinary team integration and appropriate referral. The 5Cs is a flexible framework which allows us to deliver psychology directly to players and creates a common language for them to understand and develop psychological and social skills.

Coaches

We work with coaches to educate them on the 5C principles and provide the tools they need to use these principles within their coaching practices. Through workshops, CPD sessions and resources, we educate the coaches on the theory behind each C and upskill them on how to effectively implement these in sessions and develop their player’s psychological skills.

5C feedback is a big part of our work at AVFC. Coaches are regularly observed and provided with feedback on how they have delivered the Cs in their sessions. We use this feedback as an opportunity to highlight areas where the Cs could be given more focus, to celebrate coach successes with the 5Cs, or as a time for the coaches to set themselves 5C targets. Coach feedback is delivered through the 5C PROGRESS model.

Parents

Our work with parents has included face to face and online workshops to help upskill them on the 5Cs. These workshops aim to support the parent themselves, as well as educate the parents on how they can help to develop the 5Cs within their child. The 5Cs allows us to build relationships and generate conversations with the parents, allowing them to ask questions and gain a better understanding of how sport psychology can help their child thrive.

The outcome

Our 5Cs psychology programme has created a positive culture with a common language, allowing all players, staff and parents to understand psychological principles. Using the 5Cs at AVFC allows everyone to recognise the psychological impact on performance, and how we can develop psychological and social skills to thrive inside and outside the academy environment.

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