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Yaya Toure: Ease big game pressure

“I’m a key player in my team, but I often seem to bottle it in big games. How do you cope with the expectations?”
Liam Walton, via email

Yaya Toure says:

“Focus on the importance of what you are trying to achieve and how you can realise these objectives.

During the last few games of last season I shut out any unnecessary distractions.

We knew there was a good chance we would win the Premier League, so everything the team was doing was fixated on maximising our chances of winning.

It’s important to keep calm. I draw confidence from team-mates and believe in their ability. I always trust in the tactics and encouragement of our manager.

These things help me to keep calm, even when things aren’t working out as we planned.

We all encourage each other and constantly communicate on the pitch, which provides a network of support when we need it. Our focus comes collectively, not individually. 

I like to listen to quiet and slow music ahead of matches, as I do in my general life. Music that is more aggressive or loud, which might be considered motivational before a match, makes me nervous and gives me a headache.

I prefer to listen to something that calms me down rather than winds me up before a big game.”

It’s in Yaya’s nature to be the King – go to for more information

For more football tips see:
Marta: Thrive under pressure
Michael Ballack: Coping with pressure
Wayne Rooney: Coping with pressure games