Paul McVeigh now a successful keynote speaker

Paul McVeigh

Former Tottenham and Norwich player Paul McVeigh is taking the lessons he learnt from his time playing football and translating them into strategies for success for some of the top companies in the country.

After studying for a Masters in Sports Psychology, he now teaches clients in the business world to become the best they can be.

Paul is a graduate of the PFA’s On the Board programme and was a guest speak at the PFA’s 2018 Making the Transition workshop, which encourages players to start thinking about life after football.

"That for me was so important. For players coming to the end of their career, it's not necessarily what skills they have, it's their mentality to approach.

"Some people are absolutely terrified of [retiring from football].

"Some people are thinking 'what am I going to do?', thinking they don't have any skills.

"But being an elite sportsperson you have to have so much dedication, resilience, work rate and discipline, so all of those skills are transferable into any job."

As one of the few Premier League footballers doing keynote speaking, his skills are becoming increasingly sought after.

"There's a lot of rugby players and Olympians, mountaineers and explorers," he adds.

"There are loads of people who do this for a living, it's just there is a really, really short supply of people from a football background.

"Football is the number one sport in the country and the world, I played in the Premier League and have some stories to tell.

"People aren't necessarily going to know me, as my profile is not that high, but as soon as I put a photo of me playing against Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford, straight away people buy into it."

His speeches primarily consist of discussing mental training and how that can affect and improve performance.

"The easiest way to describe it is to have any two people - footballers, solicitors, accountants, whatever," says McVeigh.

"They are equally skilled technically, why is it that one outperforms the other?

"For me, it always comes back to the mental aspect."

Paul would like to see more clubs encouraging the psychological side of a player’s game.

"When it comes down to it, most clubs are doing very little," says Paul.

"Players spend a lot of time on the training pitch, doing crossing and finishing or passing sessions, defending sessions.

"In the gym, they do weights or running.

"Very few clubs are dedicating any time to improve the players' mental performance."