FC Barcelona's Pep Guardiola is a Psychological Maestro

Khalid KhanCorrespondent IApril 22, 2010

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 14:  Head coach Josep Guardiola of FC Barcelona follows his players during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruna at the Camp Nou stadium on April 14, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won the match 3-0.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

A lot has been said and will continue to be said about Guardiola’s way of coaching.

Work ethic, analytical and meticulous preparations, match tactics, soccer philosophy (and also immaculate dress) aside, there has been one open secret to his success and this has been his way of psychologically handling the players.

A complex, articulate, mostly open, yet sometimes closed, restless personality, Pep is quite intriguingly a self-confessed pessimist who has brought optimism to and hopes for a brighter future ahead for FC Barcelona.

Pep has a clear appreciation on matters about interaction with players and knows how and when to communicate with his charges; when to control them and when to set them free.

Surely enough, he has been able to win full and wholehearted support of the club administration and at the same time instill enough motivation, intensity, confidence, and hunger for success to get the most out of them.

He recognizes the importance of how to keep balance in his personal relationships with players and is strict disciplinarian able to restore order and control big players while having a demeanor of an easily accessible and friendly mentor one can look up to. Taking pressure upon themselves and off players is a quality unique to only few of the top coaches.

Pep’s mere presence exudes physical and psychological stability with his self-confidence, composure, and being (mostly) unruffled in the face of pressure, impending loss, or defeat. It’s no wonder Guardiola has earned respect from his peers and love within the club administration and the team.

A subtle demonstration was witnessed recently, of one aspect of his psychological management, about when to be close and when to put distance between him and players (perhaps to prevent them from stifling and shrinking under his presence) when he said about the road trip to Milan that, "we decided to use two buses to have more space and I didn't travel with the players because I think it's better for them not to always have their coach with them."